Time was, Clevelanders hankering for weekend brunch could either head to IHOP or pony up the big bucks for a fancy buffet. But laid-back noshing at a neighborhood café? That was rarer than Veuve Clicquot at a frat-boys' BYOB bash.
Apparently, times have changed -- at least if the growing list of weekend brunch spots is any indication. The West Side, in particular, seems to be experiencing a brunch boom lately; here are some spots to check out.
In Tremont, locals are flocking to Grumpy's Café (2621 West 14th Street; 216-241-5025), where owner Kathy Owad and staff serve brunch each Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Among the options, there's everything from pumpkin pancakes ($4.95) to jambalaya with chicken, shrimp, ham, and spicy andouille ($8.95).
At Lucky's Café (777 Starkweather Avenue, 216-622-7773), chef-owner Heather Haviland puts a gourmet spin on dishes ranging from moist, egg-stuffed burritos slathered in fragrant guajillo pepper sauce ($8.75) to giant sweet-corn waffles, topped with fresh berries, a drizzle of lemon curd, and a mound of real whipped cream ($8.25). Plus, as headquarters for Sweet Mosaic Bakery, Lucky's well-stocked baked-goods counter is filled with offerings such as raspberry-vanilla muffins, cranberry-lemon-pecan scones, and frosted "happy cookies" in smile-inducing colors. Order at the counter, and then grab a seat; a picnic table in Lucky's pretty garden makes a refreshing roost. Weekend brunch hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At Ohio City's Westside Market Café (1995 West 25th Street; 216-579-6800), Chef Matthew Pell points to Eggs Wellington among the many Sunday brunch crowd-pleasers: a steak, eggs, and hollandaise extravaganza priced at $11; or for the budget-minded, the $2.25 Market Breakfast, featuring two eggs, hash browns, and toast. To drink, mimosas made with freshly squeezed OJ top the list. Brunch hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
And finally, Touch Supper Club (2710 Lorain Avenue, 216-631-5200) serves Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the brunch features a Bloody Mary bar and bubble tea -- along with a menu that includes Mexican omelets ($6), breakfast quesadillas ($6), and eggs Benedict ($7), served with an accompaniment of fresh fruit. Hey, those vitamins and minerals have to come from somewhere!