4810 Hope Valley Road
Brunch: $5 – $15
Sundays, 10:30 – 2:30
I first posted this review on Carpe Durham a few days ago.
City Beverage started offering Sunday brunch (the menu) about a month ago, so it was time for a revisit. As evident from the comments on Carpe Durham’s previous review, this restaurant has a reputation for playful dishes and decor with occasionally lax service and a hipsterish vibe that some folks interpret as unwelcoming, finding the whole place overhyped. My opinion is much less complicated: it’s within walking distance of my house, and I could live off the chicken nachos if I needed to. In fact, I might welcome it.
The brunch menu has a range of specialty items, from the pricy crab cake eggs benedict at $15 to the buttermilk pancakes with choice of sides and a meat for $8. There are also many sandwiches, salads, and entrees from their regular menu available at brunch.
Coffee was so-so; I definitely think they need to step up their game for that and offer a local roaster’s beans. My bloody mary was heavy on the pepper and Worcestershire, which I like.
It came with a quintet of pimento-stuffed olives, if you’re a fan of those. For $5, it’s a good deal.
My husband had the El Dorado, which is french toast with Kahlua in the soaking mixture.
I was impressed with this choice. The Kahlua’s presence was very light, making for a subtle unique flavor for the french toast. The two giant, thick slices of bread were soaked, grilled, and buttered well. No syrup required for me.
My choice was the City Scramble, because I’m a sucker for adding as many ingredients as possible into an egg dish. The City Scramble rises to that challenge with five (5!) eggs, sausage, onions, baby portabella mushrooms, roasted red peppers, yellow curry, and slices of avocado.
The sausage was tasty, and the veggies were finely diced. The smell of the curry was wonderful as it was served. I thought the omelette was on the dry side, and I think it’d be better off with a yellow curry cream sauce rather than mixing the curry into the scramble. But the sliced avocado does add moisture to each bite. The breakfast potatoes are home fries on the softer side—I prefer mine roasted so they are almost crunchy. Their seasonings were great, though.
Our friend opted for ordering a la carte, which is an excellent option if you want to spend less and don’t need to overstuff yourself. Pretty much all the specialty items are available for much cheaper without any sides. She had two blueberry buckwheat pancakes with some eggs and bacon.
The pancakes were very fluffy and worth a mention just for that. The blueberries were delicious, but they were somewhat sparse. No complaints about the eggs and bacon.
Portions were large, which is always a plus. Brunch at City Beverage is a welcome addition for me, despite my few grumblings. Sitting on the patio on a nice Sunday morning is enough to make me forget them.