The first in an occasional series on brunch spots in the metro region. We begin in downtown Farmington.
Weekends are for sleeping in (provided you don’t have young children or pets providing unwanted wake-up calls).
They’re for taking the time to recover, awake, arise, and start the day.
So it’s little wonder that brunch has become such a popular dining trend in recent years. As busy as everyone is, a civilized meal with a reasonably late morning start time sounds about as irresistible as a bubbly, refreshing mimosa.
Where can you meet up with friends or family members for brunch (or just late breakfast) in downtown Farmington? This week, Metromode highlights four spots that offer some delicious options for those lazy weekend mornings.
Since its 2016 opening, Farmington’s beloved, intimate, Portuguese-inspired vegan restaurant has offered brunch on Sundays (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), but recently, owner/chef Suzy Sylvestre expanded brunch to Saturdays (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), too.
“Brunch is always popular for families and large parties,” said Sylvestre. “Although solo and small parties join us every weekend, I think people enjoy gathering over a bloody mary and unwinding from their week. One last stretch of fun before the week starts.”
PHOTO BY DAVID LEWINSKI
Chive’s brunch menu - which, according to Sylvestre, “is always changing” – features innovative approaches to specialty toasts (pumpkin maple, peaches and beets), benedicts (lox, maple-pineapple, granola), and bowls (the fried artichoke bowl appears to be a customer favorite), as well as scrambles (jalapeno, BBQ jackfruit, and more).
“Everything sells really well, from the changing scrambles and breakfast sandwich, to our changing toasts, like apple cinnamon rhubarb,” said Sylvestre. “And our guacamole toast sells very well. … Everything has a spin on it that is in line with Chives flavor profiles, and what I would enjoy eating. This last week we had a Portuguese Scramble with onions and parsley, just like my mom would make it, but without the egg.”
Visitors should note that because of Chive’s small size, the restaurant doesn’t take reservations – so you might want to set a delayed alarm for yourself, anyway.
BROWNDOG BARLOR & RESTAURANT
Browndog opened in Farmington as a liquor-licensed “creamery and dessert bar” in 2016, but about six months after launching, co-owners Brian Scherle and Paul Gabriel made the choice to start serving brunch.
“Everyone loves brunch!” said Gabriel. “It’s one of the busier times of the week for us. Although there are some families, I’d say the majority of the people coming to our brunches are a mix of adults going out for a good time.”
PHOTO BY DAVID LEWINSKI
Browndog’s brunch menu – served until 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday – includes the venue’s signature, small batch ice cream-infused cocktails; a full bloody mary bar; exotic mimosas (see “sparkling prosecco sorbet”); brunch burgers (hash browns, gruyère cheese, ham, and deep-fried egg drizzled with hollandaise), waffle cone chicken, cinnamon roll bread pudding and more.
“Our top sellers are the avocado truffle toast (sunny side up egg served in top of arugula, tomato, avocado spread and toast, dusted with truffle zest) and the steak and egg tacos (three tacos filled with chorizo gravy, cheese, egg, bulgogi beef, and pepadew peppers),” said Gabriel. “We try to have a unique spin on everything we do. Continuing this on to the brunch menu was second nature.”
Founding Mi.Mosa brothers Jacob and Majid Khalil built their entire restaurant around the idea of brunch, serving it all day – alongside cocktails, lunch, and dinner options.
“We love brunch food,” Majid Khalil said in a “Live in the D” television segment that aired in January. “Every time we’d wake up for school, our dad would make us breakfast.”
With tastefully casual decor – sometimes accented by flowers purchased at neighboring Farmington Florist, and paintings created by local artists – Mi.Mosa aims to offer a cozy neighborhood fine dining experience that also celebrates Michigan. (Hence the name, a play on a quintessential brunch drink and the mitten state’s abbreviation.)
PHOTO BY DAVID LEWINSKI
Yummy specials are always on offer, as are mimosa flights, but among the unique entries on Mi.Mosa’s permanent menu are: chicken florentine crepe; bananas foster french toast; chicken and waffle eggs benedict; and a breakfast quesadilla with Sriracha Aioli.
Plus, as if to underscore how the brothers take a relaxed approach to fancy food, their charcuterie plate is called the Meaty Cheesy Board – featuring some cheeses from Farmington’s The Cheese Lady, of course.
JOHN COWLEY & SONS
Farmington’s lushly furnished, upscale Irish pub and restaurant officially offers brunch only on occasions like Mother’s Day and Easter, but on Sundays (not Saturdays), you can nonetheless catch a breakfast as late as noon.
“The house specialty is the Irish Breakfast,” said co-owner Greg Cowley, referring to a dish of two eggs, ham, home fries, grilled tomatoes, soda bread, and black and white pudding.
If you think that last item is a sweet, creamy dessert, though, you’re way, way off track. A staple of Irish breakfasts, black and white pudding actually refers to the pairing of blood sausage – made from blood, meat, fat, oatmeal, and bread and potato fillers – with sausage made without the blood.
But if you’re not ready to be quite that authentically Irish, Cowley’s also fixes up more conventional breakfast offerings like omelettes, corned beef hash, cinnamon french toast, steak and eggs, and eggs benedict (including a “reuben benedict”).
The Cowley family has, amazingly, been in business in downtown Farmington since 1972, when Greg’s father John bought what had been the Old Village Inn and renamed it Cowley’s Old Village Inn.
The Cowleys demolished the original building in 2002 and rebuilt it as a two-story restaurant and pub, re-naming it John Cowley & Sons, with a casual atmosphere (including a stage for live entertainment) upstairs and a more high-end feel at street level.