by Abby White
The Row Kitchen and Pub's first birthday is just around the corner, and they're celebrating with a new breakfast menu designed to lure early-rising customers, especially Music Row execs looking for a new place for power breakfasts.
The breakfast menu will be served weekdays from 6:30 a.m. (!) to 11 a.m. and has a heavy emphasis on regionally sourced ingredients, including flour from Rodgers Family Farm in Kentucky, cage-free eggs from local hens, and Bongo Java coffee, which they'll also offer in a French press version for you coffee snobs.
For a restaurant that Kelly Black, who owns the restaurant with his wife Caroline, describes as a "country gastropub," the menu offers several options on the lighter side, including a fresh seasonal fruit plate ($8.99) and the deconstructed Breakfast Parfait ($7.99). The parfait is beautifully presented on a wood platter containing a heaping mug of Greek yogurt sidelined with dishes of local honey, fresh fruit, raisins, steel-cut oats and granola.
But my favorite part of the menu was what Black jokingly called the "dangerous" side: egg bennies, a BBQ hash skillet, steak and eggs, heaping piles of challah French toast, beignets with creme anglaise, and pancakes stuffed with fresh fruit or — for those who like dessert for breakfast — chocolate chips.
But don't let the term "dangerous" scare you off. Everything at The Row is free of MSG, trans fats and hydrogenated oils. This is real butter, and real fat. Which is so much better than artificial fat, right?
After sampling several dishes — and two cinnamon-sugar dusted beignets — it was hard to pick a favorite, so I called a tie between the pancakes and the Midtown Bennie. The pancakes ($6.99 for a stack of three) were honestly among the best I've ever tasted, and I know a pancake. Lightly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they come in buttermilk, whole wheat or gluten-free and can be accented with fried apples, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, bananas or chocolate chips ($1.79 for additions). You can add that stuff on the top, but we recommend asking them to bake it in ... especially those strawberries. Heavenly. Oh, and I neglected to get a photo of the pancakes because I have no self-control and ate them too fast, so here's a pretty picture of the beignets instead:
The Midtown Bennie ($8.99), which is also Black's favorite dish on the menu, is poached eggs on top of thinly sliced habanero cornbread and turnip greens with just a touch of Hollandaise. It's surprisingly light, slightly spicy, and entirely delicious. As for the lack of a photo ... well, see above. But here's a picture of The Row Benedict ($8.99), the standard bennie with thick-sliced bacon.
On the weekends, most of the breakfast menu will be available for brunch, along with the full lunch menu. They'll also offer the ever-popular DIY Bloody Mary bar and mimosas (which are also available for order during the week if you want to turn that power breakfast into a party breakfast).