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Morning After
May the wind be ever at your back, and your stomach never a stranger from a good pub brunch.

One helluva breakfast sandwich from The Irish Pub
Photo by Adam Ryan Morris

It’s a slow-motion sequence. Could be a cheesy commercial or a Zach Galifianakis movie. Or maybe it’s real: The air propels the server from the kitchen to the bar, the plate in her hand leading her forward to the outstretched arms of a diner. The handoff comes effortlessly. The coveted breakfast sandwich reaches its destination. But it’s not just any breakfast sandwich. A pulled pork, biscuit, egg, cabbage slaw and pepper jack cheese sandwich. The runny egg yolk dribbles over the biscuit side and onto the plate.

Breathless. And not just because of the compound modifier.

In recent months, the Third Ward’s 7-year-old Irish Pub has put extra chutzpah into its brunch menu, served Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. If you’re thinking straight-up eggs and bacon, shake off those prosaic images. Get your head around “crispy eggs” (soft-cooked, encased in sausage , deep-fried, $10), and grilled chicken chorizo with spinach-potato hash ($12). The kitchen’s output is a team effort here, but menu creation props go to owner Rebecca Goldberger (formerly a partner in the late Roots Restaurant & Cellar) and Erik Hansen, a chef whose talents have been felt from Ristorante Bartolotta to Hinterland and restaurants in between.

Another unexpected find in a shot-and-a-beer bar? RumChata French toast topped with a cloud of lightly sweetened sour cream ($10). I wouldn’t suggest washing it down with a Guinness, but either of the fried egg sandwiches – the aforementioned pulled pork and the equally excellent version with bacon and a sausage patty instead of pork – would stand up to a beer, and vice versa.

I leave you with a parting thought – of biscuits dressed in sausage and mushroom gravy and served alongside pub potatoes and Yorkshire pudding. A kind of gastronomic hair of the dog.

This article appears in the February 2014 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.
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