When The Leader’s Food Editor Christina Martinez asked us to study brunch offerings in the area and select the best breads served with them, my mind went straight to toast. Toast is so, well, ordinary.
I should have had more faith in the community’s creativity because the selection of items made with grain, yeast or batter available is breathtaking.
During brunch at Onion Creek Cafe, we went for the home-made buttermilk biscuits and the sausage gravy that comes with them. After dousing the warm, flaky, golden medallions in just the right amount of thick, gloppy, heartclogging gravy – we swooned. Who cares that Onion Creek has no creek when the brunch biscuits are this good?
Another fun choice for brunch is Beaver’s on Decatur Street in the Heights. Some of the recipes are the creation of owner Chef Monica Pope, and none disappoint. The menu is chocked full of unique flavors.
On our brunch bread hunting visit to Beaver’s, we opted for an order of slowdough pretzels. If we were anywhere else, that might have been risky, but our faith in Pope payed off. Two, large, warm artisanal pretzels appeared, with two house-made dipping choices: a 1836 beer sauce, and a peach bourbon mustard sauce.
The pretzels had just the right amount of salt, and a hint of crunch on the outside, a nice compliment to the pillowy dough in the middle. Both dipping sauces were memorable, but as pretzel purists, we went for the peach bourbon mustard. The golden goo was full of spicy mustard seeds with the peach adding an interesting undertone. The best part? These bunch treats are not limited to brunch. They also appear on the regular menu.
If your dreams of the perfect brunch bread lean toward sweet stuff, we have a musttry that will satisfy. Located on N. Shepherd St. at 19th Street, Hugs & Donuts is worth a stop for a one-of-kind, worth-every-bite, sugar coma. The little spot offers a small number of tables painted like donuts for dining, and an enormous selection of the most original yeast donuts, cake donuts, fritters, and kolaches anywhere.
Try one of the donuts crammed with house-made fillings such as Boston cream pie, or fluffer nutter. For adventure, there’s a green tea coconut donut or a tres leches, and for a sweet-savory choice, there’s the maple bacon. Yummmmy with four “m”s.
The kolaches here are equally interesting and tempting. There’s a sausage and pepperjack kolache, a BBQ brisket and cheddar kolache, a spinach and artichoke, and our favorite, a fig and brie topped with arugula and almonds, among others.
If you can’t wait for brunch to try one of these, you’re in luck. Hugs & Donuts serves its sweet-savory treasures seven days a week.