You never have to decide whether you want breakfast or lunch after sleeping in on a lazy Sunday morning. That’s what brunch, the playful combination of the two meals, is for. All across Des Moines, diners can pick up where their nights left off and keep the booze flowing while they brunch as well. Here, a look at 10 boozy brunches in Des Moines. Keep in mind we left off a lot of strictly breakfast places in favor of brunch spots.
1312 Locust St.
If thoughts of wandering around seven, yes, seven stations to collect your brunch items sounds daunting, then by all means stay away from the Bombshell Brunch at Americana every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There will be more room for the diners who clamor to this busy brunch. Decide first if you want to pay $30 for a combination of the buffet and unlimited cocktails from the bloody Mary and mimosa bar, where signs recommend recipes for the perfect libation. Spicy Cheetos, little smokies and pork rinds are just some of the condiments that can fill your glass. You can even switch back and forth between mimosas and bloody Marys. Just a heads up, the brunch cocktail menu changes soon.
As for food, order a grilled cheese sandwich that uses Baker Boy Texas toast and mayonnaise as the secret ingredient. Then grab a plate and head to the kitchen to find the line for the hot breakfast and lunch items such as chorizo stratta, cheesy hash browns, smoked brisket hash, chicken and spinach crepes and cinnamon doughnuts. You can't be full yet because you need to make a brunch taco from the curated menu or scoop up something from the mashed potato bar. The DeBurgo mashed potato recipe was spot on.
4040 University Ave.
Head to Louie’s Wine Dive for brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and order up dishes such as the mac daddy omelet with mac and cheese, prosciutto and marinated tomatoes, a corned pork hash with two poached eggs or drunk French toast with a spiced pecan whipped cream. No trip to a wine bar is complete without bubbles for brunch, so make it a classic mimosa, a “Lou”mosa with grape juice or even a hibiscus concoction for $5 for the glass or $9 for a carafe if you buy an entree.
2815 Beaver Ave.
Go for a touch or France with Le Jardin’s brunch every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Le Jardin only has a beer and wine license, so they get clever with the cocktails with the Le Jardin blackberry-mint spritzer with white Bordeaux as the base or the New York Avenue spritzer with Parallele 45 rose. Even the bloody Mary uses sake instead of vodka.
For food, try one of the newer dishes such as the harvest omelet with roasted pumpkin and sweet potato, brie and crème fraîche or the Greek omelet with egg whites, merguez sausage, shallots, harissa, feta and crème fraîche. The booziness of brunch even extends to the baked crème brûlée French toast with its Grand Marnier custard. Keep in mind that every entrée includes two a la carte items, so pick the berry clafoutis with whipped cream, apple cobbler coffee cake, sour cream potato cake or Holdeman Farm capon sausage.
210 10th St.
Head to French-influenced Django on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the brunch menu that includes Le Grand Méchant with house-made sausage, Niman Ranch ham, bacon, fried egg and Cheddar cheese on a buttermilk biscuit; Nutella-stuffed crépes with strawberries and vanilla whipped cream; or mushroom crépes that combine spinach, Swiss chard and goat cheese roasted with red pepper cream sauce and petite greens. Django doesn’t have a cork fee, so bring your own bubbles and order a carafe of orange juice to make your own mimosas.
2837 Ingersoll Ave.
Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on new American fare at Star Bar. Recommended? Shrimp and cheese grits with two eggs or a breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese and either ham or sausage on a biscuit with breakfast potatoes. Pair them up with the restaurant’s martinis such as the Hot Blooded with Absolut pepper vodka, bloody Mary mix and celery.
900 Mulberry St.
Head to Mexican Brunch buffet at Malo on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $16.99 with all-you-can-eat tacos, made-to-order burritos and omelets, chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy and more. Do order the Malo Mary or bloody Maria (with tequila instead of vodka) with a smoky bacon-rimmed glass, or try the roja or blanca sangrias.
1003 Locust St.
Order off the brunch menu at Centro every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The buffet here is the bloody Mary bar with its 24 compartments of toppings. Shove house-made mozzarella, pepperoni, three types of olives, bacon, cocktail onions, pickled vegetables, green beans, Brussels sprouts, balsamic marinaded mushrooms and artichokes in your pint glass with vodka and then take a few more items on skewers. Pour one of three mixes over the top for $7. You can go back for more condiments (and mix) all you want, but another shot of vodka costs you another $7.
Try the spinach frittata with a menagerie of cheeses including ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella; a Centro breakfast pizza topped with scrambled eggs, Graziano Italian sausage, green pepper, mushrooms, red onion and cheese sauce; a rich stuffed French toast topped with fresh strawberries and whipped vanilla mascarpone cheese; or a crab cake Benedict layered with Niman Ranch ham, a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.
2932 Ingersoll Ave.
Consider the brunch at Eatery A as the place the ladies who lunch frequent every Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sip like a lady with the Saint of Morning with St Germain, champagne and rosemary simple sugar or the Peace of Mind with rye whiskey, chamomile honey, Lillet and lemon. Composed dishes such as a Belgian waffle with salted honey semifreddo, shrimp and creamy polenta, a hanger steak hash with poached eggs and lemon ricotta pancakes make up the menu here.
3506 University Ave.
More of a hangout for college students, this hidden treasure serves up smothered potatoes topped with ham, onions, peppers, chili, cheese and two eggs as well as corned beef hash topped with eggs. Head to the Library every Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. You’ll have to wash down those eggs with one of the 40 beers on tap.
407 E. Fifth St.
The booziness of your brunch depends on how much of your own beer or wine you bring. And glasses. And bottle openers. Tacopocalypse can’t provide any of that with the way the liquor laws are written. But head over on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Brunchpocalypse with dishes such as the biscuits and gravy experience with poblano potatoes, two fried or scrambled eggs and curtido, a fermented cabbage relish; the ICBINBB, also known as the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Breakfast Burrito, with those poblano potatoes, bacon chorizo, scrambled eggs and chihuahua cheese rolled into a large flour tortilla and smothered in gravy with house ground breakfast sausage; or the breakfast banh mi with Korean beef, kimchi, sriracha aioli and a fried egg on a crusty French roll.