Brunch Report: BrewRiver GastroPub

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Brunch ruts happen. You and your crew get used to frequenting the same spots over and over again. Maybe you’re the guy who’s been eating nothing but Benedicts since a Bush was in office. It’s time to branch out. It’s time for BrewRiver GastroPub’s New Orleans-style brunch.

The second item on the menu is the BBQ shrimp with local grits. And you might as well just stop right there. The grits are soft and creamy, the generous serving of shrimp cooked just through, and a piquant New Orleans–style BBQ sauce is drizzled over top. If you’re still not sold, surely the Thai green curry beef short rib poutine served over hand-cut fries will stop you in your tracks. Two sunny-side up eggs are just waiting to weep brilliant yolk into the complex and well-seasoned gravy as it melts and mingles with local cheese curds. Looking for more old-school Creole inspiration? Eggs Sardou arrive with the customary artichoke cups and sautéed spinach but get the gastropub treatment with beer-naise. For that oddball in your group who always insists on ordering a salad at 11 a.m., the spinach with flash-fried cornmeal-crusted oysters, bacon lardons, boiled eggs, tomatoes, and a buttermilk and Herbsaint liqueur-infused dressing will fit the bill nicely. And don’t hesitate to get an order of four biscuits for $5. The enormous, five-inch blocks look like they could easily stop a door, when in fact they are some of the lightest biscuits I’ve tasted.

Plenty of local beer is available on tap, including three varieties from Listermann and a few from MadTree. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Bloody Mary, an especially beefy-flavored version that came with enough garnishes to make a sandwich, including a hefty rasher of house cured, ale-brined bacon. Live music was convivial and upbeat, but not so loud as to preclude conversation. While this brunch isn’t exactly a bargain, all items were top quality and totally splurge-worthy. Which is exactly what you’re looking for when you need to break out of a rut.

BrewRiver GastroPub, 2062 Riverside Dr., East End, (513) 861-2484, brewrivergastropub.com

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