Belga, the mostly-but-not-entirely Belgian restaurant that I ate at twice this month and absolutely adored, is forging a path into brunchy terrain. While the main dinner draw is its superlative beer selection, and brunch beer is still something of a taboo, there’s a lot to recommend here. High praise to any restaurant that places pork schnitzel with braised cabbage, spätzle, and eggs under the category “lighter side”!
Apart from brioche beignets and Belgian waffles, things immediately go straight into the meatier side of life. A charcuterie board (country pâté, porc roulee, liverwurst, smoked ham, saucisson sec, jardinière, mustard, and fruit compote) borders on a German Früstück, while oysters on the half shell and the dry-roasted mussels that I loved so much ground things firmly in le mer. And there’s a sausage board on top of that!
A “Belga breakfast” (two eggs, grilled toast, potatoes, and a choice of sausage or bacon) will keep anyone who just wants a good old American hungry-man breakfast happy, while chicken confit hash with chard, sunny side up eggs and a petit greens salad will do right by adventurers.
In the cocktail arena, beyond the Bloody Mary and the Herbert West (vodka, grapefruit, lime, elderflower, Cynar), there's are some beery beverages after all. a daring Depth Charge (cold-brewed coffee, aged rum, cream, Allagash Black, Demerara, and cinnamon) and a “Gose-Mosa” of Anderson Valley Gose beer, watermelon, orange, and paprika salt. If you have a Level 5 Hangover, coffee and greasy things may not cut it.
As a semi-related musing, beer-based cocktails that whet people’s appetites at 1 p.m. on a Saturday should really be more commonplace. TSK / TSK’s Radler Stiegl-based McBain could be another good point of origin, its grapefruit component functioning as peach nectar would in a Bellini. I mean, you know you’re gong to transition into an afternoon of day-drinking half the time, anyway, so you might as well start it off all classy.