Brunch Review: Angry Bear Kitchen
“No Dear, that is Growl. Angry Bear is closer to campus.”
That’s what happens in a hip neighborhood. In the Clintonville area, there’s a Growl, a Savor Growl, and an Angry Bear. It’s hard for the non-foodies to make distinctions.
But while the growling joints are more about beers than bears, Angry Bear itself is something from an altogether different genre. Angry Bear is a joint restaurant project between three young chefs. It opened a few months ago in the space formerly occupied by Sage. Angry Bear’s been amassing rave dinner reviews, and it serves brunch on Sundays.
The long, skinny space has brick walls, modern art and quirky music. The staff members are fresh faced and earnestly helpful.
Of course, there’s lots of ways to do brunch: snack, breakfast or lunch items are all offered on the menu.
On the light, snack side, there’s a Donut ($1) option. Since it’s Angry Bear, it’s not just “a donut”, though. It’s a creation. The donut is a dense, substantial thing, with no hole. It’s glazed with a deep chocolate icing, then topped with a whirl of creme.
True to any breakfast joint, you could also order eggs or sausage a la carte. Or, the breakfast classics are all offered in one dish that starts with Two Eggs ($8). Scrambled ones are served in fluffy folds with wheat toast (the good kind with little seeds inside) and fat, oval patties of sausage. The star of the platter is the home fries: perfect dice-sized cubes of fried potatoes.
The kitchen does biscuits well, too. Big rounds are served with sausage gravy in Sausage & Biscuits ($7).
While Chicken and Waffles are popular in this town, Angry Bear does its own thing with Chicken and French Toast ($10). It’s quite different. Where the popular dish is all airy lightness, the Bear’s rendition is a dark, homespun version. Four slender slices of french toast are teamed with fried deboned-chicken sections. The crackle coating on the chicken has a delicious life of its own, and it’s all pre-drizzled with syrup and cooked strawberries.
For more of a vegetable experience, there is a salad based on Farm Greens ($8). More precisely, the salad is based on Kale: strangely tender, non-bitter, succulent leaves of the stuff. They’re dressed in some faint vinaigrette with crisp green beans, shards of bacon, a bulbous poached egg, and some home fries for good measure. It’s like a kitchen sink combo, and it works.
As good as the breakfasty things are, the Burger ($13) ran away with the table-favorite award. First, it uses good quality meat, with gruyere, bacon, and truffle aioli along with its home fries. It’s both hearty and a little fancified, which is a win in the burger department. It’s just hard, generally, to beat a good burger.
You might catch a few things from the brunch menu on the weekday menu (specifically: the burger). It’s open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 5pm until 10pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open from 5pm until 1am. For the brunch menu, the time to visit is during Sunday hours: 11am until 3pm. The address is 2653 N. High Street.
For more information, visit www.angrybearkitchen.com.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com. Photos are taken at a different time than review, so discrepancies between photos and review may occur.