In the interest of full disclosure, we must let you know that our definition of “brunch” differs from the norm. To us, brunch is basically a large breakfast with booze and dessert. Damn the lunch food. We just woke up. We’re not doing anything productive today. Bring on the eggs and mimosas.
So when we went to London Grill, 2301 Fairmount Ave., on a sunny, pleasant Saturday morning, the last thing on our mind was the “-unch” portion of the menu. But we certainly had our fun on the breakfast side.
Things got off to a great start with a granola and fruit plate that featured a small but powerful piece of “brunch bread” — a pleasantly dense and sweet counterbalance to the nutritious nature of the assortment of blueberries, strawberries and melon slices on the plate.
Also greeting us upon entry was the bloody Mary bar ($6 or $7 per trip, depending on what kind of alcohol you choose). You pick your shot and then take it to the bar to dress it up however you like, with options like jalapeños and mushrooms. The booze options are even more impressive, with a healthy selection of tequilas, gin and vodkas. You can get absinthe ($8) for your Mary as well but, even with neutered American-approved absinthe, we don’t know if we want to be hanging out with someone who rolls that hard that early in the day.
London Grill’s brunch menu features the usual suspects: eggs Benedict ($9.50), bagel n’ lox ($9), steak and poached eggs ($14) and huevos rancheros ($10), which are fine and dandy if your ravenous brain will allow you to ignore items like the bananas Foster French toast ($9.5), piled so high and surrounded by caramelized bananas that you might end up begging friends and strangers to help you finish it. But deep down inside you’d risk rupturing a gut to finish it. The ricotta pancakes ($9.50) are another decadent choice, with pistachio butter and maple syrup.
If you’re looking for something off the sweetened path, a must-try for the adventurous is the Spanish tortilla ($8), a potato and egg tortilla accompanied by Romesco sauce and London Grill’s housemade sausage. It’s good enough on its own, but being the spice whores that we are, we couldn’t resist spiking it with the sriracha chili sauce they conveniently had on the table.
Around this time, we were ready to crawl back home and go back to sleep (food drowsy, not drunk … the sun was out), but just then our attentive waiter pounced on us with the dessert menu.
The crème brûlée ($6) and the ricotta chocolate cheesecake ($6) called out to us like an absinthe hallucination, but we pulled it back a bit and went for the honey crisp apple tart ($6), which was excellent. The restrained sweetness of the salted caramel sauce and the whipped cream gave the fresh, crisp apple room to breathe atop a perfect pastry.
From start to finish, London Grill does a fine job of getting one’s weekend off to a good start. Or, in our case, a premature finish.
Larry Nichols can be reached at [email protected]..