I really only keep people around who offer their opinions up for stellar brunch places, and that’s how I ended up at 23rd and Main Saturday morning. My experience previously with 23rd and Main was showing up for my second Restaurant Week rendezvous, which was much better than the first Restaurant Week experience I had at La Grotta. That was the one and only time I’d ever been to 23rd and Main prior to today, and it was pretty delicious. I had a crab dip, steak and dessert, all paired with a deliciously dry red wine.
23rd and Main was surprisingly not busy for brunch when we arrived, and were able to sit down immediately. We got a perfect table in the middle of their courtyard with just enough shade to keep me from sweating to death. Not only does 23rd and Main offer a specialty brunch menu, but also serves from their full menu and full bar for brunch. My decision was pretty easy: nothing sounds quite as fascinating as the Don Johnson, which is a tempura-fried burrito.
Thankfully, my co-bruncher ordered the breakfast pizza, which I also really wanted to try because it featured a Hollandaise sauce layer. I do really wish my mom was around, because she’s always good to order French toast, and 23rd and Main also featured a French toast and brie cheese dish, which sounded awesome.
Anyway, back to reality: I was minimally hungover and knew I had a whole day of adventures ahead of me, so I ordered the coffee. Our waitress – who I must add was a straight angel in the food industry – asked me, “It’s a French press, that’ll work for you, right? It’s Lamplighter coffee, so it’s really good.”
Me: I almost giggled because finding out they do French press is like finding out you won a scratch-off, PLUS Lamplighter is a local favorite and I was due to try it again. I also wasn’t in the mood to pay $5 for a mimosa. Without spoiling the rest of the review, my only critique would be that’s a steep price for a mimosa. I assume they use better champagne than everywhere else, but I’m not refined enough for that to be worth it.
The waitress was fast to bring back water – again because she was an angel – and the food came out promptly. As soon as she placed my plate down, my jaw dropped. I knew what I ordered, but seeing a tempura-fried burrito is unreal. Plus, she served it with a little cup of maple syrup that I wasn’t expecting. Then she offered me some sriracha to give the dish a bit of spicy and sweet flavor, and I knew I was in love with my meal without even taking a bite.
Once I did take a bite, the fried burrito didn’t let me down. First off, I LOVE cheese, and this burrito had a ton of cheese stuffed in it. Major bonus. The potatoes themselves would have been a great side, but they were a flavorful and filling addition to the burrito filling. I also enjoyed the bell peppers, which added a good crunch to the burrito. And the tempura was crunchy, flavorful and not as outrageous as you might think.
The pizza was really sick too. I ate one slice of it and was impressed with how all the toppings played off each other. The bacon was sweet and salty, the bell peppers added a crunch with a lot of flavor, and the eggs made it hardy. Plus, the hollandaise sauce added a lot of flavor without overtaking your palate.
Needless to say after this rave review, I’d come back to 23rd and Main for brunch. The way they know how to pair ingredients is inspiring, plus they offer classy coffee, employ a the heavenly waitress and have a large patio that's perfect to take in the last few summer weekends. There’s really nothing else I can say other than 23rd and Main should be on your brunch bucket list.