It’s not breakfast. It’s not lunch. Somehow it’s both and all the more delicious for it. No one knows for sure when brunch first began, but the first record of the word in print comes from an 1895 article in a British magazine called Hunter’s Weekly. Some link the origins of brunch to the upper-crust British tradition of hunter’s luncheons. Others say it comes from the Catholic practice of fasting until after mass. From Great Britain, brunch made its way to the United States .
St. Louis has many brunch venues and 50 of them met Sauce Magazine's criteria for consideration. The criteria included a requirement that the brunch menu be unique, alcohol must be served and even if a buffet is included, the restaurant must include an a la carte menu.
For their June issue, Sauce Magazine staff members set out to find the best places to eat brunch in St. Louis. After trying all 50 restaurants on the list, the team came up with its top 11 brunch places for the region, with side categories of Best Bloody Mary, Best Coffee, Best Dish, and Best of Bottomless Drinking.
In our monthly Soundbites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine, host Steve Potter spoke with Executive Editor Ligaya Figueras, Art Director Meera Nagarajan and Managing Editor Garrett Faulkner about their favorite finds.
Nagarajan’s vote went to The Restaurant at the Cheshire.
“There’s nothing common about it,” said Nagarajan. “You’re not going to find the dishes that they offer at a lot of other restaurants.” She particularly liked the seared halibut and the prime rib hash.
Faulkner praised the brunch offerings at Atomic Cowboy and the SoHo Restaurant and Lounge. He loved the pineapple mimosa and catfish and grits at SoHo, and the chipotle eggs Benedict with Horachata iced coffee at the Atomic Cowboy.
For Figueras, it was the peaceful atmosphere of the Big Sky Café that won out. In addition to great service, she liked the mix of indulgent and healthy dishes and recommended the locally sourced Bloody Mary.
During the show, Potter got a taste of Cucina Pazzo’s lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes, which Sauce Magazine selected as Best Dish. He said it was the best pancake he had ever eaten.
Other menu items that got special mention on the show were the tofu pudding at Hiro Asian Kitchen and the kale, apple, lemon and ginger juice made at LHC (formerly Local Harvest Café), called Kaley’s Comet.
“It looks like algae or something, but it is delicious,” said Faulkner. “It has ginger, not ginger beer but it is still effervescent just from the natural interaction of the fruits and vegetables.”
For more on Sauce Magazine's brunch recommendations, see the magazine's blog. St. Louis Public Radio also asked for brunch recommendations via Facebook and Twitter, and we now have more restaurants to try: Aya Sofia, Benton Park Café, Plush, Southwest Diner, Café Madeline and Vin de Set all were deemed worthy of tweets and posts.