10 killer St. Louis brunch dishes that are Bloody Mary-worthy
Oh, the glorious Bloody Mary. The Sunday morning cure for a Saturday night of imbibing is one delicious hair of the dog. And if properly garnished, a full meal in itself. (Check out The Bloody Cluck at Byrd & Barrel with its fried chicken slider garnish and Red Hot Riplet potato chip rim if you need proof).
But when you require a little more sustenance for your Sunday Funday activities, it's time to pair your favorite cocktail with a stick-to-your-ribs brunch dish that's worth getting out of bed for – even when it feels like Lars Ulrich and Chad Smith are having a drum battle in your head.
1. Crepes at Rooster
This downtown go-to is home to six different Bloody Marys, including a secret house blend featuring 17 different ingredients and the soy-sauce and Wasabi-tinged Bloody Samurai. But what Rooster is truly famous for is their savory crepes. Request these light, airy crepes with Missouri-made German sausage, apples and cheddar or go veggie with goat cheese, spinach and tomato jam. Then get ready to swoon.
2. Fried Chicken & Biscuits, 1818 Chophouse
Love to bike on Sundays? Then hit the 130 miles of MCT trails across the river in Madison County, Ill. But before jumping on your bike, fuel up on the fried chicken at 1818 Chophouse in Edwardsville. Resting on top of fluffy biscuits and blanketed in rich, sausage gravy, the brown-sugar braised chicken is covered in a melt-in-your-mouth batter that pops the moment you take a bite.
3. French Toast or Pancakes at Gamlin Whiskey House
If you're going to splurge on carbs, you might as well dive headfirst into a tower of pancakes or French toast, weighed down with your favorite toppings. Gamlin Whiskey House serves up decadent dishes from bananas foster French toast, orange focaccia toast accented with vanilla ice cream and caramelized bananas, to Oreo® cookie crumb pancakes with marshmallow and chocolate crème anglaise.
4. Tex-Mex Burritos at Southwest Diner
At Southwest Diner, breakfast takes on a Tex-Mex twist. Try their New Mexican breakfast burrito with chorizo or calabacitas or their carne adovada with red chile-braised pork shoulder, eggs and home fries. For a little sweetness, add a sopapilla on the side instead of toast. If that's not enough, sip away on peppery Bloody Marys loaded with jalapeno and locally-produced bacon.
5. French Breakfast at Brasserie by Niche
One of the hottest restaurants for dinner is also one of the coolest brunch spots in town. Brasserie features a full menu, including its French breakfast, bringing together a six-minute egg, crudité, ham, and a croissant with apple butter and Saint-Andre, a triple crème cheese. Because breakfast is just as deserving of dessert as lunch or dinner, pair it with their sweet beignets with plum compote or cream cheese éclairs.
6. Benedicts and Bloody Mary Bar at SqWires
Nothing says brunch quite like eggs Benedict, especially when you have a range to choose from at SqWires, including the house-cured smoked salmon with capers or the Veggie Benny with Ozark Forest wild mushrooms and spinach herb hollandaise. That variety extends up to the bar as well. Hit up the Bloody Mary smorgasbord where you can fill your glass with everything from sauerkraut to artichoke hearts.
7. The Vegetarian Slinger at The Mud House
Until The Mud House made its debut, vegans and vegetarians were unable to enjoy the magic that is the St. Louis slinger, with its heart attack-inducing combo of chili, hamburgers, hash brown, and eggs. But at this coffee shop, you can get the Mud Slinger with roasted potatoes and black bean chili or switch out the eggs with tofu scramble for the Vegan Slinger. So hearty, even die-hard carnivores won't miss the beef.
8. Duck Hash at Scape
Hash, or as my Southern Illinois mama use to call it, trash can breakfast, is a delectable mash-up of breakfast favorites, like country potatoes, sausage and eggs. But at Central West End landmark Scape, this diner staple goes classy with duck confit, roasted peppers, poached eggs, and a port reduction. One bite and you're in breakfast heaven.
9. Scottish Anything at The Scottish Arms
Get breakfast by the way of Edinburgh. At The Scottish Arms, hungry brunch-seekers can lose themselves in a Scottish Breakfast with fried eggs, Lorne sausage and baked beans or a breakfast pasty with bacon, egg and sausage gravy baked up in a puff pastry. Feeling adventurous? Try the Highland Hangover with a Scotch egg, smoked salmon and Forfar bridies, otherwise known as meat pies in the Midwest.
10. Lobster Casserole at The Boathouse Forest Park
Nothing wards off the post-party headache like a little fresh air. And no brunch spot in St. Louis has a more beautiful outdoor view than The Boathouse. Take in the scenery of Post-Dispatch Lake while you savor The Boathouse's famous baked lobster and egg breakfast casserole or a hearty helping of spicy shrimp and grits. If you're up to it, take a paddleboat around the lake after brunch. Or just laze the day away in a rocking chair with a cocktail or two in hand.
Nicole Plegge is a freelance writer and pop culture aficionado based in St. Louis. While she's busy writing for a variety of websites, magazines and blogs, she still can't get over never being able to attend the Eastland School for Girls.