Brocach - Cozy Irish Hospitality

Brocach Irish Pub transports you across the ocean with your first step through the door. Irish for badger's den which is appropriate, Brocach first opened in heart of Madison, next to the State Capitol building. The Milwaukee location is on the Lower Eastside in downtown Milwaukee, and this charming pub serves up great brunch favorites with some Irish twists.

Heading up Water Street, going under the Holton/Van Buren bridge and past another Milwaukee brunch favorite, Brocach is a smaller restaurant that is guaranteed to impress. Warm-colored walls are accented with dark wood work. The bar has the traditional partisans to allow for intimate conversations. Even the bathroom door signs are in Gealic, but don't worry about having to bring your guide book. The English translations are on there too.

I walked in to Brocach and was greated by Julianna, the hostess and server for the lower level. She sat me at a table, and while I waited for my two friends to join me, let me know of the specials of the day: two for one mimosas and bloody marys (Saturdays only). I was set. I ordered my usual (mimosa ($7), coffee and water) and waited for my friends to join me. I have been trying to make brunch plans with my friend Sara for a long time, and when she let me know Liz was going to come along as well, I knew we had to check out Brocach. Mainly, due to the fact that Liz grew up in Ireland for a part of her childhood. Also, Sara is a vegetarian and loves a good bloody mary, so this gave the review a well-rounded perspective.

We ordered and caught up over our coffee and drinks, and before we knew it, our server brought out some fresh bread. Not sure what type of bread it was (Irish soda bread, Irish brown bread), but it was really good. Fresh, warm and straight-out-of-the-oven, the cake-like bread contained raisins and was topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Our entrees did not take very long after we finished our bread. I had ordered the Biscuits and Irish Sausage Gravy ($9). The two home-made biscuits were lightly covered in a tasty sausage and mushroom gravy and fell apart while cutting in to bite-sized pieces. Also on the plate were two eggs (over hard) and some of the best house potatoes I have eaten. Leave it to an Irish pub to get the potatoes down right. The crunchy golden brown exterior of the potato opened into a light and fluffy inside. Served with roasted red peppers mixed in, these potatoes were heavenly.

Liz ordered the Shirred Eggs ($10), which was a good choice. Similar to a traditional hash-style entree, this dish had the house
potatoes, roasted red peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, bacon, onion and tomatoes hidden by two eggs and topped with parmesan cheese. The entire dish was then baked until golden brown. The flavors were incredible. The bacon did not over power the roasted vegetables and blended nicely with the onion and tomato. Having grown up in Ireland, Liz was looking forward to a side of Rashers (Irish bacon) ($3). However, after trying it decided it was missing the flavor of traditional Irish bacon and was more like a slab of ham cooked on a griddle.

The vegetarian of the group, Sara, was very pleased with her bloody mary. Not caring for a spicy bloody mary ($7), she requested little to no spice, and was happy with the result: a well-seasoned bloody mary without the heat. Her entree, the Vegetable Frittata ($10), was large enough to split into two meals. The roasted red peppers, tomato, asparagus, yellow beets and roasted garlic were cooked to perfection and topped with parmesan cheese. The earthy-tasting frittata came with a side of the house potatoes and fresh fruit.

Whether it's for the authentic pub atmosphere or brunch with an Irish twist, I would recommend Brocach to anyone looking for a good-sized meal with Irish hospitality. For a total of about $18 per person and a drink special, Brocach is a great spot for a Saturday morning brunch. Watch out for parking, though. Located on Water Street north of the Holton/Van Buren bridge, be ready for street parking. Other than that, plan on a something different for brunch sometime: a Saturday morning brunch at Brocach.

Until next time, hope you have a great week and look forward to seeing you next weekend morning!

What have been your experiences at Brocach? What are some other good entrees? Respond below in the comments or suggest other places for me to try around Milwaukee!

All the details you want to know: (on a five star rating)

Brocach (****½)
1850 North Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 431-9009
Brocach Irish Pub on Urbanspoon
Brunch hours:
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Atmosphere: ***** (awesome)
Traditional Irish Pub

Food: **** (very good)
Entrees with an Irish influence and amazing bread

Service: **** (very good)
Friendly, honest and knowledgeable of menu items

Drinks: ****½ - (Two for One on Saturdays!)
Mimosa - **** (very good, a little too much pulp for me)
Bloody Mary - ****½ (very good)

Price: **** (pretty good)
Less than $20 a person with a minimal leftovers.