The Pittsburgh Food Diaries: Franks Who Brunch.

We love Franktuary. I’ve raved about it before. We love the creative thought process behind each of their hot dogs, we love their one-of-a-kind cocktails, and we love their unique decor. But most of all, we love their brunch.

This past Sunday, we both woke up slowly. It was one of the few days that neither of us had a pressing commitment first thing in the morning, a beeping alarm rudely yanking us out of a sweet sleep. We were quiet and still, soaking up the sunlight streaming through the window and listening to the calm chirping of the birds outside, when he sleepily croaked, “Want to go to Franktuary for brunch?” I answered with a resounding yes. (Okay, so maybe it was more like a slow nod.)

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First thing’s first: order a cocktail. I went with a little concoction called Snoop Lion, and I have to admit, I chose it based solely on its name. Luckily for me, the combination of gin, grapefruit, cucumber and champagne was on point. It was sour and tangy and subtly sweet – a familiar taste of every grapefruit I’ve ever eaten – but it was cooled down by the bubbly brut and crisp cucumber. Delish.

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Then, our pre-brunch appetizer. Each Sunday, Franktuary serves up a signature donut. This time, the zebra donut holes came in two flavors: a vanilla donut, coated lightly with a mocha glaze, and a chocolate donut, accompanied by a rum glaze. As someone who much prefers salty to sweet, these bite-size donuts perfectly satisfied my early morning sweet tooth.

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Then, our main dishes arrived. He had ordered their waffle sandwich, a pile of sausage, fried egg, greens and cheddar cheese surrounded by a garlic waffle, and accompanied by maple aioli and herb roasted potatoes. Here’s the thing about this dish. It’s pretty much a rule that you dip each bite of your sandwich into the aioli (or get wild and douse the sandwich in the aioli – whichever suits you), so that the sweet and creamy sauce can complement the salty, meaty, herb-filled taste of the sandwich. It’s the best of both worlds, and as soon as he dug into his food, there were nothing but happy grunts of satisfaction coming from his side of the table.

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I ordered my Franktuary brunch usual: poutine. Poutine is a classic Canadian dish, traditionally consisting of a giant pile of french fries, cheese curds and gravy. This has always been one of my favorite dishes, but when you transport it from a Canadian dinner table to a Yinzer brunch table, it gets even better. (Disclaimer: I know it looks like a pile of dog food. Just trust me.) A base of salty, herb roasted potatoes hold a pile of fried egg, crispy bacon, and creamy cheese curds, all soaked in a house made brown gravy. Each bite is like a little taste of heaven: it’s all of the most wonderful things that exist in the culinary world. It’s indulgent and gluttonous, and every bite is better than the last.

Spontaneity has always been my thing. I’m exhilarated by the unexpected, even if it’s just something small, like brunch at a joint down the road. Sometimes it’s the smallest moments, like a quick smile as our mouths are stuffed with food, that remind me of some of the best things in life: loved ones, unforeseen moments and incredible food.

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