Brunch Round Up: Winter ’17

Brunch is always, always, always a good idea.

The chance for brunch only happens once or twice a week, and sometimes the weekends are so jam packed with activity that there is no time for brunch at all. Luckily in the past few months I’ve been fortunate enough to get some delicious brunches all across the Capital Region.

1.Cafe Madison http://www.cafemadisonalbany.com/

Banana Bread French Toast. Just let that image form in your mind. Let the smell of cinnamon fill you up and imagine biting into a big piece of french toast, but this french toast isn’t made with classic bread, it’s made with banana bread. Hungry yet?

The meal I got from Cafe Madison in Albany was just as I described above. A savory and delicious plate of banana bread french toast, covered with slices of banana and melting whip cream. Usually a coffee (or mimosa) girl, I opted for the hot chocolate to go along with my breakfast and it was certainly a good decision. Piping hot, with whipped cream melting into chocolatey goodness on a cold winter day, it doesn’t get much better.

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2. Iron Roost http://ironroost.com/ 

The Iron Roost is a popular brunch destination in Ballston Spa, New York. It’s a small little place that often has waits up to an hour on the weekends. Nearly everything at the Iron Roost comes in waffle form- whether it be sweet waffles dripping with strawberries and chocolate or a savory egg sandwich on a waffle wedge- so there is no shortage of waffle options.

If you’re heading to the Iron Roost on a weekend I would suggest downloading the app, NoWait, so you can virtually get in line through your cell phone before getting to the restaurant. When you get there, you can check in with the hostess who will let you know when to get in line. You order at a counter and are given a number to put on the table of your choice, then you wait only a few minutes before the breakfast of your dreams arrives in front of you.

I went back and forth deciding what to order- when everything looks so appetizing it’s always a difficult choice. Ultimately, I chose to get the apple crisp waffles with a side of bacon and it did not disappoint. I’d like to say I didn’t devour the whole thing, but I absolutely did.

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3. Capital City Gastro Pub http://www.capcitygastropub.com/

My list of restaurants I want to try is constantly growing. So on a free weekend when the opportunity arose to visit a new one, it was incredibly difficult to choose where to start. Ultimately landing on Capital City Gastro Pub in Albany, my friends and I took advantage of a beautiful February Saturday and arrived a lively little gastro pub full of young people enjoying the day. While waiting for a table we sat at the bar and sipped on mimosas while perusing the menu, deciding between biscuits and gravy, veggie hash, or eggs benedict.

Brick walls, sun shining through the window, and a playlist that was spot on created the perfect brunch atmosphere. I ordered the eggs benedict because is it really brunch if you don’t get eggs benny? There really is nothing like cutting into that yolk for the first time. The eggs were cooked perfectly, there was plenty of sauce which helped keep it warm (as I took all my pictures), and they were certainly not stingy on the ham. My only complaint about the meal really is that I won’t be having it every day. Whenever I find myself at the Capital City Gastro Pub again I’ve got my eye on the Huevos Rancheros breakfast pizza.

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4. Brick House Tavern + Tap http://brickhousetavernandtap.com/

There is nothing that makes my heart happier than a mimosa. Nothing, except perhaps when the mimosas are $2, which makes Brick House Tavern + Tap my new favorite brunch spot. I stopped in on a Sunday morning around 11 am, nervous that we might have to wait a while for a table. Luckily Brick House is a huge space with plenty of tables and bar seating to accommodate the weekend brunch crowd. We even had the selection of a booth, high top, or couch seating. It felt like an eternity passed before our food came, which is pretty much the feeling I always have when waiting for brunch. I think food always comes a little bit slower at brunch, but the wait was forgiven as soon as I cut into my southern fried chicken eggs benedict. Crispy, spicy, and enough for two meals, the chicken was amazing. My eggs benedict came with a side of cheesy potatoes that were not as crispy as I may have liked, they were plenty flavorful and extremely filling. Not into chicken? They even have bison benedict!

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What’s your favorite brunch spot around the Capital Region? Let me know in the comments! As always, follow my Instagram to keep up with my eating adventures.

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