I went to Brick and Mortar, a restaurant and bar on 12th and Vine streets, specifically for their early morning Premier League breakfast. I don’t really watch soccer, but I’m trying to get into it, so I texted my buddy and Manchester City–fan Isaac for advice. “Rule number one,” he said “Don’t cheer for Chelsea.”
That’s doable. But the morning was off to an awkward start when, even though I got there a couple of minutes after the posted 7:45am opening time, the door was locked.
When I came back half an hour later, I was greeted with excellent service by the bartender, Josiah. I asked him if I could snap some pictures of the modern, open space, and when I returned to my seat, Josiah eloquently explained the breakfast and drink specials. The guy is either the nicest bartender I’ve ever met or was convinced that I was a serious food critic.
The breakfast menu comprised an English breakfast platter, three sandwiches and oysters. On Josiah’s recommendation, I went with the West Coast oysters with mignonette sauce over the East. They were small and crisp, very fresh with that prominent salty brine taste that I love in oysters. The mignonette sauce was odd. It was sweet and vinegary, but not in a way that makes it tangy. This was good since it didn’t overpower the oyster taste. At $3 each though, these were pricier than the buck–a–shuck oysters I’m used to.
I ordered the Full English Breakfast because I’ve never had a dish like that before. This meal’s total was greater than the sum of its parts. The sunny side up eggs were too soft for me, but the crisp, salty toast underneath it provided some of the crunch I typically prefer. The black pudding—which is sausage fried until it’s black, and not (as I thought) pudding—was thick and savory, almost overwhelming on its own. But when I added some sweet, creamy butter beans or a piece of grilled heirloom tomato on my fork and washed the whole thing down with a $4 Carlsberg, I was much more satisfied. The $13 plate is a lot of of food, so you’re definitely getting your bang for your buck.
It’s tough to comment on the atmosphere because the place is so new, and its EPL breakfast is even newer. There just weren’t a lot of people there. But I imagine, and the bartenders confirmed, that it gets much busier during normal business hours. I sampled one of the house drinks, the Paloma ($8), made of tequila, lime and grapefruit juices and syrup. The thing knocked me on my ass. It was dangerously, imperceptibly strong, with just enough of the bite you would expect from a tequila drink, but soft enough that my notorious tequila sensitivity could handle it. With drinks like that, Brick and Mortar will be around for a while.
Location: 315 N 12 Street
TL;DR: To switch up your weekend breakfast experiences hit up Brick and Mortar’s early morning soccer viewings or just go for the big–ass, hefty meals.
Don’t miss: An excuse to drink at 10am (not that you needed one) or the full English breakfast.
Skip: Being a wimp and getting greek yogurt and granola (Ed. note: Over eggs and toast? As if.)