Brunch, Honey-style, comes with a sweet side and a savory side, just like the menu.
When we got there around 12:30 p.m. (brunch hours are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays only), Rufus Wainwright’s sweet voice filled the air in a room full of older couples in their Sunday best ordering mimosas and Bloody Marys. But there was also a sleepy, tousled couple in jeans and T-shirts wolfing down a bucket of Binkle fries ($4) and coffee at the bar and two guys drinking beer and looking at their iPhones instead of each other at a nearby table.
Honey’s brunch menu is short but varied and supplemented by a long list of specials. Vegetarians have lots of options, like one of my favorites: the GLT ($7) — vegan goetta, field greens, tomato, onion and chili-laced aioli on thick, toasted white bread. Not quite your cup of tea? How about fresh fruit beignets ($7) or a vegetarian salad ($9)?
Don’t worry carnivores, there’s plenty for you, too.
You could try the traditional BLT ($6) or the SBTL ($10), with salmon, bacon, lettuce and tomato. Traditionalists might want to stick with what my husband describes as the best bacon and eggs of his life ($9), Honey’s Eggs Benedict ($9), with poached eggs, ham and a roasted red pepper hollandaise sauce, or the Omelet du Jour ($9), which was leeks, zucchini and goat cheese on the Sunday we dined.
For the more adventurous, there are always those oh-so-Honey dishes like Doug’s Favorite Huevos ($9), with black bean puree, three-cheese quesadillas, salsa, guacamole and poached eggs, or the Frangipane French Toast ($9), made with Shadeau Bakery’s batard, frangipane, rum-brown sugar apples, maple syrup and mascarpone (just writing the ingredients makes my blood sugar go up).
I can’t have brunch at Honey and not have vegan goetta (which replaces the pork with textured vegetable protein), but I wanted to try something new. I opted for a side of goetta ($3) and one of the specials — a parfait made with homemade granola, fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, Greek yogurt and raspberry coulis ($9). My parfait was a mini encapsulation of Honey’s sweet/savory flavor profile, with tart scoops of yogurt against a naturally sweet background of granola and berries.
The goetta was, as usual, delicious. I gotta get the goetta whenever I can, but my friend, not being a native Cincinnatian, had never even tried it until that Sunday. Her response? “I have no words for this. I can’t even get my head around it.”
My friend also broke her Lent-inspired French-fry fast and ordered the Binkle Fries. The name alone is intriguing enough to give them a try. If you do, you’ll find yourself inhaling fry after fry made from small, whole red potatoes. The fries are served with Honey’s signature sweet Thai chili sauce and a chive sour cream.
After the fries and a mug of Irish coffee ($7), my friend had one of the specials, a twist on the classic Eggs Benedict with the ham replaced by a crab cake ($13). The predominant flavor in the crab cake was — wait for it — crab, but it also had some diced red onion (a nice accompaniment to the potatoes) and beautifully poached, stunningly white eggs. I am always amazed at how perfect poached eggs can be when they are farm fresh and prepared by a good chef. It’s that kind of shrewd attention to detail that has helped make Honey’s brunch so buzz-worthy.
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