Restaurant Review: Drunch
Italian Village’s Drunch is more than a place for a drinkable, liquid lunch. Sure, there is an extensive cocktail menu, but during a recent visit, Drunch’s kitchen staff out-numbered the bar team 3:1. That sort of ratio indicates some sort of commitment to edible items. In fact, the operation has a serious menu of edibles that could be characterized as “brunch.” That is to say, the options range from eggs and pancakes to sandwiches and flatbreads.
The starter to try is none of these things, however. The starter to try is the Avocado Fries ($11). They’re made in-house, which is a fact not printed on the menu, but learned that from chatting with a member of the kitchen crew, who delivered them to the table with a defined sense of well-earned pride. You don’t often get to break the fourth wall with the kitchen team in restaurants. It’s kinda charming here.
The Avocado Fries are pricy, but interesting enough to justify at least one go-round. Plus, since avocados are heavy food, the appetizer works well as a sharable item. As served, a bunch of avocado wedges are encrusted in a light, crisp coating. Withstanding the heat of the fryer, the avocado retains its substantial, firm-but-silky texture. The fried combo feels healthy and sinful all at once, and comes with a red pepper aioli dipping sauce that is ringer for Raising Cane’s sauce. Say what you want about the chicken finger place, the sauce, at once briny and creamy, is addictive.
Omelets are good too. The Carnivore Omelet ($11) is a massive thing. The soft layers of egg are stuffed with an avalanche of literally every breakfast meat imaginable: sausage, bacon and ham. It’s an over-the-top version of a classic dish, and it’s rounded out with grilled taters and thick slices of toast, plus a bowl of jelly for spreading. It’s hard to eat it all, but every bite suggests that the effort is worthwhile. Note: The Carnivore Omelet was recently reincarnated and upgraded as a Drunch Frittata on the new menu with that same savory mixture of sausage, cheese, bacon and ham.
Drinking wise, the aforementioned cocktail options range from a classic Mimosa ($7) made with champagne and orange juice, to something heavier like a Boozy Buckeye ($10) that involves whiskey, ice cream, peanut butter and chocolate liquor.
Given the day’s staffing ratio (three staffers spotted in the open kitchen, only one found up front), the front of the house spent most of the time in the weeds hustling to take orders, make drinks, and seat people. The kitchen team took on meal delivery duties, and as mentioned, it was delightful to meet the people who made the food. But even with help, there were some nagging delays that made parts of the dining experience frustrating. As frustrating as it was as a diner, it was probably more frustrating for employees trying to please everyone with seemingly not enough support.
You can find Drunch at 995 N. Fourth St.
For more information, visit druncheatery.com.