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Restaurant Review: Brunch @ Meat and Potatoes

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Brunch may just be my favorite meal of the day and because I have to work on Sundays, it’s not something that I get to take advantage of too often. However, the recent Thanksgiving holiday meant that I was off on the Sunday immediately following turkey day so brunch was possible. I decided to make reservations at Meat and Potatoes, a relatively new restaurant located in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District and where I had eaten dinner earlier this year when my parents were visiting.

The best difference between brunch and dinner at Meat and Potatoes, well dinner on a Friday night when happy hour is taking place, was the noise level. While music was still playing in the background (a great selection, I might add, of classic favorites), the music was neither deafening nor was the conversation of other diners who were straining to make themselves heard above the music.

While I strongly considered ordering from its libations menu, specifically “taste experimenting” with its French Toast Flip, I kept it boring by just ordering hot tea. However, the idea of egg in a cocktail certainly sounded intriguing. D went with the Irish Breakfast ($8), a libation that featured Jameson, coffee, maple whipped cream and an orange slice that gave it the perfect color.

My only mild disappointment with the meal was an item I ordered from the snacks and sides section of the menu-fried taters with truffle mayonnaise ($5). I see the word tater and I automatically assume it’s referring to the popular American snack, tater tots. The menu was not. Since the word ‘tater’ is derived from the slang for potato (pertater), I shouldn’t have been surprised that it was another dish made with potatoes, fries. They were delicious, don’t get me wrong, not to mention enough to feed a small army. However, I had sampled Meat and Potatoes’ fries on my previous visit since they tasted the same as the fries used in its poutine dish. While I normally shy away from dipping my fries in anything except ketchup I did sample the truffle mayonnaise multiple times and it was surprisingly good, although the fries had enough seasoning to be enjoyed on their own as well.

For my main course I went with the French Toast ($10), sourdough bread, bananas, and bacon almond brittle. While normally I am an eggs person for breakfast, I’ve been ordering more “sweet” dishes and been pleased with the results. To say the French Toast was decadent would be an understatement. It was incredibly rich, this resulting in the worst sort of food guilt imaginable. As odd as it may sound to those reading this, I never put syrup on waffles or pancakes. I almost treat them as more finger/street food if you will. However, my French Toast at Meat and Potatoes was utterly drowning in the rich syrup. I was given four slices and could only eat two, thus turning the remaining two into perfect and unexpected breakfast treats at work.

D went with the Chicken and Waffles ($12) for his entree. It consisted of fried chicken, a cheddar jalapeno waffle and bourbon bacon syrup. What’s funny is that in the last two weeks, D has now had this somewhat unique dish (at least for the northeastern United States) twice. I can’t remember ever seeing it on the menus before at fancier style places and ‘lo and behold, here it is. He said the waffle was spicy but good and the bourbon bacon syrup actually included large chunks of bacon in it. As a side he ordered the pepper bacon ($4). While not my style (the bacon was incredibly crumbly), D enjoyed it immensely.

In addition to their rather extensive brunch menu, they had also had a selection of specials of the day including a gourmet sounding egg biscuit sandwich, an omelet featuring artichokes and Chihuahua cheese and their quiche of the day ($8). Other menu selections included brisket and eggs ($12) which featured Korean BBQ, kim chee, and a fried farm egg, and Irish Benedict ($10) made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, a poached egg and thousand island hollandaise.

Although it’s next to impossible to disappoint me where brunch is concerned, Meat and Potatoes’ brunch quickly became one of my favorites here in Pittsburgh. It strives to be different and greatly succeeds in offering a really fun and appetizingly good time.

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