It’s rare. It’s really, really rare to find an establishment in this neck of the woods that does brunch the way brunch is meant to be done. What the heck does that mean? Well, it starts with the food- a place that embraces breakfast and elevates it. It’s accompanied by a lively atmosphere that reminds you that Sunday is a privilege and should be enjoyed. It features live music. That’s right- brunch should always, always, always have live music. If I ruled the universe, (and I hope to one day!) I wouldn’t even let people serve Sunday brunch unless it was accompanied by live music. And, of course, brunch must feature a selection of well made Sunday cocktails- specifically the one, the only- The Bloody Mary.
I was up early last Sunday morning working on some social media for an app I hope to be launching in the coming months (more to come on that soon! HINT- it’s about food!) and a Twitter post, referencing back to an Instagram pic, of a Lobster Eggs Benedict caught my eye. I clicked on it and discovered it was from a place in South Norwalk, CT- about a 30 minute ride from me. A place I had never heard of- Mama’s Boy. I looked them up to find an amazing menu, live music from 1-4, four types of Bloody Marys to choose from and bottomless mimosas. My interest was now peaked and it inspired the drive to SoNo.
My expectations were low on the drive up. That comes from years of disappointing brunches in this area. Usually the food is either good and the ambiance lacks, or the ambiance is good and the food is somewhere between mediocre and a complete let down. What’s worse? When you want a glass of champagne to sip on while you look over the menu and they serve you something cheap and flat in a white wine glass and then charge you $12.00 for it. That’s how brunch works in this neck of the woods and it stinks.
Mama’s Boy was different. I walked in and immediately knew this was not like any other brunch I have experienced. Southern style food, a remarkable soul band belting out ‘My Girl’ and crossword puzzles curled up in mason jars scattered across the bar. My husband and I hit our cell phones and spread the word- we knew we’d be there for a while and friends slowly trickled in throughout the day. My obsession with the band became awkward at one point because I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. The staff was beyond cheery and the food was exactly what it should be- delicious and Sassy-fying, as I like to say. (One day I should trademark that term…)
After sampling the bacon Bloody Mary and settling into a crossword, I ordered the lobster benedict, since it was a picture of just that which inspired the drive in the first place. I have no regrets about that decision. There was a generous amount of lobster and it was placed atop a grits cake (similar to a hash brown.) This made for a luxurious bit- all you needed was the side of a fork to slice through for perfect bite of benedict, unlike the traditional english muffin that often requires sawing messing up the entire benedict experience. On the side, they served dressed, mixed greens to balance out the meal. The hollandaise sauce could have been slightly more vibrant in flavor, but the texture was spot on and hardly anything to complain about. It was close to perfection by any eggs benedict standards.
If you love Southern Flair, an upbeat environment, live music, and delicious food- it’s worth the drive to Mama’s Boy. (Warning- it’s not ideal for those looking for a quiet or child friendly environment- this place is all about Sunday Funday.) I challenge the Westchester and Fairfield restaurants to follow suit and get on board the Brunch train. Recently, I have felt a slight change in the wind. More and more establishments seem to be coming out of the woodwork on Sundays offering brunch- as they should! There is a HUGE market for brunch, but brunch done well. But until they do, I know where I’ll be- Sitting at the bar at Mama’s Boy sipping on a Bloody Mary, working my way through a crossword, savoring some southern inspired delights, while stopping to clap now and again for the talented band, Night Market.