Jeneé Osterheldt

For the holidays, give yourself the gift of brunch at Julep

Merry Christmas and Crispy Egg & Grits ($11). Yes, that’s an egg in that golden breading like a gift in wrapping paper. Crispy eggs, cheese grits and Broadway Butcher Shop andouille sausage? It feels like a present.
Merry Christmas and Crispy Egg & Grits ($11). Yes, that’s an egg in that golden breading like a gift in wrapping paper. Crispy eggs, cheese grits and Broadway Butcher Shop andouille sausage? It feels like a present. The Kansas City Star

Merry Christmas, happy holidays or a pleasant Thursday to you.

Whatever you celebrate, this weekend is going to be busier than Black Friday. Everyone’s hanging out with friends and family. That means the brunch game is on.

You know that brunch has long been my meal of choice, so I have you covered. Magnolia’s has that good soul food. Affare serves up that German yum-yum. Westport Cafe & Bar gives you a complimentary drink with your meal. Port Fonda is always popular. Renee Kelly’s is in a castle — BOOM! So many choices in Kansas City, y’all.

But while everyone is busy going to the usuals, I have a new suggestion: Julep, Westport’s luxe little cocktail club and my favorite bar this year.

Since it opened in the spring, the dimly lit Julep has been dedicated to the night. It didn’t even open until 3 p.m. Because of that, a little bit of mystery always hangs in the air. It’s intimate, the music is soft, there’s something a little Gatsby about it.

But last month the bourbon bar quietly launched brunch, opening its doors at noon on Saturdays and Sundays. I wondered if it would look different on the other side of the day. Would it lose its mystique?

Nope. The last thing a night owl wants to do is walk into bright lights. Julep keeps it soft, and the vibe is still cool. As much as I wanted to order the Garden & Gun ($13), a combination of Hendrick’s Gin, honey, lavender, lemon and Regan’s Orange bitters, I wasn’t ready for that tall glass of strong and sexy so early.

The brunch cocktails (all $9) are classic — mimosa, Bellini, Bloody Mary, Boulevard Shandy and Irish coffee. Naturally I went with the warm, cozy and caffeinated. Irish coffee never lets me down.

As we sat in the corner indulging in girl talk and weekend planning, a plate of house-made sugar doughnuts sailed past our table. Our heads turned at the stack of powdery puffs with honey vanilla glaze. Umm, yum.

I had to be good, though. I was holding out for the Praline Pecan French Toast ($9). Good challah makes me holla, and Julep serves it with bourbon cream and candied pralines. It’s capital “D” delicious.

Still, the star of the table was Neon Nadia’s Crispy Egg & Grits ($11). I’m not a big fan of eggs. But seriously, this egg is wrapped in perfectly golden breading like a fried gift. It doesn’t stop there. You get cheese grits and andouille sausage from Broadway Butcher Shop, too. I am not easily distracted from French toast. But I might have had the feelings for her plate. Just a few. It was good.

After our food was resting well in our stomachs and we had a few more rounds, we realized we’d been there for a few hours. Brunch is from noon to 4 p.m. at Julep, but time flies fast when you’re having fun. Cheers to the weekend!

To reach Jeneé Osterheldt, call 816-234-4380 or email josterheldt@kcstar.com. “Like” her page on Facebook and never miss a column. Follow her on Twitter: @jeneeinkc.

Brunch at Julep

Brunch is served from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. You can find Julep in Westport at 4141 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 104. But to help you find it a little easier, it’s really on Archibald Street.

The bar is open 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 1:30 a.m. Saturday and noon to midnight Sunday. JulepKC.com.

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