At Full Circle Tavern’s Brunch, the Gravy Is Good But the Rest Fizzles

Taylor Adams
This space has been a few establishments over the last 10 years, and this look is welcomed (even if we're seeing more places that want to look like Marfa with their use of cacti).
UPDATE: In the days between going to Full Circle Tavern for this review and its publishing, the restaurant has announced it is closed after eight years of business.

Over the summer, Full Circle Tavern made the move from the Cedars to Lakewood, taking over a space that some of us remember as Angelo’s but was more recently the Ginger Man.

And with that move came a new brunch spot for the neighborhood, one that offers decent gravy but little creativity.

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For less than $4, we'll take this bloody mary, thank you.
Taylor Adams
What we don’t mind, though, are brunch cocktails for $3.60 a pop. With the price in mind, the bloody mary is fine, even if it doesn’t come out spicy after the server asked if we wanted it that way and we said yes. There’s a greyhound listed, which can excite the grapefruit-juice lovers until it comes out.

“It’s not ruby red,” our server said when we verified the juice.

The pale yellow had us thinking of that little blue and yellow can that for some reason places keep stocked. It also destroyed the Grey Goose we upgraded for this drink. And considering that improvement, the drink went from $3.50 to $10, and that’s just heinous.

That’s the same price as the signature cocktails, which include a sweet sounding stash tickler: Grand Marnier, mango puree and peach Schnapps topped with Champagne.

On the food side are some breakfast tacos ($9.99), baked French toast ($10.99) and a crabs Benedict ($14.99).

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Gravy's the best part of this place at brunch time. There's thankfully plenty of it on the bad-ass biscuit plate.
Taylor Adams
The bad-ass biscuit is a plate worth sharing. It's too big but a highlight here ($12.99). A biscuit sandwiches bacon, sausage and scrambled eggs; breakfast potatoes frame the tall assemblage. While you’d think the sausage gravy might be in or topping the biscuit, it covers the potatoes: looks weird, tastes great.

The gravy here has a nice heat and makes anything it tops better (even though these simple potato cubes are perfectly fine). The bacon is sweet, the sausage was nearly negligible, but the biscuit was homemade.

It reassures that the biscuits-and-gravy plate is a solid choice if one wants to return ($8.99).

Returning isn’t on our calendar for now, though.

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The sammy left us wanting more (like the gravy, just give us the gravy).
Taylor Adams
The sammy is a breakfast sandwich with two eggs, cheddar, that sweet bacon, lettuce, tomato and Sriracha mayonnaise on wheat bread (more potatoes on this plate, too). The bread’s not the greatest choice here; something like a brioche would be more enjoyable. But then so would a tomato that’s not soggy, eggs that were cooked to order and lettuce that’s fresh.

One of the two eggs was over-medium, the way we ordered (a mistake we unfortunately can’t hold against this place too much, because this is apparently a difficult task in town). The mayonnaise is interesting enough but doesn’t save the sandwich that needed salt and pepper. Time should be taken to season eggs. Always.

It’s a basic brunch. Chicken and waffles are also expectedly listed ($12.99), but nothing shines out as being exciting. In a town where every restaurateur and their mom wants to have brunch, we need a little more to have us return.

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Eating alone in a restaurant never feels awesome. This was around 11 a.m. on a Sunday; maybe everyone was in church.
Taylor Adams
More so, a little bit of attention doesn’t hurt. We sat upstairs, where open garage doors let in light from a beautiful day. We hardly ever saw our waiter, who, for example, after delivering our food never checked on us until we were completely done. We weren’t encouraged to sit downstairs, but being the only table upstairs, with music nearly too loud to hear each other, with staff who seemed like they almost didn’t want us there, helped us finish our meal quickly.

It’s a beautiful space, one that should be where you’d like to have a few brunch cocktails. If Full Circle incorporates a few special items onto the menu and improves some staff training, maybe this can be a spot we’d return for brunch. Until then, we’ll go elsewhere.

Full Circle Tavern, 6341 La Vista Drive (Lakewood)