Nothing beats waking up late on Sunday morning and spending time with family and friends over a hot meal. Several Michiana restaurants have embraced this mid-morning phenomenon, offering buffets, extra menus and special pricing to accommodate the trend. We asked our readers to weigh in on their favorite spots. Here’s what we found:
JIM’S SMOKIN’ CAFE AT PARIS SODA CO.
Known for his barbecue specialties like pulled pork, brisket and ribs, Jim’s Smokin’ Cafe owner Jim Morris revitalized longtime business, the Paris Soda Shop, just over a year ago, creating Jim’s Smokin’ Cafe at Paris Soda Co., located at 220 E. Main St., Niles.
Drawing on the Sunday crowd, Morris created a special brunch buffet featuring handmade dishes such as French toast casserole, quiche, breakfast potatoes with hash and fresh cut, house smoked bacon, among other rotating items.
Through the winter months, Morris said his Sunday brunch buffets were his busiest days, with customers visiting weekly to indulge in a homemade breakfast.
“They’re slightly more upscale choices, with fresh ingredients,” Morris said. “I make my hash with my house smoked pastrami and brushed peppers. It’s not out of a can. The biscuits and gravy is homemade with fresh cut sage, and not out of a packet.”
Those craving Morris’ barbecued specialties are able to order off the restaurant’s typical menu during buffets as well, and made-to-order eggs and breakfast sandwiches are available upon request.
After filling up on breakfast, customers are encouraged to venture down the street to the Brass Eye, 205 N. Second St., for a weekly Bloody Mary bar or mimosa.
Known for large portions and delectable treats, this Stevensville hot spot promises diners will leave with full bellies.
Lisa Ranson, head server at the Galley Grill, says customer favorites are the enormous omelets, pancakes, and the variety of dishes featuring euro meat, including a popular euro omelet.
“Our pancakes are super sweet here,” Ranson says. “They’re made from a batter no one uses around here.”
In addition to special takes on breakfast favorites like mouthwatering strawberry cheesecake pancakes and marscapone crepes, the restaurant features daily and weekly specials, giving frequent customers a chance to change up their order from visit to visit, with new menu items like savory breakfast crepes, crab cake benedict, Mediterranean quiche, and coffee cake French toast.
“Those have the coffee cake crumble and the icing drizzled on top,” Ranson said. “Definitely a customer favorite.”
The Galley Grill is located at 4296 Red Arrow Highway in Stevensville, Michigan, and is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Check The Galley Grill Facebook page for weekly specials.
Those looking for an upscale brunch experience with some adult-friendly cocktails are apt to enjoy the culinary creations on tap at Uptown Kitchen in Granger.
Manager Danica Cureton says that in addition to the great food, the restaurant’s staff sets Uptown Kitchen apart from other dining experiences. Although weekend customers often wait an hour or more for a table, Cureton says the staff makes sure the food and service is worth the wait.
“You’re getting fresh quality ingredients and also top notch service,” she says. “We really pride ourselves in being professional and having fun and enjoying our jobs.”
Among the most popular dishes at Uptown Kitchen are the breakfast burrito and the biscuits and gravy, which are served with an egg made to order on top of the biscuits.
“We also have stuffed French toast. It can be served on a chala bread or a cinnamon bread,” Cureton says. “ The baked oatmeal is really popular. Especially in the winter time — we serve it with fresh steamed milk.”
All year round, customers can take advantage of quality cocktails, wine and beer to accompany their brunch. In addition to the classic bloody Mary and mimosa choices, Cureton says Uptown Kitchen keeps local beer on tap and a variety of wines on the menu. With an open bar, guests can request any beverage they please.
Uptown Kitchen is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily at 7225 Heritage Square Dr #208, Granger, IN 46530. Visit uptownkitchen.com for more information and reservations.
Sunday mornings at Granite City in Mishawaka, a constant rotation of delectable dishes fill a buffet, offering patrons a wide range of selections to pile on their plate.
Chelsea Gonzalez, kitchen manager at Granite City, said the restaurant’s Reggianno hash brown potatoes are so popular that each tray lasts “five minutes or less” on the buffet.
The cheesy, creamy potatoes are just one of many options on the buffet line, with other items like Rumchata French toast and eggs benedict as other crowd favorites.
“We like to change it up a bit,” Gonzalez said. “We usually do a special chef feature entrée as well. It kind of changes up a lot.”
While the restaurant keeps some favorites in rotation, special dishes are featured each weekend, depending on seasonal ingredients or special holidays.
Outside the buffet, visitors can eat fresh carved prime rib and turkey, or request made-to-order omelets or house made waffles.
For those old enough to indulge, Granite City also offers a full bar. Gonzalez says the classic bloody Mary’s and mimosas are favorites to pair with brunch, but patrons can request any drink of their choosing.
Photo: Emily Sobecki