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Brunch / Carte Blanche

A Southtowns star offers brunch for grownups

Photos by kc kratt


61 Buffalo Street, Hamburg; 649-2101 or carteblanchehamburg.com


Opened in 2016, Carte Blanche has joined fellow Hamburg standout The Grange on the ever-growing list of “reasons to dine in the Southtowns.” The space is sleek but warm, with heavy use of stone, burnished steel, and light-colored wood; tables are close enough to be comfy and convivial without crowding. The attention to aesthetics shows in everything from the tightly sealed doors and windows that keep out drafts to the presentation of meals like a stuffed popover carefully overflowing with eggs and sausage, or poached eggs perched just so on an English muffin or plate of hash. Everything that comes out of the kitchen is likely to make nearby diners ask, “That looks good—what is it?” If you’re wary of brunches with long waits, obnoxious drunks, unpredictable food quality, and all the other experiences that can make a person think about staying home and making her own pancakes, call ahead on a Saturday or a Sunday (it serves brunch on both), reserve a table, and brunch with the other grownups who decided ahead of time what to do this weekend.


Signature item:

Try the Salted Caramel French Toast if you’re in the mood for something decadent that’s dessert and breakfast all at once. Our next-table neighbors also recommended starting with toast & jam for the table.


Best drink:

Carte Blanche goes the extra mile with caffeinated beverages, offering French press coffee and loose leaf teas. If you’re feeling more festive, bloody Marys, mimosas, and screwdrivers are sold by the carafe, or try a smoked bacon Manhattan.


Ambiance/best for:

Rustic yet upscale; best for when you have a set time in mind—reservations are accepted. Only drawback: Instant weight gain! This is not a spot for a low-calorie meal. While you could try the mushroom toast for a slightly lighter option, even that is served with goat cheese and egg yolk. Most menu items include some form of bacon, ham, or hollandaise.


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