Monday, 27 March 2017

Weekend Brunch at The Bottle of Sauce

Now that Cheltenham Festival is over for another year, we can finally talk more sensibly about brunch. The past month has all been about promoting those gut busting, overloaded 'Race Week Breakfasts', no matter where you looked. I'm betting that the majority were easily more than the recommended daily calorie intake, and that's before you've hit up the Guinness for a full day, celebrated a win with some fizz and scoffed a large portion of chips on the way home. Can normal service resume now? I think so…

Last month, everyone's new fave hangout The Bottle of Sauce invited a group of us local bloggers for a special 'Bloggers Brunch'. You might remember their previous burger heavy event that I featured at the start of the year, though if not you can familiarize yourself with it *here*. Armed with appetites, cameras and phones - standard - we congregated in the private dining area (which seats up to 12) and perused the menu.

Despite not needing a 'hair of the dog', I'm not one to turn down some early morning drinking, so went straight in with a Bloody Mary. It's £6.50 for one, but if you're feeling particularly sorry for yourself then you can get Bottomless Marys for a tenner. The Dodo Pub Co have their own secret spice mix, of which they'll ask you your heat preference, and alongside vodka they use a splash of Tio Pepe Fino Sherry. Swoon.

The Bottle of Sauce's brunch menu generally has something for everyone; go traditional, sweet, healthy, or something a little different. As you might've guessed, we basically ordered the whole shebang. Surprisingly, the one dish we missed off was the Eggs Benny (£8.50), and also the side of Cheesy Chipotle Beans (£4), but I'll save those for next time.

The Chap wasn't with me for this one, so I had my gorgeous friend K there instead; someone who's much more willing to share. Bingo. Whilst everyone else was going in on the Boss Man fry ups (£10), between us we had the Chilli Avo' Smash (£7) - what's brunch without avocado on toast (?!) - The Big Squeak breakfast burger type thing (£6.50) and Buttermilk Pancakes for 'dessert' (£7). There were also a few plates of Breakfast Fries (£4.50) lurking on the table; salty fries topped with two fried eggs, runny yolks n'all. Probably more appropriate if having brunch after midday. Probably.

The Avo' Smash comes on a decent doorstop wedge of sourdough, and topped with two perfectly poached - and very Instagram-able - eggs. A good execution, but we both felt the chilli, lime and coriander were a bit tame. A wedge of lime on the side and some hot sauce on the table wouldn't go a miss, but that's coming from a citrus and spice fiend.

The Big Squeak is a bubble and squeak patty topped with american cheese, a juicy portobello mushroom and a fried egg, all in one of The Bottle of Sauce's signature glossy sesame buns. It's veggie, but you certainly don't miss the meat. The Morning Glory (£7.50) has a sausage patty and bacon if you really are a devout carnivore though. There's ketchup on all the tables, which I slathered on, but again I think a hot sauce would make it a knockout option. I'm sure if I'd have asked, the staff would have been more than happy to get some from the kitchen, but being in a big group with orders coming at various times, it wasn't very practical… Chilli sauce for the tables, yeah?

There are two options for the buttermilk pancakes, either Kelmscott dry cured bacon and maple syrup - classic - or what we went for, rum roasted pineapple and whipped coconut cream. It was news to me that you could whip coconut cream in the same way as regular cream; the consistency was pretty much identical. Mental note taken.

Three fat fluffy pancakes piled on top of each other seemed a decent portion for the price, and the chunks of sweet and sticky rum roasted pineapple were eye-rollingly good. We just needed more of it! It's like going out for a roast; there's never enough gravy. More pineapple and another dollop of that coconut cream would've sealed the deal. As it was, leisurely chomping our way through them and catching up over a latte was just fine (the coffee is crackin' here too).

So if you've only ever ventured into The Bottle of Sauce for a booze fueled feed of burgers, pizzas and wings, you should definitely try them in the cold light of day for their brunch menu. Don't go with too much planned after though, those Bottomless Bloody Marys might catch you out…

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