Commentary by Heather Collins
Where to Brunch: Mimi Blue Meatballs
Location: 12505 Old Meridian St., Carmel
Cost: $7 – $10
Mimi Blue Meatballs features an eclectic mix of delightful, customizable meatballs, but from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Mimi Blue Meatballs also offers an adorable family-friendly brunch menu.
The Kosene brothers, Indianapolis natives, started Mimi Blue Meatballs as a tribute to their mother, Mildred (Mimi) Bluestein Kosene. The brothers have brought the wonders of their mother’s home-cooked meals to the Hamilton County table, with the upscale twist that you’d expect from the recipe book of a classic, debonair housewife. The Kosene brothers describe their mother as a lady endowed with manners, taste and an easy social grace.
The atmosphere of Mimi Blue Meatballs exudes that same easy social grace and charm. I fell in love with the back story of the restaurant, and then when I arrived, I fell in love with the food. My brunch ladies, Nikki Byrum and her daughter, Ava, adored it, too. We ordered everything from the brunch menu and also tried a few meatballs.
The brunch menu features pancake balls (lemon thyme pancakes with Vermont organic maple syrup), eggs gerry (two poached eggs on an English muffin with classic meatballs, hollandaise and melted cheddar), French toast and biscuits and gravy.
Four-year-old Ava Byrum loved the pancake balls. The regular menu is available during brunch hours, and I highly suggest the spicy cilantro or honey Sriracha classic meatballs.
Where to Brunch: LouVino
Location: 8626 E 116th St, Fishers
Cost: $8 – $16
LouVino, known for its Southern-inspired small plates, offers a brunch menu from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday – Sunday. The shining star of brunch at LouVino is the $2 mimosas. LouVino offers a fun flair to its wine list by paying homage to faces such as John Mellencamp, George Clooney, Michael Jackson, James Dean, Jim Gaffigan and Peyton’s Pinots. The Indy 500 list features a “Triple Crown” selection of prestigious wines, while the Axl Rosé list features a flight of rockstar rosés. LouVino has 70-plus wine selections as well as beer, bourbon and cocktails.
This year, LouVino was given the Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator.
Eclectic breakfast menu items include pancake tacos (topped with bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs and cheese with spiced maple dipping sauce), smoked salmon potato hash, biscuit ’n gravy with house goetta gravy, a croissant BLT sandwich with a fried green tomato, stuffed French toast and chicken biscuit sliders with bacon, poblano aioli and pepper jack cheese.
I ordered the steak and eggs, which is served on a hash brown with demi-glace. The demi really brings the steak and eggs to a whole new level of savory.
Where to Brunch: Cafe Patachou
Location: 14390 Clay Terrace Blvd, Carmel and 5790 E Main St, Carmel
Cost: $8.75 – $16.95
Hamilton County is lucky to have a revered, homegrown, hip brunch staple like Cafe Patachou. The menu offers the widest selection of options for any brunch palette, with a lot of fair-trade, gluten-free, whole grain and health-conscious fare. The atmosphere is trendy, urban and relaxed.
The menu offers brunch favorites, including a wide-variety of gourmet omelets, broken yolks and salads. I ordered the Ora-King Sustainable Salmon Bagel, served with tomato, cream cheese, red onion and capers. I’m also a huge fan of the arugula salad, which is served on the side and lightly dressed with a house vinaigrette.
My typical order is the Sweet Ruby’s Special, which is a Southern-style sweet grilled cheese sandwich served with a cup of their amazing tomato artichoke soup. An added bonus, all proceeds for the Sweet Ruby’s Special go toward The Patachou Foundation, a kitchen for a mission foundation that serves healthy meals to food-insecure children.
A few standout menu options include the Croissant French Toast Patachou, Duck Confit Hash, Apple Fritter Cinnamon’ed “French” Toast and the Vegan Cuban Breakfast (with seasoned black beans and rice, hard tofu crumbles, avocado, chopped greens and vegan spinach-jalapeño pesto.)
As an added bonus, millennials can add avocado to anything for $2.