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Five favorites for brunch: Time for a leisurely meal – whether it’s a special occasion or just because it’s the weekend

UPDATED: Wed., March 31, 2021

By Kris Kilduff For The Spokesman-Review

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, brunch is easily the most enjoyable. There’s something special about meeting up with friends and family and catching up over a drink and a bite to eat.

In 1895, an English professor and author named Guy Beringer published an essay titled “Brunch, a Plea,” in which he proposed a then unheard-of mixed meal between breakfast and lunch. His inspiration? A hangover.

Apparently, successful 19th century entrepreneurs have the same problems as March Madness fans. Whether you’re out late celebrating a Zags’ victory or just like to sleep in, nothing kickstarts the weekend than a late breakfast with a group of your best friends.

Here is a quick guide to five of my top picks on where to enjoy drool-worthy dishes, next-level libations and maybe even a little sunshine for special occasions – Easter, Mother’s Day – or just because it’s the weekend.

Bruncheonette

Owner Joile Forral, who in 2011 started Couple of Chefs, one of Spokane’s most successful food trucks, decided in 2016 that Spokane needed a brick-and-mortar memoriam to all things brunch. However, if your plan is to roll out of bed early and be part of the Breakfast Club, expect to see a lot more than your Mom’s eggs and bacon.

The Monroe neighborhood menu is packed with delicious contemporary takes on the classics like smoked brisket hash and chorizo breakfast tacos, but then also brings new ideas to the table including my favorite breakfast dish in Spokane, the tamale waffle.

The tamale waffle is green onion and cheddar-infused masa turned into a waffle and topped with spicy shredded beef, cherry tomatoes, pickled jalapenos and two eggs and drizzled with a tangy enchilada sauce and crema.

If you go: 1011 W. Broadway Ave., (509) 443-5968, bruncheonettespokane.com

Hogwash Whiskey Den / Inland Pacific Kitchen

Hogwash and Inland Pacific Kitchen are not new to having accolades made about chefs C.J. Callahan and Austin Conklin from scratch food programs, but teaming up their two restaurants for a new weekend brunch menu instantly belongs in any top five talk around the city.

From house-made buttermilk biscuits covered with gravy made from the drippings of smoked brisket to banana bread pudding French toast with pralines, molasses and banana ice cream, there is something phenomenal around every corner. If you want something lighter, order the buckwheat crepes, or split the fresh oysters with caviar and brut champagne with a friend.

If you’re feeling ambitious, order the entire menu and receive 10% off the bill – and the chefs will even send out a few secret treats, not that you’ll have room to eat them.

If you go: 304 W. Pacific Ave., (509) 464-6541, drinkhogwash.com

Chaps Coffee Co.

There are three major elements for a great brunch spot: delicious food, refreshing drinks and the often-overlooked awesome atmosphere. Owner Celeste Shaw brings her impeccable sense of style to not only the menu but also her surroundings.

Part farm chic, part rustic, you can enjoy the best avocado toast you’ve had in your life on one of the best patios in the city. With a casual-counter order system of a bakery, you can take a blueberry muffin to go, or order it turned into French toast with cream cheese and blueberry compote.

If you love oatmeal, Chaps is worth a quick drive over to Latah Valley where it has become famous for its steel oats with blueberries and scalded cream. Chaps is a versatile space for families, date night or brunch with a large group of friends.

If you go: 4237 S. Cheney Spokane Road, (509) 624-4182, chapsgirl.com

Italia Trattoria

What would brunch be without pastries? Italia, which is largely known for being one of our area’s top Italian restaurants (chef Anna Vogel is a James Beard Award nominee), is touted by many as the best place to brunch, as well.

With house-baked pecan rolls, lemon poppy seed scones and made-to-order zeppole doughnuts, there are sweet morning treats for every taste bud. Don’t fill up on sweet carbs, though, as Vogel’s menu also offers items including baked eggs in tomato ragu, black forest ham Florentine Benedict and a truly remarkable smoked bacon and pea carbonara.

After a long week, nothing jumpstarts the weekend like pasta for breakfast. If noodles don’t relieve all that work stress, Italian also offers pitchers of mimosas.

If you go: 144 S. Cannon St., (509) 459-6000, italiatrattoriaspokane.com

Cottage Café

Spokane Valley has zero lack of places to grab breakfast, but no one is offering anything remotely on the level of the small hideaway cafe located on the backside of Sprague. Where Cottage lacks in square footage, it gains undisputedly in flavor.

While many brunch menus have evolved to playful fusion dishes, Cottage Cafe has stuck to doing traditional breakfast dishes with expert-level craftsmanship. If you’re a lover of omelets, there is no one doing them better.

Order the gigantic king’s omelet made with six eggs, diced ham, onions, green peppers and cheddar and Swiss cheese. Whatever you choose, make sure it has a side of toast. Cottage Cafe is known for its house-made jelly that will change your perception of toasted bread.

If you go: 6902 E. Appleway Blvd., (509) 928-8888, facebook.com/cottage-cafe-215292798531820

Other brunch spots

If your favorite place is packed – and we all know that brunch is popular everywhere on weekends – also check out these other amazing favorites: Elliott’s Urban Kitchen, Luna, Downriver Grill, 1898 Public House, Satellite Diner, Dave’s Bar and Grill and The Yards Bruncheon.

Kris Kilduff can be reached at kris.kilduff56@gmail.com.

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