The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on the restaurant industry, so many eaters are searching for ways to support their favorites during these difficult times.
Thanks to the creativity of these Queen City businesses, Sunday brunch lives on through takeout and yes, that includes their incredible cocktails.
Here are some of the spots offering brunch. This information is for brunch only; check the applicable restaurant for other offerings and hours.
444 Forest Ave. (955-1511)
100 Acres is offering its traditional brunch offerings such as the smoked brisket, egg and cheese sandwich; avocado toast and the croque madame from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Order online and pick up; they'll bring it to your car.
The restaurant also has prepared a new breakfast sandwich kit ($20) with giant housemade biscuits, thick crispy bacon cured in-house, sweet local honey and housemade cultured butter. When you get home, put the ingredients together to make four breakfast sandwiches.
For brunch drinks, you can purchase a bloody mary kit that's stocked with a bottle of Lockhouse vodka or gin, as well as 100 Acres bloody mary mix of pickled vegetables, giving the drink a tangy, slightly vinegary flavor.
Prefer mimosas? You can also get a bottle of bubbly to make mimosas at home if you have orange juice or another mixer. No OJ? I would recommend weaving in a craft beer. I tried Thin Man’s Minkey Boodle mimosa which blended champagne with Thin Man's popular beer, giving the drink a tart sour raspberry flavor.
[Related: Takeout Brigade takes supporting local restaurants seriously — and safely]
423 Elmwood Ave. (768-1878)
For vegan and vegetarian options, Root & Bloom is serving its regular brunch menu available for curbside pickup or delivery through Uber Eats and Grubhub, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Try a brunch box ($52.99) that includes any two brunch menu items and a hot drink. These sell out quickly, so check online early and put in your order.
You can order single items such as the Savannah (a cornbread Belgian waffle with chiles, topped with Southern sautéed greens, crispy garlic butter “chicken” pieces, and served with a maple Dijon) and the Amelia (three einkorn flour pancakes topped with apple pie filling, drizzled with dulce de leche and sprinkled with sweet oat crumble).
For drinks, R&B is selling quarts of mimosas to-go in such flavors as orange rosemary mimosa (strong citrus notes and a pine aroma) and grapefruit thyme mimosas (tart notes from the fruit and a peppery, slightly minty and citrusy flavor from the potent thyme).
305 Franklin St. (697-7653)
Fresh Catch is still serving brunch, offering some of its most popular options such as acai bowls, loaded with fresh fruit and sweet, crunchy granola for a little texture.
Owner Michael Tobin said he’s now offering a long-time fan favorite, the Tuna Pokecado (a hearty slice of Breadhive sourdough topped with housemade avocado smash, plump fresh ahi tuna, sesame shoyu, sweet and salty edamame, and crisp onions). The blend of flavors with the creamy tuna is a perfect way to start the morning.
Fresh Catch's entire cocktail menu is available, including the traditional bloody mary to-go by the glass or in batched cocktails ($25) with enough for three or four drinks.
The vegan Cocky Mary includes a house-fermented blend of 10 vegetables including watermelon radish, cucumbers, celery and carrots, with One Foot Cock vodka from Buffalo Distilling Company.
Fresh Catch forgoes the Worcestershire sauce, which generally contains some kind of fish sauce or salty anchovies, to make the drink friendly to vegans. They spruce it up by adding housemade cucumber water and Korean gochujang sauce, a thick sticky condiment — like a paste in its consistency — with sweet and savory flavors from glutinous rice, salt, chili powder and more.
Giant coconut drinks (mocktails or cocktails) are available as well, and yes, you get to take the entire coconut to go.
22 Main St., Hamburg (648-0022)
Order brunch-style options off the Grange's Daytime To-Go menu including coffees, pastries, a breakfast sausage sandwich, hummus bowl and smoked salmon bagel. For the full brunch experience, order the mimosa kit (a quart of orange juice and a bottle of champagne) for $32; available only from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Breakfast and lunch are served from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Keep the family busy and fed with the Grange's bake-at-home cinnamon rolls, cookies and cookie decoration kits.
For other cocktails, the Grange has liters of cocktails ($70) that will serve 11 to 13 drinks. For a twist on mimosas, I would recommend getting the Grange's housemade soda made of aromatic ingredients such as ginger, tangy fresh grapefruit, sweet blueberries and floral lavender, then mixing that with bubbly to create a mimosa of your own.
[Nearly perfect: The Grange receives nine out of 10 plates in dining review]
1000 Elmwood Ave. (381-8996)
Breezy Burrito serves some of the best bloody marys in town, so take advantage for brunch. Though Breezy is open only Saturday and Sunday evenings, you can go there the night before your weekend brunch to buy drinks for the next morning.
For something different, try the Bloody Maria, which is made with tequila instead of vodka. The tequila adds a smooth sweetness that complements the acidic tomatoes, citrus, salt and spice in a good bloody mary mix.
A build-your-own mimosa kit presents either fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice or orange juice along with a bottle of champagne. If you want to keep the Mexican theme consistent for your boozy brunch, you can get pitchers of refreshing margaritas with flavors such as strawberry, raspberry, mango and classic lime.
The Breezy menu is full of Mexican options to create tacos, bowls, burritos and salads with a protein. I would suggest grabbing drinks to go and a burrito bowl or two, then using the ingredients the following day to make fresh nachos with a few sunny-side-up eggs added on top. The rich egg yolk will amp up your nachos that much more.
[Photos: Smiles at Breezy Burrito's grand-opening party last year]