Photos by Justin Fox Burks
Chef and showman Shorty Fisher finesses the omelettes, a popular dish at Owen Brennan’s renowned Sunday brunch.
Brunch fans who flock to Owen Brennan’s celebrated Sunday buffet can’t miss omelette cook Shorty Fisher. Stationed behind a row of portable burners, he is greeter, performer, and chef, serving special-order omelettes with a side of banter.
“How about a Shorty’s special?” he asks, tossing a ceramic plate for a one-hand catch behind his back. “It’s a little bit of everything.”
A fixture at Owen Brennan’s brunch for 22 years, Fisher’s tenure is a few years shy of the restaurant’s 25th anniversary, celebrated this year with lunch and dinner specials and a lavish fundraiser last weekend for the Memphis Institute for Leadership Education Program, a mentorship program started by owner Jim Baker at the University of Memphis’ Fogelman College.
An early tenant of the Regalia Shopping Center at Poplar and Ridgeway, a quadrant now flooded with places to eat, Owen Brennan’s longevity comes from signature New Orleans dishes and a good-looking restaurant styled with transom windows, beaded-board wainscoting, and the festive accoutrements of Mardi Gras.
“Our brand is unique enough so people come back, and we earn our wings every day,” Baker said. “We know we are only as good as the last meal we serve.”
Recognized with a slew of awards, including best Bloody Mary in the state, Brennan’s popularity reaffirms Memphis’ love for shrimp and grits, crawfish etouffée, pasta jambalaya, and classic eggs Benedict, which is served all day.
But don’t hesitate to break rank and explore the menu’s surprises: spinach salad with cranberry sage vinaigrette; beef carpaccio arranged like a ruby-red Shasta daisy around arugula, roasted peppers, shaved Parmesan, and fried capers; and an impressive 14-ounce pork chop basted and plated with blackberry barbecue sauce.
For dessert, try a chocolate ganache brownie baked in phyllo dough, topped with vanilla ice cream, and painted with a rose-colored crisscross of raspberry coulis.
6150 Poplar Ave., Suite 150 (901-761-0990) $$-$$$