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Sunday brunch options expanding in Gainesville
2 Dog, Avocados and Cosa Nostra Italian Kitchen serve cooked-to-order or buffet meal Sundays
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A fresh avocado and cheese omelette paired with Nutella-stuffed French toast are served during brunch Sunday at Avocados restaurant in downtown Gainesville. Avocados is one of a few restaurants offering a Sunday brunch option. - photo by JOSHUA L. JONES

SUNDAY BRUNCH OPTIONS

2 Dog

When: 10 a.m. Sundays

Where: 317 Spring St. SE, Gainesville

How much: Price varies

More info: www.2dogrestaurant.com or 770-287-8384

Avocados Restaurant

When: 10 a.m. Sundays

Where: 109 Bradford St. NE, Gainesville

How much: $18.79 adults and $12 children

More info: avocadoseats.com or 770-532-0001

Cosa Nostra Italian Kitchen

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays

Where: 212 Spring St. SW, Gainesville

How much: Price varies

More info: www.cosanostraitaliankitchen.com or 678-971-5420

It’s enjoyed by elderly couples after Sunday morning church services and by young socialites after a long night out. It comes in all shapes, sizes, tastes and smells, topped with gravy or whipped cream, often with a mimosa on the side.

No matter the age, most people would agree: brunch is back, and it’s more decadent than ever.

While some local establishments, including Longstreet Cafe, Waffle House and IHOP have long been open for breakfast, specific brunch options were not available as little as five years ago. Now, a trio of restaurants have added brunch to their Sunday menus.

“It wasn’t as popular back then,” said Tina Roberts, owner of 2 Dog Cafe, at 317 Spring St. SE in Gainesville. “Not here. It was in New York and some of the other big places like that, but it wasn’t in Gainesville.”

2 Dog is one of the local restaurants offering a Sunday brunch, along with Avocados Restaurant and Cosa Nostra Italian Kitchen.

2 Dog has been offering brunch for three years, with popular menu items including “the Standard,” which is bacon, a choice of two eggs and a choice of house-made muffins or bread.

The restaurant makes its own sausage, jellies and fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Roberts said she decided to add Sunday brunch when she saw the popularity and interest growing.

“We used to do brunch when we first opened 2 Dog 18 years ago,” Roberts said. “We’d been doing it for a long, long time, but we stopped doing it because it wasn’t as popular. We started back again three years ago.”

2 Dog opens for brunch at 10 a.m. Sundays.

About three blocks away at 109 Bradford St. NE on the square, Avocados opens at the same time, but its Sunday brunch is a bit different.

While 2 Dog has a plated-service brunch, Avocados offers a buffet that changes slightly each week.

 The brunch buffet, which the restaurant has offered for two years now, costs $18.79 for adults and $12 for children.

“But (included) with the price, you can get pancakes, French toast, create-your-own omelette and eggs benedict,” said Jessie Feldman with Avocados. “We also have Nutella-stuffed French toast.”

The buffet also includes an avocado salad and an asparagus salad that are big hits each week. Other items, including the meats, may change each Sunday.

“We’ll have a soup and a little dessert table, also,” she said.

Some of the brunch items available locally are takes on well-known breakfast items.

Cosa Nostra, at 212 Spring St. SW, offers a plated Sunday brunch with a red velvet waffle napoleon and a carrot cake pancake souffle on the menu.

Cosa Nostra, which opens from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays for brunch, also brings in its Italian heritage with a margherita frittata and a seafood frittata, including shrimp, crab and scallops with Italian seasonings, three cheeses and house potatoes.

2 Dog has andouille shrimp gravy biscuits, a dressed-up version of a biscuit and gravy, and jalapeno white cheddar grits.

Roberts said the smoked salmon Benedict is also very popular at 2 Dog.

“It’s on our house-smoked cold salmon and, of course, the house-made English muffin, and it comes with two sides,” she said.

All three restaurants see crowds flock downtown for Sunday brunch, a trend that’s grown steadily over the years. Feldman said Avocados sees the biggest crowds as church ends, around noon.

“We had to stop taking reservations on Sundays, because it got a little crazy,” Roberts said. “It’s really grown and created quite a following.”

 

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