Munch goes to Kaya Sunday brunch
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Sunday in the Strip is a funny beast.
Munch can never figure out what's open and what's not... and why places would close in the first place given all the foot traffic.
In a way, the Sunday closures are very old school -- day of rest, n'at. In another way, they're very irritating, particularly when Munch is hungry for a late lunch.
And so imagine Munch's delight when Munch saw a sign outside Kaya advertising its relatively new Sunday brunch, served from 11 until 3.
What does brunch look like at an upscale Caribbean/Latin American/Pacific restaurant?
Well, much of the menu is things that Munch wouldn't necessarily want for the first meal of the day: fish tacos, green curry with vegetables, tropical paella. But there's also plenty of more traditional brunch fare on the menu, such as eggs benedict, huevos rancheros and a crab omelette.
Party of Munch happily ducked into the cozy Kaya, trading war stories about the morning's ice storm.
Yoga Lovin' Friend of Munch had been planning to spend the morning "inverting" herself upside down, but had to turn back when she couldn't get to the South Side for a yoga class. Mother Friend of Munch and Adorable Child of Mother Friend of Munch had to abandon breakfast plans at Pamela's. And Munch canceled a trip to the wilds of Butler County to cut down a Christmas tree.
But, hey, all the early morning problems had cleared the way for a late lunch.
Upon the recommendation of the rather pleasant waitress, Munch ordered the Kaya Benedict: poached eggs, cornbread, smoked salmon and smoky hollandaise sauce. Munch particularly liked the way the sweet cornbread combined with the pillowy eggs and the sides of grilled pineapple and string-width potatoes fried into hash browns.
YLFOM also went with a waitress recommendation, ordering the fish tacos. Munch is no stranger to fish tacos (and a big fan of those at Downtown's Mexico City and at the Strip's Penn Avenue Fish Company, which Munch must note is not open on Sundays) but these might be Munch's favorite: large chunks of tilapia, fresh avocado, cabbage slaw and a spicy cream sauce. From the warm tortillas to the cool avocados to the crunchy cabbage, they were just perfect.
All of a sudden, the idea of eating fish tacos for breakfast didn't seem so crazy after all.
Halfway through the meal, YLFOM decided to be present in the moment and try one of Kaya's three alcoholic brunch options, ordering a Belgian Waffle Martini.
In Munch's humble opinion (and Munch HAD to try it for proper reviewing purposes) it didn't taste quite like a waffle but did taste creamy and sweet and delicious, and that's quite adequate for Munch.
The Three Salads ($9) ordered by MFOM was listed as an appetizer but seemed to work fine as a main course. The "salads" were really more like dips, and while Munch found the hummus and quinoa salads perfectly adequate, Munch thought the grilled eggplant was fantastic.
MFOM also seemed particularly pleased that her son wholeheartedly rejected the side of soy sausage that she ordered for him, leaving it for her to gobble up herself. ACOMFOM gave enthusiastic marks to the grilled pineapple, however, sweet and diced perfectly for little fingers.
The waitstaff at Kaya couldn't have been nicer, providing both a booster seat and a high chair for the 18-month-old ACOMFOM and never making Munch feel rushed despite arriving toward the end of the brunch window.
All in all, it was quite a pleasant way to spend a Sunday. And -- no offense to certain football teams -- that's something that Pittsburgh sorely needs these days.
First Published December 17, 2009 12:00 am