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September 15, 2009

Top 10 places to have brunch

GertrudesBrunch.jpgWe've talked about brunch a lot here, and I've done a Top 10 list on places for brunch you might not have thought of. I even have a brunch category. But I've never made up a list of the restaurants that I recommend for brunch when I get asked, which is frequently.

Last time we discussed this, someone made the excellent point that brunch isn't breakfast. (We have done a Top 10 breakfasts.) Even if the restaurant doesn't offer both breakfast and lunch choices, some of the dishes will be too elaborate for an ordinary breakfast, like eggs Benedict.

I've tried to offer a selection of both extravagant fixed-price buffets and smaller a la carte choices. (The latter is my preference, but sometimes the buffets work best -- when you've got kids, for instance.)

Here's my list in alphabetical order: ...

* Abacrombie in Mount Vernon. A short but sweet menu of dishes like crepes with homemade applesauce and a grilled ribeye with scrambled eggs and hollandaise. $8 to $24. And served till 7 p.m.!

* b Bistro in Bolton Hill. From the folks who brought you the Helmand and Tapas Teatro. Brunch includes three kinds of omelets, two kinds of eggs Benedict and three kinds of pancakes. $7 to $19.

* B & O American Brasserie downtown. Great stylish space, nice folks, a la carte menu of both breakfast and lunch dishes running from $7 to $19.

* Brightons in the Inner Harbor. The most beautiful spot for brunch in Baltimore. Breakfast dishes, salads, sandwiches and entrees. $10 to $22.

* Carrol's Creek in Annapolis. If you like buffet-style, all-you-can-eat brunch buffets, you get all that plus a view of the water. Adults: $21.95, children: $10.95.

* Gertrude's at the BMA. A Maryland-oriented brunch on Saturday and Sunday. If you're lucky, the restaurant will be serving outside overlooking the sculpture garden. $8 to $27.

* Mari Luna Latin Grille in Pikesville. Another fixed-price brunch buffet, but the addition of Latin entrees makes it unique in the area. Adults: $22.95. Kids 12 and under: $11.95.

* Miss Shirley's in Roland Park. Strictly speaking, it's lunch and breakfast all day, but that's good enough for me. And what a breakfast! $7.95 to $21.95.

* Regi's American Bistro in Federal Hill. Brunch Saturday and Sunday offering the classics with  California and southwestern accents. $9 to $15.

* Woodberry Kitchen in Woodberry/Hampden. Baltimore's favorite farm-to-table restaurant serves everything from Hangtown fry to cherry crepes. A la carte: $7 to $24.

(Algerina Perna/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:36 AM | | Comments (35)


eggs benedict too elaborate for ordinary breakfast?! blaspheme!

I mentally add "Sunday" before brunch. Are any of these offered on Saturday besides Gertrude's and Regi's?

Clementine on Harford Road is great, too.

miss shirley's is 7 days though you might as well write off half the day if you try to go on a weekend

Eggcellence in Annapolis bills itself as "A Breakfast Brunchery". It is wonderful--fresh food, expertly prepared. They offer omelettes, frittatas, benedicts, soups, sandwiches and salads. Everything I have had has been good.

key to a world class brunch is a world class bloody mary. which of these has the best bloody mary?

Eggspectations on Rte 108 in Ellicott City serves a nice -- if loud -- brunch. I got for breakfast, but they serve tons of eggs benedict so they meet the EL definition.

Also, Cafe de Paris on Rte 108 in Columbia has crepes. It is still on my list of places to try, but people talk it up.

Helen's Garden in Canton. Great specials, drinks, etc... Brunch on Saturday's too. I'd recommend reservations.

do those fixed-price buffets include alcoholic drinks?

I was reminded of *Blue Moon* by @600Block on Twitter and came to read this article..

Also, I took my dad to *Rocket to Venus* for Father's Day and it was actually really great, I appreciated that it was different than the usual eggs-n-toast affair.

do those fixed-price buffets include alcoholic drinks?

I'm not a fan of buffets, but the Sunday brunch at the Ambassador has the bloody mary/mimosa bar included in the price.

Eggs Benedict on a big silver platter.
There's no plates like chrome for the hollandaise.

Oh come now. Where is Waterfront?!?!?

10x better than half these joints. And half the price of many of them.

poofie- the Carrol Creek buffet comes with one drink (mimosa/bloody mary/champagne)

I don't really brunch except for when my mom visits. Her favorite has been Blue Moon for a while, but the food at Miss Shirley's blew us away. And we walked to the downtown location, with no waiting or crowds.

Gertrude's would be a great place to take her - she'd love the sculpture garden.

And cherry crepes sound right up my alley. I seem to be having much better luck with my small plate/app/flatbread choices at Woodberry, so maybe brunch will continue in that vein.

aaack! I've only brunched at one of these! (because I'm more likely to just roll to one of the bars around the corner: Alexander's brunch=great, One Eyed Mike's brunch=I think I had my hopes set too high) now I have a weekend to-do list for Fall.

This is a solid list but I have to disagree about Brightons. We took my mother there for Mother’s Day thinking it would be one of the most lovely brunches in the area – WRONG. The food was terrible and the brunch was extremely overpriced. They crammed everyone into a ballroom with small tables and banquet chairs and served food that was overcooked, stale and far from fresh. I was hopeful about the omelet stations but the “chef” put so much oil in the pan that my egg white omelet was swimming on the plate. We were so disappointed by our experience because we thought we were going to get first class service and wonderful food. Maybe they have their act together regularly but they certainly didn’t this past Mothers Day.

That sounds awful. But normally it's an a la carte brunch served in the dining room. EL

Brightons sounds terrible. I have found Mothers Day is the WORST day of the year to go out for Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch. Everyplace is crowded, service is usually rushed.

Back in the late 60's I worked as a manager for Marriott's Hot Shoppes in Washington DC. Mothers Day was always a nightmare. Many dozens of eggs were scrambled at 5 in the AM, as was bacon and hash browns. All were kept in hotel pans over hot water. Even toast was made ahead of time. There were lines out the door onto the parking lot until mid-afternoon. It was a crazy day.

How could you leave out Hull St. Blues in Locust Point??!!! Great Sunday brunch and an excellent pre-Ravens venue...

This definitely gives us a to-do list as well, especially once football season sadly ends. Abercrombie is likely top of the list thanks to Jessie on Top Chef, and because we prefer a late brunch. Sorry, but getting up and out of the house anytime before noon on a Sunday is way too early for our liking. No, we don't go to church, why do you ask?

Bulle Rock in Harford Co. Nice surroundings and not crowded or loud. Very relaxing

Many years ago I used to go to St Read's on Sunday. It was just down the street from St. Dominics. PCB Rob knows where it was.

No, we don't go to church...

And that is why you have to pay so much for your Holy Water, Dawn.

The Milton Inn
Their french toast is incredible.

I second Clementine. The most reasonably priced and best tasting combo in Baltimore!

The meat heavy brunch at Midtown Yacht Club is a great hangover cure.

Mari Luna Brunch also includes all you can drink MIMOSAS and all juice, coffee and soft drinks

Kooper's in Fells Point has a tasty, affordable brunch from 9 am Saturday and Sunday. They feature 10 dollar bottomless Bloody Marys and Mimosas. Great stop for an early or pre-game meal.

GO REGI'S !!!!!

For $10 the Midtown Yacht Club all you can eat brunch was an absolute on game day- if you were too hungover to tailgate. I thought it was one of the tastiest in the city, Nary I say, Red Fish was slightly better.

One brunch I would avoid, Ram's Head at Savage Mill, they charge $5.50 for iced down mimosas and bloody marys, not even an option for pitchers. And the food is forgettable.

austin grill has a really good brunch.

ze mean bean is good, too.

Meridian 54 in Canton has awesome an awesome brunch menu.

$13.95 fixed price including unlimited mimosas, bloody marys, and sangria!

EL, a Top Ten idea for you... Top Ten Places for a First Date.

I don't get out much, haha.

hands down Miss Shirleys has the best bloody marys as well as the best brunch!

Many years ago I used to go to St Read's on Sunday. It was just down the street from St. Dominics. PCB Rob knows where it was.
Posted by: RayRay September 15, 2009 1:59 PM


No, we don't go to church

And that is why you have to pay so much for your Holy Water, Dawn.
Posted by: Laura Lee

Funny, I just searched for this because I wanted to pick one from the list for this Sunday, since it is a Bye Week for the Ravens, so I just now saw these comments.

LL - Holy water! Holy crap, that is too funny!

RR - I actually do worship at St Reed's on Sundays too. St. Ed Reed's...hallelujah, baby!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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