Over the last several months, so many of our favorite in-person gathering places had to pivot in ways few of us could have imagined at the beginning of 2020. We saw sit-down institutions turn to takeout turnabouts for dinner and develop delivery strategies for lunch. And yet there always seemed to be a meal that served as a final frontier for this new era, and that’s brunch.
Whether cooked at home with family or enjoyed with friends at a restaurant, brunch is an inherently communal meal to enjoy whenever it feels right — mid-morning, late afternoon. It’s a you-do-you kind of thing, but it’s tough to thread a needle on it with carryout.
Leave it to The Black Sparrow to break that barrier with the recent addition of its incomparable Sunday brunch to ongoing options for takeout and delivery. I sang the Sparrow’s praises in this space several years ago; if you still haven’t tried their staples of pizza (El Diablo), sandwiches (Banh Mi) and appetizers (bacon-wrapped dates), those remain in the rotation. But with an option to have all these delectable, and specially curated, dishes dropped at your door or timed to your arrival for takeout, it is indeed a happy new year.
The brunch menu always rotates but often revolves around a theme. We enjoyed The Black Sparrow’s Mexican cuisine-centered brunch in December — sampling and splitting three items that spanned several meals over a couple of days. The spiced Mexican sausage chorizo carried two of our dishes, a behemoth Breakfast Burrito bursting with flavor (and a side of savory breakfast potatoes) and Biscuits and Gravy (with an assist on the former from the Smittybread bakery).
The standout, though, was a Tres Leches French Toast, which takes its “three milks” name from a combination soak of evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. Our delivery included that combination to drizzle over the perfectly coated and sweetened toast, as well as maple syrup and a dusting of blueberries and kiwis to add a bit of sharp, tart and delicate fruit flavor.
Sparrow has traditionally saved its brunches for the final Sunday of each month. But they have in recent weeks extended that to other weekends. So keep an eye on their social media to know when it’s available and don’t hesitate to jump when it’s there to kick your year off the right way.
As we all celebrate this start of 2021, I want to thank you for your continued readership throughout 2020. I wish you all health and happiness moving forward and encourage you to continue supporting local eateries through carryout or delivery orders, as well as gift cards/certificates to use as celebratory gifts or for later visits. Here’s to a new year!
Nick Rogers is Tipmont's Communication Manager. He joined Tipmont REMC in 2021.
Nick has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In a previous life, he covered arts & entertainment and continues to publish film reviews. He loves movies (big shocker!) as well as rooting for the Chicago Cubs and trying new restaurants. He lives in Lafayette with his wife and dog.