What makes a great brunch spot? For me, there has to be plenty of egg-based dishes or dishes topped with eggs, since eggs seem to be the quintessential qualification for a dish to be in the breakfast category. There needs to be breakfast cocktails like mimosas and bloody marys; bonus points for any drinks garnished with bacon. And the restaurant needs to be an inviting place where friends can casually enjoy their food. Eva, the small plates restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City, is an excellent brunch spot that covers all these bases.
Eva is better known for its great dinners and has recently been overshadowed for breakfast by Eva’s Bakery, its sister restaurant located down the street. While Eva’s Bakery focuses on French-based foods like quiche and frittata, Eva’s brunch menu is full of heavier items, more options and has a cocktail menu. Their whole cocktail list is available, but brunch specials include Bloody Marys ($4), classic mimosas (orange juice and sparkling wine, $4), Eva’s Mimosas (with your choice of blueberry, cranberry, apricot or pomegranate juice, $6), and a Bacon and Maple Old Fashion ($7).
The menu follows a small plates format, like its dinner offerings, with offerings like Roasted Sweet Potato Hash ($8) with spinach, caramelized onions and topped with poached eggs. But many dishes are able to stand alone, like the Brunch Pie ($9) with ham, gruyere, Hollandaise sauce and, of course, a poached egg, a rich but creative combination of favorite breakfast ingredients.
Following the rich trend is the Croque Madame ($9), a baked ham and cheese sandwich covered with bechemel sauce and a fried egg with a side salad, one of the best I’ve had in the city; and Eva’s Eggs Benedict, a hearty version of the classic with artichokes, arugula and chicken sausage on crusty French bread topped with Hollandaise sauce ($10), a delicious combination of flavors but the bread was so crunchy I felt like I was sawing through it with my knife. (Hopefully that was an odd inconsistency for that day.)
The menu covers the sugar-infused dishes for those that like to disguise dessert as breakfast, like Honey-Walnut Cream Cheese-Stuffed French Toast with Blueberry Compote ($7.50), the Belgian Waffle with fresh berries, blueberry compote and whipped cream ($8.50) and the Brunch Loukamades ($7), Greek donuts with cinnamon, honey and Greek yogurt—practically taken right from their dessert menu.
Other dishes from Eva’s dinner menu make appearances on the menu are the Greek Mezze Plate (with tatziki, roasted red peppers and white bean puree puree with flatbread, $7), the mac and cheese with bechamel (one of my favorite dishes on their dinner menu, $7) and Parmesan Fries with garlic and rosemary ($5).
Needless to say, the menu is well-rounded and can satisfy any of your brunch cravings—whether they lean toward the breakfast side or the lunch mode. Eva’s inviting atmosphere is always relaxing and it’s no different at brunch time. A lot of restaurants look at brunch as an afterthought but Eva really seems to make it a priority.