Creativity breathes new life into breakfast menus. Robust flavors, comfort food classics—such as hash, pancakes and waffles— and luxurious sandwiches are among today’s popular items. According to the 2014 Datassential MenuTrends, spicy, globally inspired dishes have experienced a big spike on breakfast menus. Melting pot ideas include specialties like the Huevos Tanta, with organic fried eggs, braised beef cheeks, hashbrowns and parsley sauce at Tanta in Chicago.
Casual classics such as sandwiches also tempt morning appetites. At The Original Dinerant in Portland, OR, the popular Croissant-e-Cristo sandwich is an inventive twist on the classic Monte Cristo. It comes on a housemade croissant dipped in French toast batter, and is enhanced with marionberry preserves and powdered sugar. In Chicago at Mercat a la Planxa, the menu draws on Catalan influences, and brunch specialties include the Bikini Sandwich invented in 1953 at the Bikini Music Hall in Spain. The combo, since replicated across that country, incorporates Manchego, Serrano ham, sliced truffle and rosemary peach jam, served on toasted brioche. Look for these sandwiches, and other menu ideas, on our recipe page.
Punch for brunch
The protein craze seems to be splashing over into cocktail choices: At Brennan’s of Houston, Brandy Milk Punch is a popular brunch drink. Variations of this punch have been around since Colonial times. It’s traditionally made with bourbon (Brennan’s uses brandy), whole milk, vanilla extract and simple syrup. Meanwhile, at Providence in L.A., head bartender John Richard Thomas Jackson puts a contemporary spin on the milk punch tradition with his Clouds Over California cocktail. His version branches out by combining soymilk with potato vodka, white rum, persimmon syrup and Velvet Falernum liqueur. The drink is flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg.