The phrase “brunch at the Joule” has a ring to it that makes you feel like you’re going somewhere special. And with what CBD Provisions regularly has to offer, you’d be right.
For us downtown residents, the Joule is a place we can regularly visit. That might mean workout clothes with the dog at Weekend, or it could mean a semi-regular breakfast meeting at CBD with a mentor.
Breakfast at CBD is regularly a great experience, and weekend doesn't didn’t change that.
One change for a weekend visit might be ordering a bloody mary ($12) — the one here is a bit watered down and not worth ordering again. It might be worth trying the breakfast martini ($12), which is gin, Aperol, marmalade and fresh lemon juice.
The menu has a few starters, including a Gulf shrimp and crab cocktail ($18). The granola parfait ($10) is a starter, but with marinated berries and local honey, it makes for a lighter meal in itself.
The rest of the menu is organized by breads, toasts and grains; plates; and sides.
You’ll find your usual bagel and lox ($16) as well as an avocado toast ($12). Add some smoked salmon to the latter, and you won’t be disappointed. There’s also a daily selection of pastries and bread for a confident $4 a pop.
Our service on this recent visit wasn’t a highlight. When we had earlier ordered a cappuccino, we had to ask after 10 minutes if this were still happening. And when we thought we’d live a little large and get some of those pastries, we waited more than 15 minutes for pastries that sat in a display within eyesight of our table.
However, the crumb-topped blueberry muffin and carefully layered chocolate croissant came out warmed, and each made the wait feel worth it.
If you’re looking for a shareable, the hand-cut fries ($6) are the way to go: They might just be one of the best cups of fries in town, with a crisp exterior and pillowy interior. The remoulade that comes with it doesn’t hurt, either.
You can also go for the homestead grits ($6). They’re cheesy and fine — they won’t cause you to dream about them later on, but you won’t regret the money you spent.
There’s a duck hash ($15) that’s everything it should be. “Corned” duck and a sunny duck egg top sauerkraut and shredded potato. The red-eye hollandaise brings it nicely together. Anytime there’s a duck egg on a plate, the place deserves extra praise. This plate in general provides that savory, meaty meal you sometimes need certain mornings.
The egg sandwich ($14) was less exciting, only because of expectations. You hear “egg sandwich” and might think of the classic egg, bacon and cheese sandwich. CBD doesn’t want to be basic, though, so it went with ham, fried cheese, caramelized onions, a sunny-side-up egg and aioli. It’s not a bad sandwich; it just seems like a pulled pork sandwich more than anything, with the meat dominating the experience in the bread fit for a perfect burger. There is a massive amount of that fried cheese, too. All of that drowns out the lone egg that didn’t have enough yolk to provide moisture for the sandwich.
If you’re that one at the table going healthy, the Texmati rice and grain bowl ($14) fills that need with herb-pecan pesto, poached eggs and house ricotta. CBD does make a pretty fantastic ricotta — if you see it on something, it’s probably worth ordering (i.e., that avocado toast).
If you want to go simple, you can gather a few sides together and get your eggs, meats and grains. The biscuits at CBD are definitely worth trying. It’s a rustic bread, hearty enough to handle whatever you want with it (be it butter, jam or gravy), but soft enough to comfort your soul. It makes us think about ordering the biscuits and gravy ($14) next time.
You can get sausage ($6) on the side, too: pork or chicken. What was the surprise of the day on this visit is that the chicken sausage was perfect and far exceeded the pork version.
This recent visit also offered up a random bit of knowledge. Two weeks ago when it was really cold, a bowl of chili was the perfect meal — but we were stuck on where to get a decent bowl. Turns out, it’s CBD Provisions.
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The red chili ($16) is the perfect bowl of grass-fed beef and seasonings topped with an egg. It’s perfect on a cold day, but if you sit inside long enough, you can acclimate and still order this bowl of comfort. You also get a heck of a large serving of cornbread. It’s good enough on its own, but crumbled on top of that perfectly fatty bowl, you won’t even want to share a bite with others at your table.
Overall, the food makes CBD a place worth revisiting.
CBD Provisions, 1530 Main St. (Downtown). Brunch served 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.