PIONEER BRUNCH + EGGS IN PURGATORY + HOTEL TANGO YOGA + NIGEL

Nick and I recently discovered a brunch spot that is not Milktooth (for him) or Café Patachou (for me). Lucky for us, it’s within walking distance of our abode, never too crowded, and not too pricey.

The décor is a funky mix of German/Italian/Australian/French. I overheard a server refer to the vibe as “Alpine.”  This mystical place is Pioneer in Fountain Square. Dinner was good, but I think their brunch is where it’s at. Pro tip: ask to be seated in the bar area.

Nick had the double cheeseburger and I immediately had order envy when it arrived at the table. I ordered the eggs in purgatory: spicy puttanesca sauce with two perfectly runny eggs in the middle, served in a tiny cast iron skillet with crunchy bread for dipping. I was in brunch heaven. They also serve Tinker coffee, so I was highly caffeinated by the time we left.

Everything looked delicious – the French toast comes with fennel butter and berries, they have a quinoa salad for when you’re feeling really hipster, and a good selection of beverages. Next time, we’ll be getting a side order of bacon. They serve brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11 – 3, so it’s a generous window to get your brunch on.

I decided to recreate the eggs in purgatory for dinner one night – Nick loves spicy food and it’s a cost-effective meal. We always have eggs, bread, and tomato sauce fixings on hand. I got the crusty bread from Amelia’s (a Fletcher Place favorite) and the meal came together quickly. I’ve included the recipe that I used below.

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Photo cred: Pioneer
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Photo cred: Pioneer

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Onto yoga and cocktails. On the second Sunday of every month, Hotel Tango hosts Detox to Retox and my Pilates friend, Emily, teaches the class. It’s an hour of yoga followed by the cocktail of your choice. You can hear the bartenders shaking the drinks during the last few minutes of class – it’s the best motivator to finish your namastes and get to the bar.

I almost always venture off the menu and order my usual (grapefruit, vodka, soda), so they will make you anything. I look forward to that hour to relax once a month with my fellow yogi friends. Our men join us after class – they seem to enjoy the cocktail part. Doors open at 10 and yoga starts at 10:30. The cost is $25 (covers yoga + beverage) and you can find ticket info here.

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EGGS IN PURGATORY

Recipe from Serious Eats, slightly modified by Libby

Serves two

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can tomatoes
  • 2-4 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4-6 eggs
  • Crusty bread
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic and onion until lightly brown, about ten minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Crack the eggs into the sauce and bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks are still a bit runny.

In the last five minutes of cooking, put the bread in the oven to toast. Serve the eggs with sauce on toast, and top with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.

I’ll leave you with a little Nigel. He’s almost four months old, more than 30 pounds, and literally a handful. We could not love him more.

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XO, Libby

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