Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Brunch at Ledger Restaurant & Bar: Bloody Mary, Cinnamon Roll & Fried Chicken

Ponder this: Is Brunch just an excuse to have a cocktail for breakfast? 

This past Sunday, I wanted to check out a Brunch and after perusing the interesting menu for Ledger Restaurant & Bar in Salem, I decided to dine there. Ledger serves Brunch on both Saturday and Sunday, starting at 10am, and you can opt to sit on their patio or inside the spacious restaurant. It was fairly busy on Sunday, though we didn't need a reservation to be seated. Though I'd had some cocktails at Ledger when it first opened, I hadn't dined there yet.

There are 6 cocktails on their Brunch menu, including a Mimosa, Paloma and Sangria. Most are priced at $9-$10 except for their 22 oz Bloody Mary ($14), which is pictured above, and garnished with celery, an olive, a gherkin, and a hot pepper. It was a well made drink, with a pleasant spiciness and some other intriguing spices that were hard to identify, but which helped to make this cocktail different from many other Bloody Marys.

We began our meal with a couple Sides, which are priced from $4-$6. One of their Sides is their Daily Donut ($5), and its flavors vary week to week. Their two flavors this week didn't appeal to us so we opted for a couple others, including the Cinnamon Roll ($4), smeared with an ample portion of creamy, sweet frosting. The Roll itself was fresh, soft and flaky, with plenty of cinnamon. An excellent way to begin your Brunch. My only minor complaint is that they didn't need the light touch of powdered sugar. That is certainly a pet peeve of mine as I see no real reason for its necessity.

And the Banana Bread ($4) also didn't need the powdered sugar either. Slightly warm, the banana bread was moist and flavorful, with a rice banana taste. Another very good way to start your brunch, or end it, dependent on when you choose to have your sweet.

The menu has 14 Entrees, priced at $10-$17 except for the Prime Skirt Steak & Eggs ($29). You'll find items such as the House-Cured Pastrami Hash ($15), Breakfast Burger ($17), Fried Chicken Thigh Sandwich ($12), and Maple Glazed Pork Belly ($14). I am also intrigued by the Banana Bread Foie-ster ($15) which consists of grilled banana bread, rum caramel sauce, seared bananas, & foie gras butter. I also ordered that but will likely do so on a future trip to Ledger.

The Eggs Bendict ($14) has house-made Canadian bacon, soft poached eggs, & smoked hollandaise atop a megamuffin with a side of breakfast potatoes. The hollandaise sauce was done well, contributing to the excellent taste of this dish. The potatoes were also cooked just right, making this a hearty and delicious dish.

I opted for the Chicken & Waffles ($14), which included buttermilk fried chicken, a corn waffle, green chile butter, hot honey, and a side of pickles. The fried chicken was superb, with a great, crisp and clean coating, moist chicken with an added sweetness from the honey. The waffle too was very good, with only a mild corn flavor, enhanced by a subtle spice from the green chile butter. One of the best Chicken & Waffles dishes I've enjoyed in some time, and it is highly recommended.

Service was excellent, and out server was pleasant, personable and accommodating. Prices were reasonable considering the quality and quantity of food. My first impression of the Ledger's cuisine was certainly very positive and I look forward to dining there again soon.

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