When I hear the word “brunch,” the first thing that comes to mind is a leisurely, almost decadent late morning/early afternoon indulgence, featuring a buffet spread with more delicious choices than I could possibly enjoy in one sitting. And that must include free flowing mimosas and Bloody Marys!
According to a 1896 supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary, Britian’s Punch Magazine is credited with coining the term in 1895, describing it as ” a Sunday meal for Saturday-night carousers”.
Cut to 2015, and brunch lives on at Louies Modern’s new Market Brunch, a modern twist on a classic event. Fortunately for the afore mentioned mimosas, Sarasota recently repealed the ban on adult beverage service before noon, meaning either definition is spot-on, whether you’re a “Saturday-night carouser” or a foodie-at-large.
With their new Market Brunch, only $35 per person, with unlimited mimosas and Bloody Marys for an extra $5, Louies Modern just gave Sarasota another reason to fall in love with them all over again.
It’s no secret that an all-you-care-to-eat brunch can tempt even the most calorie conscious diner, so after surveying the countless, tempting offerings, Jill and I formed a strategic plan; one that would allow us to taste the most options without splitting the seams of our clothes.
Jill would focus on the carving and salad station, and get small samples from each of the beautiful chafing dishes. Meanwhile I made my way down the open kitchen’s counter, which showcased fresh waffles/pancakes, made-to-order omelets, and an impossibly gorgeous bowl of Cajun seasoned peel and eat shrimp. Note to self: Pulling up a stool, plate and fork in front of those beauties is not allowed in this establishment! Oh well, there’s always the irresistible platter of house-cured, lightly smoked salmon!
So here’s our plan: We both eat only half of our respective plates, and then switch, so we get to taste a bite or two of everything on the menu without overdoing it. Brilliant, n’est-ce pas?
On my end of the room was a beautiful table of cheese and sliced cold cuts, with a huge, pungent chunk of the most veiny blue cheese I’ve seen in awhile. I just had to grab a portion and have that as a feature ingredient in my made-to-order omelet. All I added was a few thickly sliced mushrooms and some sautéed sweet onion, and I could have ended the meal there . . . totally satisfied.
So there we were, sipping the heretofore forbidden mimosas, and literally swooning over each bite, all the while feeling pretty good about how sensible we were being.
At least we thought so at first. This is one of those brunch extravaganzas where guests at other tables walk by with something on their plate that we were sure we had missed.
From the chafing dishes, Jill came back with some delicious sausage and peppers, black pepper bacon, (you have to allow for seconds and thirds on these) biscuits and sausage gravy, roasted potatoes and scrambled farm eggs.
Seeing that I’d missed the sliced cold cuts, she even grabbed a slice of the mortadella and prosciutto. We were definitely getting our share of quality protein for lunch!
Following up that premier plate, she also stopped by the carving station for some crunchy crust seasoned ham (she asked for the end cut), kale Caesar salad, a creamy egg and potato salad and crunchy Cole slaw. The carving station also offered some tasty honey mustard and a rosemary aioli. YUM!!!!
By now, even sharing plates and only taking small samples, we were over indulging, but there was still the pastry and muffin tables, the Yogurt bar, the pie station and the hot, fresh waffles. We considered raising the white flag, but a little angel convinced us that the waffles with fresh berries couldn’t be missed. And who could argue with such a sweet little girl?
As we finished our crunchy, hot waffle with huge berries and rich maple syrup, we congratulated ourselves on having only one and a half. . . ok. . . two mimosas, and sharing a Bloody Mary. (We had to sample one, didn’t we? And yes, it was a perfect “10”!)
Looking around the rapidly filling dining room, we saw nothing but smiling faces, friendly servers and steaming platters of hot, delicious food. Louies Modern has a real hit on their hands. Good for them!
“That was a good decision to share plates, wasn’t it?” Jill asked.
“Sure, I’d recommend that strategy to everyone,” I answered. . . reaching down and loosening my belt. “Absolutely a great idea!”