Brunch is big again, and we aren’t sad about it.
By Julie Arnan | January 24, 2019
Saturday 8 a.m.-4 p.m
Breakfast is offered every morning at Little Brother (Tuesday-Saturday), featuring a smattering of poached-eggs-on-toast options, including cured salmon with goat cheese, steelhead roe and herbs, or simply a generous helping of fresh herbs. The house-made wood-fired bread is outstanding, but the gluten-free seeded loaf is very tasty, too, and packed with nutrient-dense nuts, seeds, and oats. The seeded loaf goes great with freshly ground almond butter and honey.
Little Brother also showcases some unique beverages in addition to freshly squeezed orange juice. The Turmeric Tonic features ginger, lemon, honey, and sparkling water for a refreshing palate cleanser.
The best way to start the day, however, is with an Early Board — egg, ham, jam, hummus, nuts, fruit, yogurt with seeds, local cheese, honey, their crusty bread, and butter from Cherry Valley Dairy. The jam and hummus are also made in-house. It’s probably best to pair it with a bottle of bubbles, perhaps a nice sparkling rosé.
Heritage Restaurant | Bar
Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Eastside gained a culinary treasure when Chef Breanna Beike hitched her horse to the Woodinville food scene. Her cooking talent and personal sense of hospitality (I’ve never met a chef who loves people quite as much as Beike) are the perfect recipe for a delicious brunch. Share a round of seasonal baked goods (scones, muffins, individual pies) with the table — it was a challenge not to inhale the carrot-pecan muffins with a slather of apple butter on the side. The seasonal menu means delicate squash and chanterelle mushroom baked eggs will transform as different ingredients become available.
But, some things are menu standbys. The Heritage burger, topped with bacon, cheese, horseradish mayo, and avocado whip, is served with the best version of fries (soaked overnight and fried to crisp-on-the-outside-creamy-on-the-inside perfection). Other savory must-haves include house-made biscuits with Chef Beike’s sage-sausage gravy and dreamy soft-poached eggs, the white wine-poached salmon belly sandwich with lemon aioli and dill, and the Heritage Benedict topped with chives.
Beardslee Public House
Saturday and Sunday, 9-11:30 a.m.
When a chef makes charcuterie in-house, there’s obviously a high standard already happening in the kitchen. Chef Jed Leprade takes it a step further at Beardslee Public House, where everything from the sausage to the granola to the English muffins is made from scratch (everything except the sliced bread for the French toast, which comes from Hillcrest Bakery in Bothell). The kitchen was designed around a brick pizza oven without the requisite burners of a typical breakfast-focused restaurant. Therefore, egg dishes are baked in cast-iron pans featuring house-made andouille, chorizo, or Italian sausage and complementary sauces. The BPH Benedict includes smoked pork cured in-house atop a freshly baked English muffin (which, texturally, reminded me more of a crumpet) and slathered in Hollandaise sauce. Other savory dishes include a daily quiche and a splurge-if-you-can-afford-the-calories breakfast poutine with perhaps the tastiest breakfast sausage patty in the state.
Those with a sweet tooth need look no further than the s’mores pancakes (as big as the plate and stacked), apple cinnamon French toast with golden raisins, caramel sauce, and whipped cream, or the cast-iron cinnamon roll.
Or, you know, be good and try the granola parfait with honey yogurt and fresh fruit. That way you won’t feel guilty getting a side of tempura fried bacon with maple-sambal dipping sauce, which is simply a must.
District 1 Saigon
Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Brunch need not be limited to American cuisine. At District 1 Saigon, Chef Taylor Hoang shares Vietnamese favorites with her guests. One breakfast staple on every Vietnamese dining table is sticky rice — at District 1, it is served with shredded soy-glazed chicken, chewy morsels of Chinese sausage, pork threads, and fried scallions. A cold weather (or basically any weather) must-have, pho is one of Vietnamese cuisine’s great contributions to taste buds around the planet. Hoang created a chicken version for brunch utilizing whole organic free-range chicken, rich chicken broth, egg yolk, rice noodles, and a lime leaf salad. Squeeze lime juice into a dish with salt, pepper, and red Thai chili slices for a simply delicious dipping sauce for the chicken, which is served on the side (not in the soup). Prefer steak and eggs? Try the District 1 riff on this classic — served with house-made duck pate and a banh mi roll.
Though most of the menu is packed with flavorful savory rice and noodle dishes, there are some sweet items, like the Pandan waffles with coconut whipped cream (tinted green from the Pandan leaves) and fresh hot donuts with soy milk dipping sauce. But the battered and deep-fried bananas swimming in warm coconut cream with chopped peanuts pretty much take the cake. Be sure to get your own order — you won’t want to share.
Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
This small Kirkland eatery is a not-so-hidden gem anymore and fills up quickly, so consider getting up a little bit early to beat the crowd. Maybe even get an early morning workout in before you go so you can better enjoy the buttermilk fried chicken with poached eggs and maple sausage gravy. Or the best quiche on this side of the lake (or maybe west of the Rockies, or perhaps north of the equator) made with ham and Beecher’s cheddar cheese or kale, heirloom carrots, and red onions. If you were wondering what could make French toast any better, the answer is salted caramel crème anglaise. And don’t worry if you slept in on a Saturday and there’s no room at DERU: Just head down the street to DERU’s Little Brother.
Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Hollywood Tavern knows its way around comfort food and, unsurprisingly, the brunch “Hack Menu” is rolling with “good feels.” Just picture the regular menu — fried chicken sandwich, Cubano, New York strip steak — and add eggs and tots. The Cubano Sunrise features slow-cooked pork shoulder, pit ham, caramelized onion, pepperoncini, Swiss cheese, stone-ground mustard, aioli, and cilantro — all topped with two sunny-side-up eggs. The Ancho Tots and Eggs is like a breakfast version of nachos swapping the chips for tots and topping it up with braised pork; queso; ancho lime crema; and, of course, some sunny eggs. Though the joint is best known for whiskey, breakfast beverages are more of the Bloody Mary/Maria and mimosa variety (though the boozy milkshakes — like the Stumbling Cow with Woodinville Whiskey, vanilla ice cream, and apple pie glaze — are something special).
Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Chef Jason Wilson utilizes his R&D knowledge of coffee flour in the brunch menu at The Lakehouse, adding it to granola and into the pancake mix along with cocoa for a nutty, nutritious boost. Brioche French toast is topped with preserved summer peaches, maple-candied walnuts, and vanilla Chantilly cream. The kitchen’s version of avocado toast features citrus-cured salmon, poached egg, sautéed spinach, lemon, and Romesco sauce, while the house “Benedict” includes Dungeness crab and avocado with toasted seeds, poached egg, and roasted potatoes. Regular menu favorites are (thankfully) available — the grilled octopus is by far the best octopus preparation around on a weekend morning, and the Moroccan spice roasted carrots with yogurt, chilies, almonds, and mint are not to be missed.