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Expand your palate

May 8, 2014 | 12:00 a.m. CST

Anonymous Tacos, Cafe Berlin, Photo by Julie Dimas

Those hoping to find brunch delights that are a little more exotic than the typical flapjacks or scrambled eggs can discover new flavors in these varied establishments. Never thought sausage and apples or waffles and ice cream would work well together? These places will prove you wrong.

Cafe Berlin

220 N. Tenth St.
Sun. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The three soft corn shells of Cafe Berlin’s signature Anonymous Tacos come stuffed with eggs, sausage and veggies. Topped with cilantro and served with sour cream and salsa, this dish adds a southwestern vibe to any brunch. They’re a popular choice for regulars and, like most Cafe Berlin dishes, use vegetables that are grown locally.

Another popular item is the Starving Artist, a meatless dish that includes a bowl-sized biscuit topped with two eggs, roasted potatoes, sauteed greens and vegetarian gravy. Cafe Berlin’s famous veggie gravy gives the dish just the right amount of kick and melds the ingredients together.
More adventurous brunchgoers should try the cafe’s signature Apples and Sausage. Served atop a buttermilk pancake, the dish combines andouille sausage with apples, garlic, red onion, chili powder and cinnamon, all cooked in maple syrup and brown sugar. — Claire Landsbaum

Trey Bistro

21 N. Ninth St.
Sun. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sundays at Trey Bistro are an eclectic mix of college kids, churchgoers, bistro regulars and young professionals. That atmosphere, paired with fascinating takes on breakfast food and some refreshing cocktails, makes Trey Bistro the perfect spot for any brunch seeker.

The restaurant has an 18-seat bar that’s usually chock-full on Sundays and a 12-seat overflow for other customers. But there’s plenty of normal seating throughout the rustic-styled restaurant that carries a lively and friendly vibe.

Trey Bistro tries to accommodate every palate, despite only having eight items on the brunch menu. Executive chef, Trey Quinlan, has worked to perfect mainstays such as the Black Bean Bene and Lamb Omelet, which keep Columbians coming back for more. — Sean Morrison

Liege waffle, Günter Hans, Photo by Shannon Elliott

Günter Hans

7 Hitt St.
Sat. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Decorated like a European-style beer house, Günter Hans’ intimate setting and higher prices make it a haven for Columbia residents looking to savor a cocktail, bottle of wine or specialty beer away from crowded student hot spots. During brunch, you’re most likely to see couples and older groups of friends enjoying waffles and breakfast cocktails.

The waffle bar brunch features homemade Belgian-style waffles with a variety of toppings including fresh fruit, Nutella and syrup. The waffles are made in the Liege style, which means they have a semi-gooey inside and large sugar crystals that caramelize on the outside. If that doesn’t sound appetizing enough, the waffles can be topped with a scoop of their indulgent gelato. Talk about an oh-so-divine sweetness overload.
— Jessica Anania

Broadway Brewery

816 E. Broadway
Sun. 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Broadway Brewery has all the accessories of a great pub: low lighting, an array of house-specialty translate into a brunch restaurant. All the things that make it a great Saturday-night stop also make it a cozy Sunday-morning brunch spot.

The brewery’s Southern Sausage Platter consists of a halved sausage that rests on a bed of creamed greens and homefries, accompanied by two eggs and cornbread. The greens provide a mellow counterpoint to the sausage’s spiciness, and the cornbread fits the dish’s Southern motif. This dish is best thought of as two halves. The sausage, greens and potatoes work together to achieve a flavor profile of spicy comfort food, and the eggs and cornbread round out the meal with an easy-going flavor that’s less intense. Another signature dish is the Biscuits and Gravy. The buttery, flaky biscuits are among the best in town and come swimming in either mushroom or sausage gravy. The dense dressing and crumbly biscuits create a sinfully rich mess of a dish. — Adam Aton

Southern Sausage Platter and Biscuits and Gravy, Broadway Brewery, Photo by John Farmer De La Torre

Main Squeeze

28 S. Ninth St.
Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A giant papier-mache carrot hangs above the kitchen, tables are marked with well-loved action figures and toy animals and the whir of a blender often underscores conversation. In addition to a vibrant and playful atmosphere, Main Squeeze offers health and environmentally conscious alternatives to the traditional brunch. More than 80 percent of the vegetarian menu is certified organic. Many of the ingredients are sourced from local, mid-Missouri farmers from whom owner Lee Lockhart buys directly.

Eggs and house-made tofu are prominently featured on the brunch menu, with standouts including the Sunrise Quesadilla and the Breakfast Sandwich. The quesadilla features either scrambled eggs or tofu and melted jack cheese grilled in a crisp spinach tortilla. The quesadilla is then topped with fresh sour cream, ripe avocado slices and tangy enchilada sauce.

Main Squeeze also offers up its own version of the perennial morning favorite — the breakfast sandwich. Scrambled eggs or tofu, fresh spinach, a thick slice of sharpe white cheddar cheese and spicy chipotle mayo all top a fluffy whole-wheat bun. The breakfast sandwich is served with a heap of crispy potatoes.
— Jessica Anania


The RooF’s blood orange crème brûlée

Along with standard brunch fare, a full dessert menu is available during The Roof’s brunch service. Available only on holidays, it offers a couple of desserts that Jeff Guinn, executive chef at The Roof and 11Eleven, is excited about. One of these options is the Blood Orange Crème Brûlée, a sweet custard base with the sour tang of citrus. The dish is baked and chilled just as the original recipe prescribes, but the blood orange adds a summery twist to an old confectionary favorite.

11Eleven’s sourdough french toast & buttermilk pancakes

If you like your dessert for breakfast (no judgment), 11Eleven is the place to be. In addition to its Sourdough French Toast and Buttermilk Pancakes, the restaurant offers two other saccharine twists: bananas Foster and carrot cake hotcakes, respectively topped with rum caramel sauce and cream cheese frosting. Both options are sticky, sugary and delicious — the perfect way to begin an indulgent Sunday.

44 Stone’s Breakfast Bread Pudding

The bread pudding is a must-have at 44 Stone. It comes with a house-made Chantilly cream on top, joined by maple syrup, coffee and Irish cream, all topped with powdered sugar. The bread custard itself is light but filling. You’ll get two big strips of cider-cured bacon on the side and two eggs cooked to your liking.

Günter Hans’ belgian waffles & gelato

In addition to its sweet and succulent Belgian waffles, Günter Hans offers an entire freezer full of gelato options, including butterscotch, vanilla cherry and gingerbread. Opt to have this cold treat alone or top one of Günter Hans’ signature Liege waffles with whatever flavor suits your fancy.

Trey Bistro's Captain Crunch Encrusted French Toast

Executive chef Trey Quinlan came up with the Captain Crunch Encrusted French Toast after a little pestering from his brother. He told Quinlan that he envisioned the bistro’s cornflake-crusted French toast covered instead with Captain Crunch. Quinlan’s brother begged. He pleaded. Finally, Quinlan caved and put together this sensational take on an ordinary sticky treat. “The best part about it is you don’t need to use syrup,” he says.

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