I never would have guessed that our favorite neighborhood spot for BBQ, whisky and live music would serve an outstanding brunch, but I was shocked in the best possible way when we a few weeks ago (over Halloween weekend) I had one of the best brunches ever at The Strand, a bar / beer garden / restaurant right near my apartment. Just take a look at my “Smothered n’ Smoked Chicken & Biscuit” above – the chicken was served alongside sausage gravy, sunny-side-up egg, grits and coleslaw. It was absolutely incredible; the grits were thick and cheesy, the biscuit buttery and flaky, the sausage gravy flavorful and the chicken spicy. Kiyo had a few bites and loved the coleslaw, peppered with poppy-seeds. It was humongous and I took some home for later; it made a great snack after an afternoon spent in the park.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Brunch began with free samples for all three of us (Maggie, Kiyo and me) of their brand new cocktails. One was light, fruity and herbaceous; the other was an odd but tasty mixture of beer and coffee. They were both delicious and paired well with the free cornbread and sweet honey butter.
Maggie ordered the Granola French Toast – house-baked brioche coated in crispy oatmeal, topped with whipped cream and strawberry preserves. The brioche was so dense and sweet it was almost like cake, and with the crunchy oats it was addicting. We all enjoyed big, soft bites of it, greedily.
After much deliberation, Kiyo ordered the Hash Plate: house-smoked pastrami with home fries and topped with two fried eggs (Kiyo gave his egg to Maggie because he is an egg-hater. I know, blasphemy!). The meat was delicious, perfectly smoky and tender. The home fries were given a nice little kick from the addition of red bell peppers, but were really overshadowed by the great meat.
Our waiter convinced us to split a side order of the their incredibly cheesy and gooey mac & cheese (let’s be honest, he didn’t have to try that hard). Topped with breadcrumbs, this fills you up fast but you can’t stop stealing bites because it’s just so good.
We were able to sit outside at long, wooden communal tables, since it was a fairly warm and sunny October day. However, the interior is quite cozy (even though it’s very large) and I can’t wait to go back for brunch sometime soon this winter.
The Strand Smokehouse