Photos by Destiny Johnson
Café Eclectic reminds me of coffee shops from movies and television shows, but with a twist. Each location (there are three) has a slightly different menu, but I opted for the original restaurant on McLean with its impressive list of lattes, coffee, and classic brunch favorites.
Plus, I had to try the Star and Micey , inspired by the local Memphis indie band. Sweet, flavorful, and full of personality is what I look for in an espresso, and the Star and Micey gives me plenty of all three. The drink is frothy and warm with two shots of espresso and includes a mixture of white and dark chocolate Monin syrups topped with cocoa power and whipped cream. The syrup dissolves into the espresso instead of settling on the bottom of the drink.
Another beverage to try at Café Eclectic with a lot less caffeine is the chai latte. The latte is smooth, easy, and creamy with a spicy cinnamon flavor. It is made with steamed milk, Oregon chai, whipped cream, and nutmeg.
Deciding on what to drink is simple, but deciding on what to eat is almost impossible. The menu offers dozens of choices.
After five minutes of thinking, the Sunny Tater Hash and French toast won my vote. For $7.50, the hash made with fried Russet and sweet potatoes is savory or spicy depending on where you start eating. The hash is made with bell peppers, diced jalapeño’s, locally sourced bacon from Porcellino’s Craft Butcher, and onions topped with white cheddar cheese. Even more impressive: A sunny side up egg tops the glorious breakfast plate.
And then there’s the French toast, which takes a turn from classic preparation. Three slices of house made ciabatta are dipped in cinnamon glaze. It’s mesmerizing to look at, and even better to eat, especially when forkfuls are dipped in maple syrup. The luscious taste and texture of the ciabatta set a new standard for this favorite, and the little coffee shop on McLean is definitely worthy of Sunday brunch.
603 N. McLean (901-725-1718) $-$$
(Editor’s Note: Best Bets for Brunch is an occasional series on Memphis Stew highlighting weekend brunch, one of the city’s popular pastimes.)