Whether with friends or family, or the love of your life, brunch is how we mix it up in 2020
By the Devour Staff
It’s easy enough to fry up eggs and a rasher of bacon. Add a side of toast and a splash of Tapatio for good measure. There you have it: Sunday breakfast best enjoyed while wearing your favorite unicorn onesie and streaming a season of The Witcher on Netflix.
But you can do better. Your best life is calling. Brunch gives us a reason to meet and mingle with those we care about, if only for a few hours.
From dim sum to paella to huevos rancheros, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what to eat. There are no rules. In addition, we can enhance our meal with decadent beverages—and experience the Utah novelty of imbibing before noon if we can get our bad selves out of bed. Mimosas, anyone?
More and more eateries are jumping on the weekend brunch train, creating enticing dishes that layer more bacon, avocado and hollandaise toppings than can possibly be good for us. But so what? It’s the weekend, and that’s how we roll.
So, put on your Sunday finest (ideally, something with an elastic waistband) and hit up your peeps with a “Let’s do brunch” text. Should you need inspiration about what to order, we’ve assembled a list of a dozen dishes that crush brunch.
If we missed brunch haunts you’re crazy about, post your faves on Devour Utah’s social media.
The Bistro Beat
Carmelized Kimchi Bowl
You might say the menu at SLC Eatery is more fluid than what appears in print. With innovative takes on the classics, chefs Logen Crew and Paul Chamberlain pride themselves on their evolving cuisine that takes patrons on a journey of unique flavor combinations. One of their explorations on the brunch menu is the caramelized kimchi bowl, a hearty serving of bulgogi beef, rice, green onion relish and lime aioli that’s topped with a poached egg. “Our inspiration for the kimchi bowl was to have a fun take on steak and eggs, in the SLC Eatery fashion,” Chamberlain says. “We are trying to separate our brunch from dinner while staying in line with our whole concept. Our menu is always going to have a few different items than normal menus, but we hope it resonates with families, first dates, birthdays and of course the foodies that are out every Saturday and Sunday morning supporting local restaurants.” (Aimee L. Cook)
SLC Eatery, 1017 S. Main, SLC, 801-355-7952, SLCEatery.com
Pork Green Chili
Emerson Oliveira knows a thing or two about serving up a great breakfast or brunch. As owners of Park City’s Bridge Café and Grill and Flying Sumo Sushi, Oliveira and wife Juliana Klein now operate Cotton Kitchen at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, creating quick and easy upscale dining.
The pork green chili is a spicy dish served with confetti bell peppers, sour cream, cilantro, a poached egg and sourdough toast. It’s a great way to get your juices flowing in the a.m.
“Even though our prices are a bit higher compared to the average breakfast place, I think we accomplished our vision,” Oliveira says. “Taste, presentation, service and our space itself shows that. Our menu was inspired from international cuisine, but each individual dish has a touch of class and beauty, and tastes like nothing [else] out there.” (Aimee L. Cook)
Cotton Kitchen, 3158 E. 6200 South, Holladay, 385-274-4749, CottonKitchenUtah.com
Chicken and Biscuits
When you’ve perfected fried chicken like chef Brandon Price has, it just makes sense to utilize that protein in various dishes, and what better way than adding a new twist to chicken and biscuits? The menu item offers Price’s Nashville fried chicken thigh on his housemade rosemary-and-Parmesan drop biscuits dressed with warm maple syrup, pickled mustard seeds and a generous spoonful of caviar. Sounds decadent, no? The dish is presented in a stack like a Benedict. “I just feel like biscuits in general are too fussy,” Price says, adding, “A drop biscuit has the same functionality [as rolled] with a little less dryness,” he says, and you can stuff it with whatever you like. (Aimee L. Cook)
Oak Wood Fire Kitchen, 715 E. 12300 South, Draper, 801-996-8155, OakWoodFireKitchen.com
Pork Breakfast Bowl
Elevated comfort food is the term that springs to mind when describing the cuisine at Tradition. From the communal dining experience to the housemade offerings, dining here definitely reminds you of home cooking, but with a talented culinary twist.
The pork breakfast bowl has a Southern flair with its grits and chili cocoa bean flavors, which is enhanced by the generous portion of smoked pork shoulder, sour cream, salsa verde and two eggs cooked how you like them.
“We smoke the pork shoulder in-house and add a bit of cocoa to our black beans to give them that unique flavor,” said Ashton Aragon, co-owner. The biscuits and the orange rolls are made in house, and the gravy is made with Beltex sausage.” (Aimee L. Cook)
Tradition, 501 E. 900 South, SLC,
The Veggie Peta Breakfast Sandwich
Many of us know about glamping in a yurt, but brunching in one? It was new to us when we stopped at Roots Cafe in Millcreek. From late October to mid-April, they set up a wintertime yurt on the patio to expand their indoor seating and keep wait times down. In the warmer months, the patio reopens for outdoor seating. While grooving on your yurt environment, it’s a good time to order their popular veggie PETA breakfast sandwich featuring housemade pesto on Parmesan rosemary ciabatta bread, two eggs, veggie sausage, heirloom tomato (in season) and pepper jack—you won’t be disappointed. Feeling thirsty? Owner Wendy Haymond says customers love their fresh-pressed juices, particularly the Cleanser, made with carrot, apple, beet, lemon and ginger, or the Hydrator, which features pineapple, banana, spinach, lime and coconut water. (Brooke Constance White)
Roots Café, 3474 S. 2300 East, East Millcreek,
Pulled Pork Benedict
Even without a brunch menu, Ruth’s Diner is a brunch institution. They’ve been serving “breakfast for lunch” longer than many—and possibly any—other brunch spot in town. Co-owner Tracy Nelson and her husband, Erik, feel like they are carrying on the legacy of Ruth Evans, who founded the restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City in 1930. The fluffy Mile High Biscuits are amazingly light, and the flavorful, homemade raspberry jam really sets them off. Tracy says Ruth’s customers love delectable, interesting fare such as the pulled pork Benedict with both barbecue sauce and hollandaise sauce and the cinnamon roll French toast accompanied by lemon cream cheese. The crab and avocado omelet is enhanced by green onions and cream cheese, while the chicken-fried steak Benedict hits the spot with its country gravy and hollandaise sauce. “People come here to find comfort,” Tracy says. “We rarely change the menu because customers like to go where the food is consistent.” (Carolyn Campbell)
Ruth’s Diner, 4160 Emigration Canyon Road, SLC, 801-582-5807, RuthsDiner.com
Many of the dishes that Finn Gurholt serves at Finn’s Café reflect his family’s long history in the restaurant business and a deep appreciation for Scandinavian food. He uses a sourdough starter that he believes is 100 years old in his sourdough breads, pancake batter and jule kake, a French toast-flavored loaf with cardamom, black raisin and citron that’s dipped in a cinnamon cream batter. The Norwegian waffle is made from Finn’s mother’s recipe, to which he adds cardamom and ginger. It’s accompanied with wild lingonberries and sour cream. “Sixty-five percent of the food we serve is brunch food,” he says. There’s the Scandinavian breakfast, which features poached red trout from Buhl, Idaho, with Finn’s tartar sauce, a choice of two eggs and the hash browns that are peeled, blanched and grilled fresh daily. The rosti, a Swiss mountain dish, is made from the hash browns, bacon cheddar cheese and onion. Omelets and a variety of delicious danishes—including the white raisin cinnamon, cream cheese and poppy seed, almond paste and raspberry and pan chocolate—round out the delicious brunch fare. Velbekomme! (Carolyn Campbell)
Finn’s Café, 1624 S. 1100 East, SLC,
Lucky 13 takes the concept of comfort brunch to the next level with Hub Caps, a dish that begins with two biscuits baked fresh daily by a local baker. They’re topped with two eggs any style and covered with house-smoked bacon gravy and served with your choice of grilled black forest ham or two pieces of house-smoked bacon. Or, there’s the Hangover Buster, a tall stack of home fries beneath melted cheddar cheese, two eggs any style, house-smoked bacon and black forest ham. Co-owner Rob Dutton, who opened Lucky 13 in 2009, describes the casual Sunday brunch atmosphere at Lucky 13 as “laid back, comfortable, relaxing, and enjoyable. It’s what you would find in a comfort-food place, but we’ve changed and elevated it with our house-smoked bacon and attention to detail.” With the addition of a second location in Jordan Landing, Dutton looks forward to many more Sunday brunches “and hopefully, soon, Saturday brunches, too.” (Carolyn Campbell)
Lucky 13 Bar & Grill (21 and over),
135 W. 1300 South, SLC, 801-487-4418, Lucky13SLC.com;
Lucky’s Iron Door Roadhouse (all ages),
3754 W. Center View Way, West Jordan,
Ogden favorite Slackwater Pub & Pizzeria opened their second location in Sandy late in 2019. Almost immediately, Salt Lake diners began lining up for their inventive pies made in the massive pizza oven that can cook 48 pizzas at a time and a sip of nearly 250 craft beers on tap and bottle. Built to seat 225 people in the winter and 320 when both patios are open, this south valley hot spot is a culinary destination on Sundays, where brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enjoy the popular breakfast pizza ($10) loaded with potatoes, sausage, bacon and eggs on top of a creamy hollandaise base and Slackwater’s three-cheese blend. Pair it with a rather creative sake bloody mary for a true Sunday Funday. Another tasty addition to the Sandy brunch menu is the chile verde eggs Benedict (one of three eggs Benny options) that you can wash down with a glass or carafe of Stinger Hard Cider mimosas. (Heather L. King)
Slackwater Pub and Pizzeria, 10290 S. State, Sandy, 801-930-5147; 1895 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-399-0637; SlackwaterPizzeria.com
Vegan Chickpea Omelet
Zest Kitchen & Bar has long made a name for itself in downtown Salt Lake serving an organic, 100% plant-based menu in a bright, clean space that feels fresh and welcoming to diners of every persuasion. Guests order the vegan chickpea omelet ($12) enough to make it one of the restaurant’s most popular items—thanks to the a flavorful (and colorful) mix of seasonal vegetables that come together for a healthy, earthy entrée paired with Zest’s famous root veggie hash. Owner Casey Staker and his team take their plant-based philosophy all the way to their boozy brunch drink menu, featuring a vegan bloody mary as well as fresh-juiced mimosa blends like beet apple ginger, green juice and, of course, fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit. Enjoy all these items seven days a week! (Heather L. King)
Zest Kitchen & Bar, 275 S. 200 West, SLC, 801-433-0589, ZestSLC.com
I love good food with history. There’s something about knowing why or how a tasty dish came to be that makes it even more enjoyable. Such is the case with the Hangtown Fry. Made famous during the California Gold Rush in the 1850s, the original version was a type of omelet with eggs, bacon and fried, breaded oysters. Using the most expensive ingredients available, the Hangtown Fry was a celebratory treat for miners who had struck it rich.
“Our version is more of a deconstructed version with our house bacon, fried oysters and soft scrambled eggs layered over Lyonnaise potatoes then topped with remoulade,” said Matt Crandall, food & beverage director and partner with the Bourbon Group. “The smoky pork belly along with crispy oysters, soft eggs and spicy remoulade are one of my favorite things to have for brunch.” (Aimee L. Cook)
White Horse, 325 S. Main, SLC, 801-363-0137, WhiteHorseSLC.com
Is there anything better than watching a classic movie on Sunday morning while eating brunch? On the big screen, no less? We think not. And now with Brewvies free Sunday brunch movies and $3 mango mimosas, you can do it on the cheap. Try out their killer $5 brunch nachos or other staples such as eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes. You can build your own omelets or breakfast burritos, and there’s even oatmeal for vegans. Every month has a different theme, so visit their Facebook page to offer your input for what you’d like to see. At Brewvies Salt Lake, the brunch movie is 21+. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and the free movie starts at 11 a.m. At Brewvies Ogden, the theater is open to ages 3 and up. Doors open at 11 a.m. with the movie starting at 11:30 a.m. (Brooke Constance White)
Brewvies Salt Lake, 677 S. 200 West, SLC, 801-355-5500; Brewvies Ogden, 2293 Grant Ave., Ogden, 801-392-2012, Brewvies.com