Editor’s Note: This restaurant is now closed.
Concerning restaurateurs and sadomasochists: I don’t question whether sados make the best restaurant owners or whether owners simply tend to be sado. All I’m saying is that until I had experienced the killer Sunday brunch at Take the Cake (TTC), I considered the occupations indelibly bound. But now, after eating steak and eggs prepared with 100 percent real love, I realize my miscalculation. While owners Melissa Mileto and Doug Faulkner may suffer for their art, TTC’s dishes are born not of self-inflicted pain, but of delicate preparation and fresh ingredients. Take the steak and eggs (above): a happy marriage of marinated and seared flank steak served medium rare; perfectly poached egg; buttery homemade buttermilk biscuit; and seasoned black beans—all tied together with a garlic-and-cilantro-infused chimichurri sauce potent enough to blow up next week’s hangover. My friend’s “GBLT” (we’re talking Northside, yo) was deconstructed and mixed into a bowl with the same buttery biscuit, guacamole (the G), salad greens, and fresh buttermilk dill dressing. Another friend’s housemade grits with garlic butter shrimp scampi was so creamy and superior that the bowl levitated slightly off the table. And the spinach and cheddar quiche with its buttery crust was…well, it was a fine quiche. But for the money—all of TTC’s brunch items are under $10—and after throwing in their beloved baked fare, the communal dining tables, the quick service, and the Northside people-watching street-scapade, this place is hard to beat. You’d have to be a masochist to even try.
Take The Cake
4035 Hamilton Ave., Northside
Lunch Tues-Sat, brunch Sun
Originally published in the May 2010 issue.