Restaurant Review: Brunch at Alchemy in Grandview
You know the adage, “Seen one, seen’em all”? It applies to places like Applebee’s and Burger King, but not so much to the new Alchemy location. The stop has taken the concepts and ideology of the original Alchemy on Parsons and expanded it with a full kitchen and more menu offerings in Grandview.
In spite of the expanded menu and kitchen size, the Grandview spot is on the small side. With microsuede seats lining the walls, the bright, well-lit eatery feels more like an internet lounge than a restaurant. Of course, it can be both.
According to its website, Alchemy has an ideological interest in health food. That’s a commitment more distinct than the commonplace, “local.” Local foods are ubiquitous. There are plenty of local things that probably would not count as “healthy” in a dietitian’s book, and a dietitian happens to be part of Alchemy’s ownership team. Of course, the term “healthy” has a lot of definitions. But a diet centered around locally-produced, hormone-free ice cream and sausages is probably not going to build a healthy body.
All this is to say, you’re not going to find deep fried macaroni and cheese on Alchemy’s menu.
But you will find that the expanded menu at the new spot has some notable brunch offerings, such as Carrot Cake Waffles ($11). The waffle itself is not carrot cakey. Instead, it’s a tender, sweet, whole-grain base with square pockets for almost-crunchy candied carrot shreds, “charred“ pineapple (tastes canned, but helped immensely by syrup) and a cashew cream cheese. The combo sports layers of flavor and textures and enough sweetness to make it wholly delicious.
There’s also a Beet Benny ($14). Two plain poached eggs are lifted to higher heights on pumpernickel bread, plus generous, lush layers of velvety smoked salmon, lots of arugula, and just enough pink sauce to justify the beet reference in the name: no beets, but a beet hollandaise that’s rich and creamy. More of that sauce would lift the Beet Benny higher, though perhaps at the expense of the whole healthy eating schtick.
For those who need to see more greens to appreciate the whole health angle, there is something on the lines of the Kale Caesar ($9). Available anytime, there are several things that make it different from a regular Caesar, not the least of which are the cashew parmesan element and the toasted chickpeas. It doesn’t necessarily hit the same notes as a traditional recipe, but they do contribute a most welcome brine and crunch. It’s a good salad, and while substantial in itself, an appropriately grilled slab of salmon ($5) on top gives it more depth.
The BLT ($8) is a good intro to nitrite-free bacon, every bit as good as nitrite-laden bacon (see the old study about nitrites giving us all cancer). The whole-wheat sandwich also features avocado, tomato, spinach and vegan mayo, a convincing substitute for the real deal.
Or, if you’re into the drinkable scene, Alchemy has a menu for that too, with smoothies and juice flights. The Green Monster ($7) provides all the nutritional joy of kale in a completely binge-able blend that’s dominated by its companion flavors of banana, pineapple and orange juice.
The new Alchemy is open daily and can be found at 1439 Grandview Ave.
For more information, visit alchemyjuicecafe.com.