The Summer of Brunch continues with a downtown favorite getting into the game.
Garland on Martin Street now serves Saturday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The move might seem like the restaurant is making the most of a wave of brunch publicity, with the recent passage of the “Brunch Bill,” which allows alcohol sales on Sundays at 10 a.m., instead of noon.
But owner Cheetie Kumar says the timing is just coincidence. Saturday and Sundays are different days of the week, after all.
Garland will continue to be closed Sunday, Kumar said, but that brunch is now possible, largely because she has the staff to handle it.
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“I love eggs and breakfast, so we set out compiling a menu that reflects what we do, that’s brunchy but not the traditional Southern brunch,” Kumar said.
Since 2014, Garland has fed Raleigh its own kind of fusion, with fresh takes on Indian and Asian dishes and ingredients.
The new brunch menu is long on calming the nagging ills of a big Friday night. Kumar recommends the migas tacos as the surest hangover cure – three tacos filled with crunchy tortilla-spiked scrambled eggs and cheese.
“But kind of all of (the menu) is good for hangover cravings,” Kumar said. “That’s what brunch food is, right?”
If you’re feeling low, the braised lamb neck shakshuka might also work – a tomato sauce with squash and potatoes, a soft egg and bread for dipping. The menu also has a bowl of corn grits with shrimp, a soft Japanese-style omelet over fried rice and a kimchi pancake. There’s even an avocado toast, with Garland’s topped with pickled beets, tomatoes and seasoned with dukkah.
“I wanted to do it because it’s delicious and a good start to the day,” Kumar said of the ubiquitous toast. “It’s fun and full of nutrients, and I liked the play of the dukkah with avocado; it’s a great sort of hearty salad.”
Brunch cocktails include a Bloody Mary with lemon vodka and one including a summer mainstay, “Wake up and Smell the Rosé,” which is reposado tequila, rosé syrup and soda. There are nonalcoholic mocktails, too, such as the Topsail, which is grapefruit soda, lemon lime, vanilla, salt and green cardamom,
Kumar has had a busy week. She finished renovations to Neptune’s Parlour, her downstairs lounge venue next to Garland, on Wednesday around 7:57 p.m. minutes before doors opened for an 8 p.m. show.
Kumar, who was named a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast this year, was profiled in a Food and Wine story Thursday. The article focuses on how she balances running Garland, helping out at Neptune’s Parlour and King’s and playing in the band Birds of Avalon, all of which she does with her husband Paul Siler. The magazine fittingly dubbed her a rock star chef.
Info: Garland is at 14 W. Martin St., Raleigh. garlandraleigh.com/
Drew Jackson; 919-829-4707; @jdrewjackson