Brunch at Mesa Grill

Last weekend, Shaun and I headed into Manhattan for an extra special Sunday brunch at Mesa Grill. Since Shaun's 2009 birthday dinner made my personal top ten best meals list, and subsequently lead to my early demise at 10PM that night, I had high hopes for this one. The outcome? It was nothing short of Southwestern deliciousness. Let's get down to the goods...

Any good brunch begins with a good bread basket and this one ranks supreme. Filled with coffee cake, moist blueberry scones and mini cheddar-jalapeno biscuits with red pepper jam, the bread basket was the perfect way to kick off our decadent meal and within minutes, I'm semi-ashamed to say, we had polished off most of its contents.

I should point out one of our favorite pieces, a blue corn muffin, made with real kernels of corn - the only way to do corn muffins in my opinion.

Though we easily consumed the entire basket of baked goods, we still deemed it necessary to also have an appetizer before the main attraction. With lots to choose from, we just couldn't pass up the Queso Fundido, a burning hot skillet of cheese and roasted peppers served with blue corn chips. We had sampled this during our last visit, and it was just as good as I've dreamed about ever since.

For my meal, I had poached eggs (something that is oh-so-hard to get right) over sweet potato and shredded chicken hash. It was enough to feed two, yet somehow I managed to put a good dent in it all by my lonesome. Perhaps it's my penchant for dipping or my childhood memories of my parents serving up birds' nests for breakfast, but there's nothing like a good, runny egg yolk.

My faith in Bobby Flay paid off and the poached eggs were perfectly cooked; the whites completely cooked while the yolk was completely runny with no hardened yolk to speak of, causing a veritable puddle of rich egg yolk over my sweet potato hash. Yum.

And though by this point we could scarcely move, I still found it necessary to hear the dessert specials of the day. Once the words pineapple upside down cake were uttered, I was smitten and convinced Shaun that it was in fact necessary to sample the goods. You know, for research purposes.

Encased in a layer of carmelized brown sugar and topped with pineapple ice cream and a slice of fresh pineapple, this dessert was no joke. Even Shaun had to admit that it was a good call. It also was the moment I was completely convinced that I must get myself the ice cream maker attachment for my stand mixer so that I too can come up with out of the ordinary ice cream concoctions.

So there you have it - a delectable roundup of our fancy Sunday brunch. Though I was on the verge of food coma for the rest of the day and it came with a heftier-than-usual price tag, Mesa was the perfect spot for a special Sunday brunch. And what I'd really love to know is, where is your favorite place for brunch?

Psst...for even more brunch fun, check out my roundups of B Bar, Elysian Cafe and Cercle Rouge!