After a seven-year hiatus, The Brooklyn Warehouse is back in the brunch game with a not-too-serious, down-sized approach. Their five-item brunch menu is available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, alongside their regular menu. Brooklyn’s general manager Joanne Hewitt calls their brunch program an “easy-going, come as you are, approachable service.” A full-circle evolution of the brunch offering saw the new menu return to a simple concept focused around local food. “We’ve gotten back to basics and are giving the people what they want. An easy to understand, straightforward, delicious brunch.” Says Hewitt.

I grab a seat in the covered exterior, essentially an enclosed patio, with windows facing the intersection of Windsor and Almon Streets. Cars constantly whizz by right outside, but inside feels chill and relaxing, as soft indie music drives the vibe. A few other parties are seated near me, quietly having coffee and conversations. There’s a brunch feature on, and Hewitt wants me to try it: vegan French toast. While I don’t usually gravitate toward sweet brunch dishes, the mention of maple cashew cream piques my interest. I’m in.

When the French toast arrives, it is, of course, impressively plated. Six slices of soft-yet-crispy sourdough toasts are nestled together and topped with maple cashew cream, spoonfuls of strawberry-rhubarb jam, a light dusting of icing sugar, and decorated with nasturtium flowers. The cashew cream is light and airy, with a subtle maple flavour, not overly sweet or heavy. The strawberry-rhubarb jam also achieves the perfect balance of sweet, made with just enough sugar to allow the strawberry and rhubarb to stand out. It’s the most I’ve ever enjoyed French toast.

The next dish is on the other end of the spectrum. Eggs Dante is a hot, savoury, comforting bowl of goodness that starts with a bed of creamy hash browns covered in a spicy tomato sauce. The potatoes are then topped with pulled pork, a soft poached egg, Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, finely sliced pepperoncini and green onion, and drizzled with lime crème fraîche. The pulled pork is tender and flavourful, and the creamy egg yolk balanced by the acidity of the chunky tomato sauce and pickled hot peppers. It’s a lovely, filling dish ripe with flavour and texture, something I would order again.

For dessert, Hewitt insists on the cinnamon-nutmeg sugared doughnuts. Freshly made and still warm, two cake doughnuts with a decadent dulce de leche dip arrive at the table. Slightly crispy on the outside with fluffy cake inside, these are easy to eat. “We’ve been having a lot of fun with it,” says Hewitt of the reinvigorated brunch program. “Brunch is a unique beast. We think it’s important not to always try and reinvent the wheel.” Amusingly, I hear someone at a nearby table order the dessert doughnuts with coffee to kick off their brunch. And why not? The laid-back, fun approach at Brooklyn seems to be catching on.

The Brooklyn Warehouse
2795 Windsor Street, Halifax