Crumb on Parchment: Design District vs. the Webster
Seared rare local tuna sandwich at Crumb at the Webster ($16)
Michelle Bernstein has a knack for opening Crumb on Parchment at inorganic locations. The lunch spot's first locale is in the Design District, in the atrium of a design shop complex. With its mismatched tables, chairs, and couches, the space more easily resembles a showroom of scattered living rooms than an eatery. But despite its odd, food-court-like space beneath a staircase, Crumb at the Design District is surprisingly cozy.
On August 29, Bernstein took Crumb's delicious scones and sandwiches to South Beach's Webster -- the luxury multibrand fashion shop located inside a remodeled art deco hotel on tourist-heavy Collins Avenue at 12th Street. The hotel's former lobby previously functioned as a lounge, where shoppers enjoyed beverages like a glass of champagne or cup of coffee. It's there that Crumb on Parchment has taken the reigns, without much change to the décor or setting.
Interior of Crumb on Parchment at the Webster
The boutique's fashionista employees are still getting accustomed to the new restaurant. In fact, as soon as guests walk into the new Crumb, two impeccably dressed staffers approach with a question, "Are you here for the restaurant or the boutique?" They then refer diners to a seat before congregating back at the shop's entrance. Because the shop's staffers stand near the restaurant's tables, it makes for an awkward experience while you eat.
Mannequins at Crumb on Parchment at the Webster
Most offerings on the menu have experienced a South Beach up-charge, with prices having increased by about a dollar: The chopped Greek salad went from $8.95 to $10, the Crumb turkey sandwich went from $8.25 to $9.50, and the croque madame went from $8 to $9.
Some sandwiches didn't even make the trip across the causeway. Neither the pulled rotisserie chicken sandwich nor the portobello mushroom sandwich are offered at the Webster location.
The tofu salad from the Design District didn't make the trip either. Instead, there's a Chinese chicken salad -- chili-and-soy-roasted chicken with chopped lettuce, cabbage, and finely sliced vegetables in a sesame-ginger dressing ($10).
But the most surprising difference between the two spots is that most breakfast items have been cut off the menu at the Webster. The original Crumb serves breakfast all day, with tasty offerings like eggs, homestyle potatoes, and toast ($6.95) and French toast with bananas and candied pecans ($7). The Webster, however, offers only pastries, yogurt, granola, fruit, and a croque madame ($9).
That difference might be due to the hours at the South Beach outpost -- Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The Design District location is open earlier and only on weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The display of sweets at the Webster seems meek and less opulent when compared to the cake stands at the original spot, but the quality of the brownie we sampled seemed unchanged.
Display of sweets at The Webster
The service has also experienced a notable adaptation. Whereas diners must order at the counter in the Design District, the Webster benefits from full service, offered by the single waiter running the small place.
Although prices have increased slightly, Crumb at the Webster is a good spot to sate cravings for the restaurant's casual fare, fresh-baked pastries, and sweets. Or, better yet, to grab a quick bite when you're off the mainland and need a break from all the tourist traps and pricey joints near that part of Collins Avenue.
Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.
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