Breakfast at the Brave Horse Tavern

The Elvis Pretzly sandwich at the Brave Horse – peanut butter, banana, and bacon.

I visit Tom Douglas’s Brave Horse Tavern in South Lake Union for lunch a lot: it’s close to my office, offers service that can be quick or more leisurely depending on your needs, and the upscale pub food menu of pretzels, burgers, and beer is fun, filling, and inexpensive by neighborhood standards. It’s the perfect clubhouse, and it’s always packed and lively.

Not content to rest on their laurels, the team at the Brave Horse have been expanding their offerings lately. On a recent lunch visit, a platter of tender grilled beef skewers, braised greens, spicy smashed potatoes, and lemony feta spread was a bright mix of exotic and comforting flavors, and a variety of pretzel sandwiches with toppings including pork schnitzel and house-smoked ham, are tasty alternatives to a burger.

In another burst of creativity, the Brave Horse folks recently introduced a weekday breakfast menu to complement their weekend brunch program. One morning last week, I met my friend Robyn, who works in marketing for Tom Douglas Restaurants, to try out some of the new offerings.

Pretzel French toast sticks (front) and breakfast sandwich

Chewy, salty German-style pretzels are a star of the Brave Horse menu, and breakfast is no exception. One of my favorites from the Brave Horse brunch menu, a peanut butter, honey, and bacon pretzel sandwich known on the weekends as the “Elvis Pretzly,” is also available on the weekday menu ($7). I couldn’t resist ordering one, although the cream cheese and marinated Prosser Farm green tomatoes ($5) and braised kale and fried egg ($6) pretzelwichs sounded great too.

From there, we dug into a Cheesehead breakfast skillet of scrambled eggs, cheese curds, housemade bratwurst, and crispy potatoes ($8), a Texas Toast egg sandwich with scrambled egg, pimento cheddar, and bacon ($7), and pretzel French toast sticks with mascarpone and maple syrup ($6). Everything was fresh, delicious, flavorful and filling. The star of the show, again pretzel-based, was the French toast: toothsome and custardy, with just enough saltiness from the pretzel crust to balance perfectly with the sweet syrup and creamy mascarpone.

Bacon, egg, and pimento cheddar cheese on Texas Toast from the Dahlia Bakery

I was also impressed by the breakfast sandwich, which was elevated above the ordinary by the addition of cheddar pimento cheese cooked into, rather than smeared on top of, the egg, and thick cut bacon. Breakfast sandwiches start at $4 for a basic egg on toast, with optional add ons including cheeses, caramelized onions, braised kale, bacon, or house cured ham, which I would highly recommend.

For those looking for freshly made, locally sourced, fast and inexpensive breakfast in South Lake Union (Amazonians, I’m talking to you!), the Brave Horse can’t be beat. I look forward to heading back there soon.

Photo credits: Robyn Wolfe

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