Brewpubs and Alehouses Getting in on the Breakfast Action in Delaware
Where else can you have your breakfast and drink it too? Eateries like Iron Hill Brewery, Two Stones Pub and others are infusing their breakfast grub with their comfort-food mentality.
Local brewpubs and alehouses are as celebrated for their creative menus as they are their esoteric beers. And when it comes to brunch, anything goes. “Tradition is fine sometimes, but bucking tradition and twisting it a bit … is just plain fun,” says Sean McNeice, executive chef at Ulysses American Gastropub in Brandywine Hundred. McNeice concocts the brunch menu with sous chef Todd Philips.
As with lunch and dinner fare, the brunch selection must suit the suds. “We think about beer when developing the menu in as much as we keep true to our cuisine,” McNeice says. “We do a brunch version of what makes our food great here: It’s irreverent.”
Consider the restaurant’s “cheesesteak and eggs”: tater tots topped with cheesesteak meat, peppers, onions, provolone and eggs. “It’s just plain awesome,” McNeice says.
At nearby Two Stones Pub on Naamans Road, a sister location to the site in Newark, you’ll find the “steak, eggs and kegs,” which might include a juicy New York strip with two eggs and Cholula—a hot sauce—hollandaise. It comes with a beer. For those who appreciate a smoky flavor, the Newark location offers the Sunday smokehouse plate: three house-smoked meats, two eggs and roasted potatoes.
“Depending on the week, you might see brown sugar beef brisket, chipotle pork belly, smoked sausages, New Zealand rack of lamb, guinea hen, pork shoulder—whatever the chef feels like smoking,” says operating partner Ben Muse. It also comes with a pint of beer.
Banish the thought of pedestrian cheese omelets. Two Stones’ variations make spinach and feta look tame. Consider “the Chesapeake,” with lump crabmeat, dill, tempura-fried asparagus and crumbled goat cheese, or the “South Philly,” with pulled pork, broccoli rabe, roasted red peppers, sharp provolone and garlic.
Eggs Benedict gets the same innovative treatment at Chelsea Tavern in Wilmington, where you might find crispy pork belly or turkey from T.A. Farms in Wyoming instead of Canadian bacon. Ulysses replaces Canadian bacon and hollandaise with scrapple and cheese sauce. (McNeice would put scrapple on just about anything.)
And if you really want to conquer the previous night’s demons, opt for Chelsea’s “Hangover Cure”: T.A. Farms turkey sausage, smoked bacon, onions, red peppers, home fries and scrambled eggs with pepper-jack cheese—all wrapped in a flour tortilla and topped with chili sauce.
Because some like it sweet, Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats at its special brunches serves doughnuts with a peanut butter-vodka glaze. Ulysses makes carrot cake Belgian waffles with cream cheese icing, and Chelsea offers the PB&J waffle sandwich.
What to drink? At Chelsea Tavern, man up for the MAN-mosa, Hoegaarden Original White Ale and orange juice spiked with vodka. Or go for a light brew, says general manager Joe Van Horn, who recommends Victory Lager and Saison Dupont.
“But,” he amends, “I have seen a woman wash down her PB&J waffle with a Southern Tier Crème Brûlée Stout. So, I believe it is definitely personal preference and living in the moment.”