Twang Sunday Brunch
There is a new Big Bad Brunch in town
When I first heard the management team at Twang Southern Tastes and Sounds were adding a Sunday Brunch to the menu I was eager to check it out. If you keep up with the restaurant reviews here on Gateway Macon then you know this Gatekeeper’s favorite meal of the week is Sunday Brunch. With that stated, I don’t take brunch lightly in any sense of the word. Sunday Brunch is an experience that has to be done all-the-way from start to finish, otherwise just call it breakfast and move on. Fortunately, the new Chef at Twang seems to place the same special emphasis on his new Sunday brunch menu. Just the name of the new menu alone, “Big Bad Sunday Brunch”, sets a high expectation for brunch lovers. Since Twang is a family restaurant you just have to assume they really meant to call it the “Big Bad-Ass Sunday Brunch”, but settled on the PG title instead. Chef Elvis recently took over the kitchen at Twang (read our Blog Post interview with Elvis here >>) and if his Sunday Brunch is any indication of what to expect then Twang’s customers are in for a real treat.
Since I had pretty big expectations for this Brunch experience I called on my stout friend to join me for this review. I could always count on this fellow foodie to put a major dent into any menu. He is the kinda of guy who has been asked to leave more than one ‘all you can eat’ buffet and told never to return again. I figured we could order several of the Twang Brunch offerings and do our own smorgasbord of sampling. I was thrown for a loss when my big appetited friend canceled at the last minute due to the rainy, stormy weather. What a wimp. My plan B Brunch companion was a complete lightweight when it comes to heavy duty mid-day dining. She doesn’t weigh much more than my neighbor’s two hefty Siamese cats combined, but she was thoroughly hung over which is often an important prerequisite for gauging the quality of a good brunch.
We arrived at Twang during a downpour of rain around 12:30 pm on Sunday. The sound the heavy rain falling on the front porch’s tin awning only added to the down-home feel Twang aspires to instill with their Southern comfort theme and exterior décor. They even have an old tractor parked out front just in case you needed more clues on what to expect inside. As soon as we walked in the front door we were greeted by a warm and family friendly atmosphere. The owners have taken great care to make their eatery a reflection of the southern roots and heritage which meant so much to them growing up here in the heart of the south. If you are looking for white linen table cloths and stuffy waiters with fake foreign accents you won’t find it here.
My guest and I chose a table in the upstairs dining area which provides a relatively secluded dining experience. Since the plan was to devour massive quantities of food and imbibe copious drinks we didn’t want any innocent bystanders to be offended by our intended gluttony. Our waitperson was on hand quickly to go over some of the new brunch items and tell us all about the Big Bad (Think, Bad ASS) Bloody Mary Bar that was a being offered. Since my companion was just regaining sobriety from Saturday night’s outing and I was ALL about eating Brunch we took a pass on the Bloody Mary’s.
After speed reading the menu I was immediately intrigued by the creative titles like, “In-da-Gadda-Da-Vida Frittata” and “Hog Heaven Omelet”. They set the stage for a menu with lots of choices that all sounded delicious. I was also impressed by the entrée prices which were low by Macon’s brunch standards. My brunch mate was conflicted between getting the “Big ‘Ol Biscuit”, consisting of your choice of smoked bacon, Fried Chicken or country sausage or the “Grits & Grillades” featuring house cured and smoked pork loins with Gouda grits and eggs any way you want them. Had my heavyweight Foodie friend been on hand he would have order both. I suggested the Grillades because I know Twang excels at smoked meats from previous visits. I too was torn between two brunch items that peaked my culinary curiosity. The “Big Bad Boudin” jumped out as a unique brunch choice based on the Big Bad (Ass intended) title, but more importantly homemade Boudin sausage patties sounded like something a Chef named Elvis would be great at perfecting. The Pecan Battered French Toast with Praline syrup was my runner up choice. When the waitperson informed us she could make the French Toast a side dish the deal was sealed, I order both!
We did have some fun with the Twang staff trying to make them properly pronounce both Boudin and Gillades in the same sentence. Since the brunch menu is so new there were a lot of variations of the proper pronunciation. By the time our brunch hit the table we had settled on the right southern diction to describe each item. First up was the “Big Bad Boo’dan” which was an absolutely delectable dish consisting of two Big Louisiana style spicy sausage patties that looked unmistakably homemade indeed. Surrounded by scrambled eggs with cheese and piping hot Gouda Grits, I was salivating before the first fork full got into my mouth. The Boudin sausage was just at the very edge of spiciness for my palate. I knew there might be a little residual reaction to the spiciness, but they tasted so good it was damn the heart burn and full speed ahead on those patties.
Next up were the Gil-la-de’ Pork Loins and Gouda grits. To my amazement my featherweight brunch companion tore into those pork loins like a real foodie pro. She had already polished off two of the nice sized pork lions when she noticed my look of incredulousness regard the potential of not sharing some with me. I was lucky enough to wrestle away from her half a pork loin and it was the best tasting piece of pork I have put in my mouth in a long time. The Smokey flavoring was perfect as well as the degree to which the meat was cooked. I had a hard time deciding which I like better the Boudin sausage or the Gillades , but it was a moot point the second after tasting the Pecan crusted French Toast.
I use to have a favorite Brunch style French toast dish in Macon, but that choice now takes second place to Twang’s Pecan crusted brunch delight. The Pecan crust was expertly blended and applied to a thick slice of bread that held just the right amount of eggs and was griddled to perfection. I didn’t think that something from France (a place where eating frog legs is encouraged) could taste this good. I was surprised that while most of the other dishes on the brunch menu at Twang had unique names no one thought of coining a term for this French toast dish straight from heaven. My companion and I both racked our brain trying to come up with a title befitting the awesomeness of this dish. The best we could do was something like, “Twangy French Toast done Elvis Style” or maybe “Twang’s Bad Azz Pecan Toast”. No matter what you call it, the French Toast is worth the trip to Twang on any Sunday.
After a second cup for very fresh coffee my brunch partner and I were staring at empty plates with extremely full bellies. We almost came to blows over who would finish the last piece of Twang’s Pecan Toast done Elvis Style, but I acquiesced in the name of weight gain and allowed her all the extra calories. When the check came I was again more than impressed by the price for such a brunch feast. Twang knows how to keep you coming back for more with an excellent brunch served in a comfortable setting all at a great price. I certainly plan on coming back for more on a Sunday soon.