Austinites take their Sunday brunches very seriously. I am no exception and brunch is by far one of my favorite weekend activities. Sometimes a long wait is telling of how good of a brunch a restaurant has...other times I think the food tastes amazing because you've been starving in line for an hour. Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar delivered without the wait and served up probably my best brunch experience in Austin to-date.
I started off my morning by ordering a glass of mimosa and a plate of the Pork Cheek Mole, which consists of pork cheek, pumpkin mole, two eggs, and grits. If you haven't noticed a trend in my orders yet, I'll let you in on it now– I almost always order pork dishes because I prefer the taste over chicken and beef. Apothecary's braised pork cheeks are tender and flavorful with cayenne pepper. You know pork cheeks are done right when they just melt in your mouth.
As a southern girl, I love my grits. The accompanying grits were not only smooth, they were surprisingly sweet. This complemented well with the tangy pumpkin mole served at its side. The eggs were perfectly fried– crispy around the edges and runny on the inside. I most definitely dipped all of my pork in the runny yolk and the pumpkin mole. Yum!
The serving amount was very appropriate and this was possibly the first time I've been in Austin when I haven't felt like I was going to explode after eating a meal. I love good food, but I'm not a fan of leaving brunch feeling like I can't do anything but go into a food coma. Such was not the case here. In fact, after finishing my pork cheek mole, I was feeling quite energized and ready for dessert.
My lovely server suggested their seasonal pumpkin pie panna cotta, which ended up blowing me away. The panna cotta is so creamy, it is to die for. It tastes like autumn in your mouth. Every bite was a mixture of apple, cinnamon, nuts, and caramel. This was most definitely the highlight plate of my week and I haven't stopped thinking about it! Sweet-toothers in Austin, this is what you have been waiting for to satisfy your autumn craving for all things pumpkin spice. My compliments to Chef Albert Gonzalez. You really hit it out of the park with this one.