For many Atlantans, brunch is the most important meal of the week — a special time to enjoy dishes that are both comforting and indulgent.
Chef Ron Eyester gets that in a big way, and he’s taken it at least one step beyond.
At Eyester’s Morningside restaurant, Rosebud, brunch is served not once, not twice, but three times a week — at 10 Saturday and Sunday mornings and at 5:30 p.m. Mondays.
“I guess our brunch has gotten a cult-like following” Eyester said. “A lot of restaurants have a church crowd at brunch. We have the exact opposite. We have the ‘still partying’ crowd. That makes for a fun vibe, and we make the most of it with good music and an interesting food and drink menu.”
By far the most popular item is called the Big Nasty, and the menu offers this parenthetical description “(it’s a sandwich).” More than that, though, it’s a corpulent combo of fried chicken, scrambled eggs, smoked bacon and cheddar cheese on a buttery brioche hamburger bun.
“The first day we put it on the menu we probably sold 40 or 50 of them,” Eyester said. “To this day, it’s the best-selling item on the menu. You try to keep adding signature dishes, but I don’t think I’ll ever add anything to top the Big Nasty. It’s the perfect food and the perfect name.”
Other dishes listed on the Monday night brunch menu under “Ron’s Pick’s” include a peanut butter and bacon patty melt made with a Kobe beef patty and one dubbed “the ultimate pancake,” a savory-sweet invention, stuffed with scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage. And Short Rib Benedict is one of Eyester’s favorite “off the menu” specials.
Featured drinks include a fancy housemade Bloody Mary. Mixed with local organic tomato juice, herbs, garlic and capers, it drinks like vodka-spiked gazpacho. But there’s also the Poor Man’s Bloody Mary, with organic tomato juice, citrus and Miller High Life beer.
Eyester probably won’t expand brunch beyond three days a week — but you never know.
“I could eat breakfast three meals a day,” he said.
“A lot of nights after work, I’ll end up at a diner, eating an omelet before I go home. On my day off, I’ll take my family to the Marietta Diner for breakfast. We all love that.”
Here are some more places where brunch is something a bit beyond ordinary.
458 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta, 404-446-4688, www.cafe458atl.com
At Cafe 458 you can eat brunch and do good, too. Brunch is served 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays, with all proceeds, including tips, going directly to support the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency (formerly Samaritan House), a nonprofit that helps homeless men and women.
On Edgewood Avenue, the cafe caters healthy meals for the homeless during the week. But brunch brings on an array of Southern-style dishes, including Southern Comfort French toast, chicken and waffles, and the signature Carolina pulled-pork Eggs Benedict.
488 Flat Shoals Ave., East Atlanta Village, 404-522-3950, www.badearl.com
The other side of the coin from Cafe 458, the EARL in East Atlanta Village is a lively bar and rock club. But at 1 p.m. Sundays, the vibe gets a little more mellow, with a hangover-friendly mix of local music and hearty breakfast fare, dubbed Dunch.
The Breakfast of Champions includes eggs any style, with a choice of bacon or sausage, grits or hash browns, and pancakes, biscuits or toast. Spicy shrimp hash, steak and eggs, huevos rancheros and a smoked salmon omelet are among the other offerings. A bar fly-strong Bloody Mary, served in a pint glass, is a Dunch staple.
Rosaria’s Italian & Pizza
3103 Cobb Parkway N.W., Kennesaw, 770-975-9993, www.rosariasitalian restaurant.com
Though it’s mostly known as a family owned red sauce joint, Rosaria’s Italian & Pizza in Kennesaw serves brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The menu features the usual omelets and French toast. But it’s more fun to order a breakfast pizza or stromboli baked with scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese.
3242 Peachtree Road, Buckhead, 404-264-0253, www.gordonbiersch.com
Gordon Biersch in Buckhead serves brunch 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Part of a brewpub chain known for tasty German-style lagers, the menu includes omelets, scramblers and a deep-fried Monte Cristo sandwich. But the most beer friendly option is the Hangover Pizza, topped with scrambled eggs, andouille sausage, roasted red peppers and sour cream.
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Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com
Credit: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS/AMBLIN ENTERTAINMENT