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Brunch (with a Side of Booze)

Damn good bloody marys, mimosas and beyond

By Emily Begley · May 15th, 2013 · Drinking Issue
drinkingissue_brunch_jf5Photo: Jesse Fox
As the saying goes, sometimes the best cure for a hangover is the “hair of the dog.” Got too drunk? Feel bad? Have a bloody mary. 

And while the idea of a cocktail for breakfast lunch brunch may make you want to barf (or literally throw up), the remedy has been a bit of alcoholic folklore passed down through nations and generations for ages. Stemming from medical advice suggesting that placing the hair of a dog that bit you in the bite wound would ward off infection/rabies (it doesn’t), countries from Tanzania to Finland to Costa Rica all use a version of the phrase when referring to drinking more booze in the morning as a post-party panacea. 

But regardless of whether or not you have a hangover (or you just start your Sunday morning drinkin’ real early) you can experience the best of both brunch worlds — i.e. alcohol and edibles — at these distinctive local eateries. 

1215 Wine Bar and Coffee Lab: Coffee or wine? Get either. Breakfast, coffee and drinks are served all day, every day. Wines are organized by flights, allowing customers to sample three drinks instead of buying a whole glass. Make creative concoctions at a build-your-own bloody mary bar. 1215 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-429-5745, facebook.com/1215WineCoffee. 

Brontë Bistro: Nestled inside Joseph-Beth Booksellers, this local joint serves breakfast all day, everyday. Try out pancakes prepared with trail mix, bacon, veggies or pecans. Super-sweet Crème Brûlée French Toast ($7.95) is baked in crème brûlée custard — no syrup required. Start your day off refreshed by grabbing a St-Germain Cocktail ($7.50) or channel famous authors by sipping their favorite drinks. 2692 Madison Road, Norwood, 513-396-8970, josephbeth.com/bronte. 

The Echo Restaurant: Brunch served all day, every day. Pair up a Hot Mess ($9) — home fries, bacon, scrambled eggs and sausage smothered with sausage gravy and cheese — with a tall glass of beer. Add a traditional brunch Bloody Mary ($6) or Mimosa ($6) or try their hibiscus cocktail, Screwdriver (vodka + OJ), Seabreeze (vodka + cranberry and grapefruit juice) or Greyhound (vodka + grapefruit). 3510 Edwards Road, Hyde Park, 513-321-2816, echo-hydepark.com.

Grand Finale: Brunch buffet 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday. Alcohol served after 11 a.m. Wake up with one of many martini ($6.95) variations: key lime, blue cran, green apple or red raspberry. Feast on popular crepes and quiches. Brunch is $16.50 for adults, $7.50 for children under 12. 3 E. Sharon Road, Glendale, 513-771-5925, grandfinale.info.

Honey: Check out a brand-new brunch menu 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sundays. Choose from traditional items and veggie-friendly options like the Vegetarian Bagel Sandwich ($8) and Vegetarian Moody Blue Salad ($9). Accompany brunch with a bloody mary ($8), mimosa ($9) or craft champagne cocktail ($9). 4034 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 513-541-4300, honeynorthside.com. 

Incline Public House: Sunday brunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Start the day off with Bananas Foster French Toast ($10) with butter rum sauce and whipped cream. If the Ultimate Bloody Martini ($12) made with bacon vodka catches your eye, get back on track with The Hangover Cure ($9): biscuit, fried potatoes, bacon, sausage gravy, cheddar, fried egg and arugula. 2601 W. Eighth St., Price Hill, 513-251-3000, inclinepublichouse.com.

Keystone Bar & Grill:  Brunch served 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Check out a huge selection of bloody marys and mimosas. Bloody Marys include the Keystone Bloody ($8) with blue cheese-stuffed olives; Original Bloody ($6); Bloody Maria with tequila, habanero mix and Tabasco ($7); Angry Bloody with Absolut Peppar and garnished with a jalapeno ($8); Irish Mary with a splash of Guinness ($7); and Virgin Mary with just the mix ($5). Mimosa variations include peach, mango, guava, strawberry ($7) and original ($6). And if you went a little overboard last night, order up a Hangover Burrito ($7.99) full of scrambled eggs and homefries. 3384 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513-321-2150 and 313 Greenup St., Covington, 859-261-6777, keystonebar.com.

Maribelle’s eat + drink: Vegetarians, rejoice. This cute restaurant, designed to look like a home kitchen, has plenty of veggie-friendly brunch items 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy breakfast choices like Cornmeal Pancakes ($10) or sandwiches including Sunny Side Eggs ($12). Add on a bloody mary ($7.50) or mimosa ($6). Other drinks include wine, beer, liquor and craft cocktails including the Debutante — gin, rosemary, strawberry, honey and lemon. 3235 Madison Road, Oakley, 513-321-9111, maribellestavern.com. 

Mokka and the Sunset Bar & Grill: Breakfast and lunch served 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. Selections include Mokka French Toast ($8; $4 a la carte), a crowd-favorite battered with sweet corn flakes and topped with crème brûlée pastry cream and bananas. Finish up with the joint’s popular bloody mary. 500 Monmouth St., Newport, 859-581-3700, mokkasunset.com.

MOTR Pub: Sunday brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The menu offers plenty of traditional choices like the spicy St. Francis Monastery Mac and Cheese ($5.50) to pair with a bloody mary crafted with a homemade recipe. 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-381-6687, motrpub.com.

Nada: Brunch served beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy Mexican selections including Chorizo & Egg Enchiladas ($11) or favorites like French Toast ($11). Pick up a Bloody Maria ($7) with bloody mary mix and tequila. 600 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-721-6232, eatdrinknada.com.

Olives Restaurant at the Ludlow Garage: Brunch Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy the “All you can Eat Breakfast Buffet” including an omelet station, or opt for a brunch or griddle specialty like Coconut Almond French Toast ($6.95). Indulge in a mimosa ($6.50) or bloody mary ($6.50) made to order. 342 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, 513-221-4200, olivesonludlow.com.

Otto’s: Sunday brunch 10 a.m. -2 p.m. This bistro, bar and café combo serves up deliciousness like Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast ($9) and the Lox + Bagel Sandwich ($10). All brunch items come with your choice of fruit salad, mixed green salad, bacon, goetta, potato cake or tomato dill soup and the option to order from the full bar. Get some Bailey’s in that coffee. 521 Main St., Covington, 859-491-6678, ottosonmain.com.

Price Hill Chili: Breakfast, lunch and dinner served all day, every day. Top off classic breakfast selections with desserts including Chocolate Covered Baklava ($3.25), a Greek dish consisting of thin pastries, nuts and honey smothered in chocolate. Try a popular bloody mary ($4.95) or stick with a beer. 4920 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, 513-471-9507, pricehillchili.com. 

Taste of Belgium: Weekend brunch served 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sunday. Stick with a plain waffle ($3.50) or try fun creations like the McWaffle ($8), a breakfast sandwich with egg, applewood bacon and Swiss. If you’re not a waffle fan, choose from plenty of bistro classics and crepes. Add on a mimosa ($7) or ask a barista for drink specials or specific requests. 1133-1135 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-381-4607, authenticwaffle.com.

Teller’s of Hyde Park: Brunch served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Dine on dishes like the Chicken & Waffle with crispy chicken, whipped spice butter and black pepper ($11). Spice up a bloody mary ($6) at the bloody mary bar; add Absolut Peppar ($2) or Belvedere Bloody Mary Vodka ($3). Teller’s Mimosa ($8) and Blood Orange Mimosa ($9) are other options. 2710 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513-321-4721, tellersofhydepark.com. 

Virgil’s Cafe: Sunday brunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Savor meals whipped up from scratch in a casual atmosphere. Craft wine and beers are available in addition to mimosas ($7.50) and bloody marys ($7.50). 710 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, 859-491-3287, virgilscafe.com.

 
 
 
 

 

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