Taglierini & Truffles on the brunch menu at Gratify
Decadent Eggs Benedict with lobster and caviar on the brunch menu at Gratify (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
Wagyu Tartare is on the brunch menu at Gratify (Photo by Kirsten Gilliam)
Gratify's Ceviche (Photo by Kirsten Gilliam)
The spicy 'Hair of the Dog' Bloody Mary on the brunch menu at Gratify (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
Charred Octopus on the brunch menu at Gratify (Photo by Kirsten Gilliam)
The remarkable Crème Brulée French Toast on the brunch menu at Gratify (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
Tunisian Eggs on the brunch menu at Gratify (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
The healthy Quinoa & Lentil Bowl on the brunch menu at Gratify (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
The patio at Gratify in West University (Clark Cooper Concepts photo)
Gratify Neighborhood Bistro (Photo by Kirsten Gilliam)
We came for the baby back rib tacos and stayed for the crème brulée French toast. Actually, we had no idea when we popped in at Gratify Neighborhood Bistro in West University to sample the Saturday brunch that we would be swooning over the tacos. And most readers would not be aware that Gratify has been testing out brunch menus for about a month.
This week, the team helmed by owner Grant Cooper, is officially unveiling the weekend brunch that is something of a prelude to Gratify opening daily for lunch, an addition which is expected by the end of the year.
Truth in advertising, as guests of the restaurant we were served dish after dish of tempting plates, those that have proven to be favorites of the neighborhood regulars and one that we requested on our own. We were offered a sampling of Gratify’s “boozy brunch beverages” and opted for the Bloody Mary (virgin), which had a spicy kick that we will long remember. Thus its name — Hair of the Dog.
The weather was perfect and we sat on the Clark Cooper Concepts restaurant’s breezy patio overlooking the fountain peppered with leaves that flowed down from surrounding trees.
Our first course was the corn tortilla tacos, that tender pork topped with lightly pickled coleslaw and served with soft scrambled eggs (the real deal, no carton eggs, thank you) and a divine sauce with an avocado oil base, pistachios and a touch of sriracha. We admit that we did lick our fingers for the tacos with the sauce were a bit messy, but divine. Next up was our order of Tunisian eggs, beautifully roasted in an iron skillet atop a unique pomodoro sauce and served with crispy buttered garlic toast.
And, oh how we wanted to eat every morsel of those two dishes but we had been forewarned by our host that there were more dishes coming. In case we were planning on approaching this brunch from a healthy point of view, the manager brought us the quinoa & lentil bowl loaded with veggies and wading in a green goddess tahini.
Next was we thought would the pièce de résistance — eggs Benedict topped with lobster and caviar. Had we been offered the menu from which to choose our topping, we could have opted instead for smoked salmon, French country ham or short ribs. Add $30 for the generous dollop of caviar.
Just as we declared ourselves unable to eat another bite until Sunday, the crème brulée French toast arrived, topped with maple syrup and fresh fruit and served with a side of butter. Sweet Jesus, it was delicious.
The brunch menu has something for everyone — Gratify Burger, charred octopus, taglierini & truffles and the steak & eggs (10 ounce black angus strip) that apparently is another neighborhood favorite. Add an ample crudo bar, which is available all day every day, to the offerings including ceviche, shrimp cocktail, yellowfin crudo and more.
The brunch menu is served 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday.