If you haven't fed a yen in the Grant Street area lately, you're missing out.
In the last decade, Sweetness 7 Cafe, 220 Grant St., started meeting your coffee and breakfast needs in a hip cafe setting. West Side Bazaar, 25 Grant St., started giving immigrant cooks a chance to offer flavors of their native lands.
In 2013, Gabrielle Mattina opened Gypsy Parlor, 376 Grant St. More than a bar, it offered an eclectic menu rooted in international inspirations, and a site for musical acts and other entertainment.
Last year, Gypsy Parlor started offering brunch, a rarity on Grant Street, and it caught on.
A recent visit found the place packed, with young and old customers alike digging into Chef Skylar Pratt's creations and chasing their recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C with $15 bottomless mimosas.
The brunch menu is internationally inspired too. It cribs from Quebecois (brunch poutine, with Hollandaise sauce, chorizo and a fried egg, $13), Italian (giambotta, scrambled eggs loaded with sausage, peppers, potatoes and cheese, or a tofu-based vegan version, $13), and Indian (naan bread with toppings like lamb and olives, $12).
Puerto Rican pastelillos, the deep-fried turnover, turn breakfastward with a filling of fluffy scrambled eggs, chorizo, provolone and salsa ($4).
Mexican makes an appearance with Pratt's version of huevos rancheros ($13). Given a choice between flour and corn tortillas, I called for maize and was rewarded with crunchy tostadas loaded with breakfast.
Black beans, cheddar and chorizo gets topped with two fried eggs, whose yolks mingle well with the salsa and guacamole accompaniment.
Even better was the Gypsy Tostada ($13, lead image), which turns kale, of all things, into a delicious and practically healthy brunch dish. Tender, garlicky kale made it easy to eat my greens, but the next green on the plate, a rousing chimichurri sauce, brought it home with a squeeze of lime.
Sweet seekers can choose pancakes with local maple syrup ($8), berries ($9) or chocolate chips and Nutella ($10). Then there was french toast stuffed with cream cheese and cranberry compote ($11), tart enough to balance it out.
Gypsy Parlor's Sunday brunch is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get a seat if you can.
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