While D.C. has been home for many years, I will always have a special place in my heart – and liver – for my former home, Baltimore. I spent three glorious years after college bopping around with my fabulous roommates, exploring the city’s countless hidden gems and watering holes from Canton to Federal Hill.
My Washingtonian posse and I try to make it up to Baltimore every few months, and when we do there is always that moment of shock realizing that we are in the land of $2 beers and $5 fireball. There is a reason our Baltimore nights always produce Baltimore hangovers. I was prepared on my most recent visit, as I had the foresight booked a table at one of the most popular bottomless spots in town, Sauté. I had yet to visit this cozy neighborhood spot, and couldn’t wait to check it out with my favorite Charm City residents.
We dragged ourselves out of bed and over to the restaurant just in time for our reservation. I was so pleased Sauté actually accepted large reservations for brunch, although I took note of their Bitchy warning that we would be asked to vacate after two hours.
We settled in to a comfy booth at the back of the bustling restaurant: each table was full, and the bar was standing room only. The crowd definitely wasn’t there for the decor–I spotted numerous industrial strength staples holding the booth together.
Our waiter greeted us quickly and walked us through the brunch deal – for $18 you can select and entree and bottomless mimosas, sangria, coffee and Bloody Marys; for $12 you can get your entree with bottomless non-alcoholic breakfast bevvies. On this particular Sunday my motely crew was very much in need of some hair of the dog; we ordered a mix of mimosas and Bloodys.
I loved the Bloody Mary, and found it far more flavorful than most served as part of a bottomless deal (read: mass-produced and watered down). These drinks were prepared with a generous portion of horseradish and something that provided a smoky aftertaste. Ash reported that the mimosa was very strong, which was also a pleasant surprise with the bottomless deal! We all noted that it was fortunate the drinks were potent, as service was apologetically slow during the brunch rush.
While we swapped stories and pieced together the end of the previous night, we perused the menu and each selected different items. I appreciate the number of options that range from classic breakfast dishes, to more inventive items and even some healthy picks.
I opted to build my own omelet, comprising mozzarella, spinach, roasted red pepper, and onion. The omelet was a very generous portion, but nothing memorable.
Justin went for the breakfast burger which was equally large, juicy, and the perfect source of grease and carbs to aid his recovery. The unique extras (english muffin in place of bun, Siracha Hollandaise and fried egg) elevated this above your normal bar burger order.
The newlyweds Lauren and Steve went halfsies with Berry Flapjacks and the fried eggs plate. While the bacon was reportedly undercooked, the flapjacks earned rave reviews. They reminded us of funnel cake, and managed to be served both thick and fluffy – a major feat.
Ash went for the grilled ham and cheese, perhaps paying homage to the multitude of grilled cheeses we survived on while roommates in Fed Hill. The sandwich was good but the highlight was definitely the fondue french fries served on the side, which were tasty but as rich as they sound.
John went with the breakfast pizza. This pie was enormous and covered with enough cheese and grease it made my stomach somersault just looking at it. To be fair, that could have been more about my drink order(s) the night before, as John devoured a good amount of the dish are reported it sloppy but tasty.
Alex, our resident vegetarian, went healthy with the strawberry bib salad. I was having major veggie envy when her plate of pretty greens and a smattering of goat cheese was delivered. She was very pleased with the dish.
Overall, Sauté was a great place to indulge in some good brunch noms and bevs for a very reasonable price. While the interior is far from fancy, it does offer up some laid-back Baltimore charm. My only complaint was that service was extremely slow at times, but given the packed house it was not our kind waiter’s fault.
The Bitches say: B. Reliable across the-board food but less-than-stellar service.
2844 Hudson St.
Sauté serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays.