Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Sunday, Another Brunch: Sweet Grass in Memphis

Sunday morning can mean a lot of things… a time to worship, a time to FINALLY sleep in, or an awesome No Doubt song from their Tragic Kingdom album (so good). If you ask my friends and I, it’s time to eat, drink, and be merry. That’s right. Sunday is just another day to pay homage to our inner-lushes.

In our usual fashion, some of my Memphis ladies and I decided it is never too late to behave like P. Diddy (or is it Sean John now, I have trouble keeping up) and douse our still recovering livers in champagne and breakfast in a better outfit: we went to brunch. As I’ve mentioned before, Three Angels is where you'll primarily find me on a Sunday in Memphis, but we were feeling a little fancy shmancy. Now, there are plenty of valid options for fancy brunching in Memphis. If you are looking for a top of the line, sacrament of a dish, you head to Restaurant Iris. We weren’t ready for that kind of commitment, already avoiding the more pious Sunday rituals, so we were left with the middle of the road, yummy, but still accessible, brunch spots. In Memphis, these include Bosco’s, the Beauty Shop, and Sweet Grass, all located in Midtown. I was in the mood for some killer French toast, and being a visitor, I had the choice of restaurant (a valid reason to move away from your friends), so the latter it was, for some scrumptious banana bread French toast.

Crisp earthy design and generous bar seating
My beautiful, longtime friends, Magan, Kim, Kara, and Brooke happily joined me in this matter of the stomach, and we all left full and happy (well accept for Kim, whose hangover wouldn’t let up, despite her being scheduled to work in a few hours). 
Kim (left), Kara, and Brooke

Magan and I
After ordering two mimosas, two fuzzy navels, and one coffee (guess who), we set about deciding from the glorious menu of options, all priced between $9-17, the most expensive being a particularly mouth-watering description of Gulf shrimp and grits. I ordered the French toast I had been yapping about from our genuinely accommodating server, who even cut my French toast from the middle of the banana bread loaf (the usual maker was sick, so the loaf wasn’t at peak moistness). 

Kara, Magan, and Brooke were all seduced by the crab cake eggs benedict with fried green tomatoes, asparagus, and hollandaise. I must have been able to put Magan into a hypnotic trance of some kind, because she gave me a bite, and it was the happy-food-dance inducing experience I had imagined. I need the recipe for the pepper jelly that was generously smeared all over that crab cake, it was so sweet and a perfect compliment to the crab cake it graciously adorned.

Kim had the chicken and waffles, a go-to breakfast, lunch, and dinner choice for me. Honestly, does it get much better than a crunchy, fried chicken breast, sitting on top of a fluffy waffle? Plus, it is seriously a feast for your eyes, pouring the ramekin of warm syrup all over the pair. Yum. Sweet Grass excels at this dish, the chicken was perfectly crunchy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. Yum!

As for me, I want to repeatedly shake hands with the person in that kitchen who decided to dip delicious, moist, banana bread in an egg wash and pan-fry it. Add the perfect strawberry butter, fresh whipped cream, and a drizzle of warm syrup, and I’m begging for a round 2, food coma aside. You assemble a thick-cut bite of the French toast, with a smear of strawberry butter, and a piece of fresh strawberry. Then you take it for a dip in the fluffy whipped cream, and then smother it in warm, maple syrup. Follow these instructions, and you, my friend, have assembled the perfect bite from a perfect French toast dish (how many times can I say perfect). Bravo, Sweet Grass! I’m in love with this dish, I really couldn’t think of another way I would prefer that French toast, besides in front of me right now on this airplane.

All in all, this trip to Memphis has been wonderful, and while I am somewhat lacking in material compared to my last Memphis adventure, just know that it was a product of simply being in such a state of bliss that I LEFT MY CAMERA AT HOME just about every time I went to dinner or lunch. I think they took part of my brain when they pierced my nose this week.

I hope that you have added this French toast to your food bucket list, whether from Memphis or beyond! Thank you for reading!
<a href=""><img alt="Sweet Grass on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;padding:0px;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>


  1. Wonderful review! Despite having dated and lived with one of Sweet Grass' front line cooks for years, I've yet to try their brunch. (Sad, I know!) I'm a huge fan of their shrimp and grits -- a dish that they're most known for -- and would love to try the French toast myself!

    1. Hey Sarah! That is sad... You have to get down there are try it! The french toast is definitely brag-worthy! And I can only imagine that those shrimp and grits are delicious! I'm sad I haven't tried that either... looks like we'll just need an extra mimosa to help cure the food regrets ;)