Brunch at Grange, Ann Arbor, MI

Brunch at Grange, Ann Arbor, MI

One of the best brunch experiences I’ve had was on a recent visit to Grange Kitchen and Bar in Ann Arbor. It’s a sweet little space with an intimate atmosphere with a mix of contemporary and traditional with exposed brick walls, simply framed photos along the wall and antique furniture. They also put a focus on locally sourced ingredients.

The day Josh and I visited I was in the mood for something on the savory side. I asked our waiter for his opinion when deciding between the duck and potato hash and the shrimp and grits. He strongly recommended the duck hash. He indicated that although some places are hit or miss when it comes to preparing this bird Grange does an excellent job.

When our meals arrived I was very happy I followed our waiter’s recommendation. The duck was rich and moist and well flavored with a blend of herbs and a nice textural contrast to the crisp potatoes and sauce-like yoke from the sunny-side up egg when it broke. My dish came with a side of grilled toast, but I’ve never been one to enjoy dipping my toast in an egg dish. I asked if their might be some jam or jelly for it and was pleasantly surprised when the waiter came back with the chef’s recommendation of a side fresh rhubarb compote. It was a lovely sweet and tart accompaniment to the bread.

My husband chose to go with one of their signature brunch choices, a freshly ground burger with bacon jam, roasted garlic mayonnaise and topped with a fried egg. He said it was incredible. I took his word for it as 10am was a bit early in the day for me to think about a burger, even if it did include an egg.

The brunch prices at Grange are in the $10-$15 range which, given the quality of food and service is very fair. We’ve already made the easy decision to return to Grange for brunch.

Cafe Habana ā€“ Hidden Breakfast Gem in Ann Arbor

Yesterday morning my husband and I went to breakfast at Cafe Habana in downtown Ann Arbor for the second time in less than a month. I had been there for lunch and dinner a few times over the last year and fell in love with the Cuban food and the beautiful and rich decor. I had forgotten until recently that they also served brunch on the weekends starting at 9 a.m.

Two weeks ago I had the Breakfast Arepas, which are cornmeal pancakes filled with cream cheese, bananas and topped with a delicious fruit salsa. The soft texture of the cornmeal cakes with the creaminess of the cream cheese and the light sweetness of the fruit salsa were a great combination of textures and flavors. I also had one of the best carmel lattes I’ve had anywhere that morning. It came in a wide-mouth coffee cup with the perfect amount of foam and was better than the lattes I get at gourmet coffee shops.

This past weekend I tried the Breakfast Burrito, which normally comes stuffed with scrambled eggs, chorizo sausage, black beans, cheddar cheese and ranchero sauce and is served with potato croquetas. I skipped the eggs and had them add extra black beans and substituted Cuban toast for the potato croquetas (which are deep fried potato goodness, but a little rich for my blood). The burrito was very tasty and I just love the slightly sweet ranchero sauce that is spooned on the burrito. The Cuban toast was a great way to soak up some of the extra sauce.

I hope Cafe Habana is able to continue their weekend brunch. The restaurant is usually packed for lunch and dinner, but only one or two other tables had customers both mornings we were there. The staff didn’t use the lack of customers as an excuse to slack off. Instead, they are very attentive and knowledgeable. On one hand it would be nice to see the restaurant’s brunch business pick up, but at the same time it’s nice not having to wait in line and have a great place to go that feels a bit like a secret! If you get a chance and are looking for something a little more adventurous than your typical bacon and eggs, try out Cafe Habana this weekend.