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Not just for Sunday

Saturday brunch

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For 200 years the British have been doing Sunday Brunch as a way to provide nourishment for those who reveled the night before. Not surprisingly, this dining event didn't catch on in the US until the end of Prohibition. Sunday brunch has been a southern tradition for decades. But some time ago, restaurateurs figured out there are as many Friday night revelers as Saturday. Thus Saturday brunch was born. Here are some Saturday morning favorites:

The venerable and newly remodeled Pewter Rose has been a favorite spot for brunch since forever. Chef Geoff Bragg who has returned to the Pewter Rose as Executive Chef (he once was their sous) came on board earlier this year. (Bragg, who once helmed a vegetarian and vegan kitchen at the Peaceful Dragon, has been a long time favorite chef of CL.) His menu offers "international American cuisine" featuring local produce and "earth-friendly" choices. Among the Pewter Rose brunch classics are poached eggs on black beans and a grilled tortilla; quiche; eggs and grits or hash browns; shrimp and grits; mashed potato omelette; crabcake benedict; and bananas Foster French toast. Prices range from $6 to $14 Saturday brunch hours are 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The Pewter Rose, 1820 South Blvd, 704-332-8149. pewterose.com

Restaurateur Sangeeta Yadav started her catering career making Chicken Tikka Masala, or CTM as it is known in the U.K., as the star of her wedding menus. This dish also shines at the Saturday brunch buffet at her restaurant Saffron. Although the buffet lineup changes there's always chicken curry, lamb rogan josh, samosas, and several vegetarian dishes. Cost? $9.95. Saturday brunch is served from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Saffron Indian Cuisine Restaurant and Bar, 2135 Ayrsley Town Blvd, 980-297-7722. www.saffron-cuisine.com

The best spot for a downtown/uptown Saturday brunch is at Mert's Heart & Soul. Here you can savor restaurateurs James and Renee Bazzelle's tasty renditions of Southern classics: eggs with pork chops, omelettes, French toast, or pancakes. Mert's is known for their Coastal Carolina Gullah cuisine with such dishes as shrimp and grits; and red beans and rice. It doesn't get much better. Brunch starts at 9 a.m. and goes on until 3 p.m. Price point: $6 to $8.
Mert's Heart & Soul, 214 N. College St.; 704-342-4222. www.mertsuptown.com

In Myers Park the crowd settled into Nolen Kitchen on Saturdays for buttermilk pancakes, crepes, omelets, and eggs and grits. The menu is a la carte: prices range from $5 to $10. Hours are 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Nolen Kitchen & Crescent Bar Lounge, 2839 Selwyn Ave, 704-372-1424. www.nolenkitchen.com

From the same restaurant group as Nolen's is a south Charlotte spot: Ilios Noche. In addition to some of the sandwiches and pizzas from the weekday lunch menu, they offer three or four frittatas, traditional eggs, home fries, grits, French toast, waffles, housemade cinnamon rolls and donuts as well as their house made bakery items: muffins, scones, and coffee cakes. Price: $5 to $14 for steak and eggs.
Ilios Noche, 11508 Providence Road, 704-814-9882. www.illiosnoche.com

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