Brunch is suddenly big again. Or maybe I'm just, shall we say, waking up to it. But it seems that it's almost a requirement that a restaurant now offer one. A restaurant that recently opened in downtown Orlando had barely finished serving its first guests before they started asking when the new business would add brunch. Sort of like new parents being asked if they'd selected the newborn's college yet.
If you're among those who don't quite get the allure of Sunday brunch — and in most cases we're talking about Sundays, though Saturday brunches are beginning to be more available — you might enjoy an article from the New York Times on the subject by freelance writer David Shaftel. Its title, "Brunch is for Jerks," will give you an idea about how Shaftel feels about them.
But if you read that title and thought, "Hmmm, jerked chicken omelet sounds good," then let's start exploring some of the brunch places available.
We'll begin at Txokos Basque Kitchen at East End Market. The restaurant, which opened in March, added brunch not much after that. When my companion and I arrived on a recent Sunday, we found a good crowd of early risers, early being 11 a.m.
I started with a tortilla Espanola, which is sort of a Spanish cross between an omelet and a quiche and is one of my favorite things that eggs can do. This one was made special with the use of Lake Meadow Naturals eggs. (I swear, the chickens at Lake Meadows must be the layingest hens in the state if even half of the restaurants that list them on their menus actually are buying them.) With some Yukon gold potatoes in the mix, some chopped tomatoes and a small salad nearby, it was a delicious delight.
For my main course I chose the morcilla scramble, which had scrambled eggs mixed with bits of blood sausage and piperade, a tomato-and-pepper staple of Basque dishes. I loved the earthiness of the sausage with the just-right consistency of the scrambled eggs. (I think scrambled eggs are best when still a bit wet.)
My friend had the Benedict chorizo, with pan de gallego as a base and the spicy sausage standing in for the basic Benedict's Canadian bacon. The poached eggs added ooze, and the saffron-tinged hollandaise added a rich note.
The dining rooms, which are dark and moody in the evenings, are bright and welcoming during the daytime hours. The staff is the same: friendly and accommodating.
Txokos Basque Kitchen is at 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando. It serves brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. The phone number is 321-972-8852.