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Is there anything better than weekend brunch? Socializing with friends or family, enjoying dishes typically reserved for a relaxed meal it's a special event whose true potential can best be realized on Saturdays and Sundays.
And much of the beauty of brunch lies in the sheer number of possibilities breakfast foods and lunch foods plus cocktails designed to celebrate both. Here we highlight some signature brunch dishes at some new and old favorites in Salt Lake City and beyond.
As the newest member of the Pago Restaurant Group, Trestle Tavern is a casual tavern in the beloved former Fresco location on 15th and 15th, serving Bohemian-inspired food along with craft beer and cider. Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Trestle Tavern brings a new kind of cuisine to the storied neighborhood.
"We aim to create a balance of lighter items like salads or our Utah trout lox with some heartier dishes like the schnitzel and eggs and the sausage hash," says owner Scott Evans about the brunch menu.
The schnitzel and eggs is the signature brunch dish here, featuring panko-crusted pork schnitzel from Ballard Farms topped with a sunny-side-up egg and hearty smoked paprika sausage gravy served alongside breakfast potatoes.
Playing off traditional country-fried steak and eggs, the pork schnitzel replaces the steak while the sausage gravy uses a Hungarian staple smoked paprika.
"This dish is a great representation of the style of food we offer at Trestle familiar but slightly foreign or exotic," Evans says. "We wanted to add the schnitzel dish to the brunch menu since it's unique to Trestle and is not available at any other brunch spots in town."
• 1513 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-532-3372, www.trestletavern.com
Having recently moved to Salt Lake City's Central 9th District, Meditrina has updated its offerings for the new neighborhood to include lunch and brunch in addition to dinner in the purple-tinted restaurant fronted with floor-to-ceiling windows.
Start off brunch with a $5 bellini or bloody beer while perusing the menu, where you'll find everything from eggs Benedict to shrimp and grits. The smoked Utah trout panzanella has quickly become the signature brunch dish, says owner and chef Jennifer Gilroy.
"We love that it uses a year-round local product as the star of the dish, and it is completely unique to us," she says. "It has lots of flavor and it's neither too heavy nor too light."
The Utah trout is house-smoked, while the brown butter croutons are made from the restaurant's leftover biscuits. Combined with fresh arugula, cilantro, heirloom tomatoes, red onions, cucumber and a lemon scallion yogurt, it's all topped with a sunny-side-up egg for a panzanella unlike any you've tried before.
"To me, it's the quintessential brunch dish it's a balanced blend of breakfast and lunch," Gilroy says.
• 165 W. Harvey Milk Blvd. (900 South), Salt Lake City, 801-485-2055, meditrinaslc.com
At Manoli's in the Liberty Park area, brunch is an opportunity for owner and chef Manoli Katsanevas to share more of his Greek heritage with diners during the weekends outside of dinner. From the loukaniko sausage made in-house to the citrus and ouzo-cured salmon dako, Manoli's brings flavorful and intriguing options to the brunch table.
Here, one of the standout offerings is the bougatsa, which Katsanevas explains is a traditional breakfast dish in Crete, where his family is from. "They only sell it in the mornings and you have it with coffee," he says. So it seemed a natural addition to Manoli's brunch menu.
The dish is rich and filling from the house-made myzithra cheese (similar to a ricotta) that's wrapped in phyllo dough and baked until crispy, then covered in cinnamon sugar. Coffee is recommended, and sharing around the table is encouraged.
• 402 E. Harvey Milk Blvd. (900 South) #2, Salt Lake City, 801-532-3760, www.manolison9th.com
Current Fish & Oyster
Not to miss out on the weekend brunch craze, Current Fish & Oyster opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday to deliver a full menu of brunch specials and waffles in addition to salads and small plates.
Start your meal with the Current Bloody Mary accented with a plump shrimp chaser or one of several brunch cocktails.
Enjoy a long-standing favorite, the seafood-focused spin on eggs Benedict with Current's crab Benedict highlighting moist crab cakes as a base for fresh kale and avocado, a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce and served with a side of house potatoes.
New in the kitchen is executive chef Phelix Gardner, who's known for his focus on local ingredients whenever possible, so look for some creative changes in the coming winter months.
• 279 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-326-3474, www.currentfishandoyster.com
Finding brunch in the Avenues is a more difficult affair than anyone might expect, so diners are lucky that Avenues Proper answers the call on both Saturday and Sunday.
Ease into your meal with $3 bloody Marys and mimosas or a selection of Proper Beer. Then choose from traditional breakfast fare like the Proper granola or Proper breakfast or mix it up with more eclectic choices.
The Southwestern Benedict sports two poached eggs with crispy cornbread, kale-bell pepper-red onion hash, pickled jalapeños and pico de gallo hollandaise while the avocado tartine yields up cheese, avocado and radish on ciabatta.
But the favorite is easily the chicken and waffles. Avenues Proper substitutes the now ubiquitous fried chicken with house-made chicken sausage and layers it with two sunny side up eggs on a fluffy waffle. Drizzle it with thyme-infused maple syrup to get your weekend started.
• 376 8th Ave., Salt Lake City, 385-227-8628, www.avenuesproper.com
High West Distillery
High West's new 30,000-square-foot distillery and restaurant in Wanship features stunning views of the Wasatch Range and a working cattle ranch in addition to serving a host of sweet and savory items as part of the recently added Sunday brunch offering, which will resume Jan. 15.
"We absolutely love lunch and dinner, but let's face it, we've all got a special place in our heart for brunch," High West founder David Perkins says.
On Sundays when brunch is on the menu, sample brisket eggs Benedict, whiskey-soaked French toast or smoked salmon from the buffet with items changing weekly.
The build-your-own lox station features mouthwatering brined and smoked salmon along with bagels, cream cheese and all the right accompaniments red onion, capers, tomatoes and lemons. Pair it with a spicy Bloody Mary or the award-winning Dead Man's Boots cocktail made with High West spirits made in the distillery next door.
But be sure to save room for a slice of French toast, which you can drench in whiskey maple syrup, too.
• 27649 Old Lincoln Hwy., Wanship, 435-649-8300, www.highwest.com