If there’s one complaint I hear about brunch it’s that it only happens once a week. If there are two complaints I hear, it’s that brunch only happens once a week and having kids means you can’t go.
I guess people have a lot of complaints about brunch.
Oh, and some people feel like they don’t get enough food. That’s not a problem at Ingrid’s Kitchen, because Sunday is all about the brunch buffet.
Whether you’re kicking it at a bar or enjoying the white tablecloth treatment at an upscale eatery, you’ve likely been frustrated by a brunch menu. Not that you couldn’t find something to eat, but that you couldn’t have one of everything.
I get it. I mean that two ways: I understand what you’re saying and also I just get one of everything. It’s kind of my job.
You want something sweet. You want something savory. You want something breakfast-y. You want something lunch-y. You want more alcohol (you might have a problem).
That’s the true joy of Ingrid’s brunch — you can have all of that. Even the alcohol, though you will definitely be paying extra for it.
There are 30 different items on the buffet and, while a lot of it is static from week to week, chef Greg Coleman is always looking for ways to bring in something new to keep things fresh.
“We started out with only 15 items,” he said. “But 16 years of brunches have grown it quite a bit.”
As this is a buffet, let’s go ahead and get the price out of the way — $16.95 a head. I’m not going to say that’s nothing, but if you’re hungry hungry like a hippo and you care about the quality of the quantity you’re going to eat, Ingrid’s brunch is a deal.
A comparable amount of food at most other brunch restaurants will run you much more.
When you walk in the door, the hostess will take you to a table. For my money, I think it’s worth requesting the bar area. It’s farther from the food, but it’s a little quieter and it’s a lot closer to the alcohol.
This is when, if you’re a fan of breakfast alcohol, I will recommend you order a beermosa ($5), combining orange juice, bitters and a hefeweizen. It’s really tasty and easy to drink.
Get up, get in line, grab a plate and start filling it.
Up front you’ll see biscuits and gravy, which I quite enjoyed. (If biscuits and gravy are your main concern, click here.) The gravy is creamy, but holds its shape, and has just a touch of sausage. The biscuits are fluffy and, while they’re cut in half for your convenience, you can grab as many as you like. Don’t be shy with that gravy, either.
This is where you’ll see waffles and syrup and other typical breakfast delights. The bacon trough is not to be missed. While I certainly enjoy thicker-cut bacon, I am a fan of all bacon body types, and it’s hard to deny the appeal of a giant tray just filled to the brim with a tangle of crispy-chewy bacon.
I know that, for some, it’s not brunch without eggs benedict. Don’t worry, folks — it’s brunch. Doug “The Mystery” Riddles is in back manning the pan that makes all your benedict dreams come true.
It’s a very classic presentation of the dish, which I greatly appreciate. It seems like benedicts have become the canvas upon which each chef must paint his own vision. Sometimes it’s okay just to have ham and hollandaise and egg on an English muffin. The egg is poached past runny to the creamy territory, but that’s more for the sake of crowd. All it takes is one broken yolk and suddenly the rest of the pan is fused to the metal tray.
Another thing I enjoy about Ingrid’s brunch is that it adheres to the idea that brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch. So if you’re hungry for something a little more savory and befitting a noon meal, you can get it here.
If you’re a beef eater, then I cannot stress enough how much you should get the roast beef and gravy. The roast is gorgeously done, even sporting a pink center. The gravy is made with veal demi-glace and it’s absolutely heavenly. I mean, this is the gravy that runs through the rivers of Mount Olympus. Good god(s) it was tasty.
Get some mashed potatoes, too. They’re really real mashed potatoes, a mix of creamy and lumpy, and perfectly seasoned. Hi-ho, hi-ho, I could eat these potatoes with roast beef and gravy all the livelong day.
Now, you won’t find this every week, but Coleman’s special for the last week I was there was a tray of smothered pork chops. I was utterly amazed at how juicy and tender these chops were, especially on a buffet, and the creamy gravy was super comforting.
There weren’t any noodles accompanying them, but I quite enjoyed the stroganoff meatballs. They’re just perfect little meatballs in creamy gravy. The texture of the meatball is softened by the gravy, which is a neat trick for something kept in a heating dish.
You can find a few salads, if you’re that kind of weirdo. I will gladly endorse the Texas caviar — a chilled bean salad with black-eyed peas. The vinegar in the dish lifts the earthiness of the peas and the veggies add a lovely crunch.
If you leave without dessert, not only will you be disallowed from returning to Ingrid’s, but you’ll also be put on a terrorist watchlist. Don’t do this to yourself or your family. Get the bread pudding with its tangy sweet sauce. The crust has a nice crisp crunchy chew to it, while the interior is creamy and delightful.
Personally, I can’t stay away from the chocolate cake, because I was raised right. It’s a really rich, moist cake and the frosting is light and perfectly proportioned to the cake. Maybe I’m a weirdo here, but there’s nothing that bugs me like a cake with too much frosting. It’s not genocide or institutionalized racism, but it bugs me all the same.
So...who’s hungry for brunch?