At the Dahlia's New Brunch, Monkey Bread Is Not Optional


Article and photos both by Jess Thomson.

Where: Dahlia Lounge,

2001 Fourth Ave., 682-4142.

When: Sunday, 9:30 a.m.

Brunch is now served Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Level of hangover: Haven't had a whole drink in six months. But a small, early dinner, combined with the gustatory stress of eating for two, meant I was nauseous and cranky enough to count as hungover. Dining partner sufficiently foggy.

The goods: Dahlia's fancy new brunch menu may require some preparation on your part. Here are the three steps you must take:

1. Avoid being truly hung, because you'll want to taste the food. We started with monkey bread ($8) -- hunks of sweet, fluffy dough rolled in cinnamon, topped with crunchy streusel, baked in a loaf pan, and served with a rich, buttery caramel sauce for ripping and dipping. This experience is not optional.


2. Plan Dahlia for a morning after drinking, say, a little too much Dom

or one too many (insert expensive local liquor here) martinis, because

highbrow eggs Benny just don't match the aftertaste of 10 cans of

Rainier, and nothing cures a financial hangover like more spending.

These are not diner prices. Then again, it's not diner coffee, either.

3. Come if you love dead animal. The spit-roasted, thick-cut

Market House Meats ham in my eggs Benedict ($16) was to the flabby,

spammy discs of Benedicts past what Thanksgiving is to turkey

Lunchables. With perfectly poached eggs, spinach wilted just enough to

soften, and scallion hollandaise that actually qualified as light (and

green enough to make Dr. Seuss proud), I'm hard-pressed to think of a

better version of the dish. My partner's pastrami hash ($15) was far

more pastrami than hash, to good effect.

Hair of the dog: Bill's Spicy Bloody Mary ($8.50), made

with Bendistillery's Mazama pepper-infused vodka, was certainly

peppery, but a bit anemic on the tomato front. A stronger person should

skip the dilution and go straight for the sauce.

Success of the soak: High. I didn't eat for five hours

afterward, which might be a record for me. And I appreciated escaping

any obligation to look or dress the least bit respectable, like I do

for dinner at Dahlia. Next time, I'll go for the standard egg,

potatoes, and meat breakfast, which comes with an option of sausage,

steak, trout, or crab cake.

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