Carleton Grange Pub - A Bit of British Breakfast

The summer guest reviews continue with this one sent in from Sarah Ogden. Born and raised in southeastern Wisconsin, she had the great fortune of growing up in a culinary adventurous family. She has a passion for food and trying new restaurants and recipes, and is thoroughly enjoying her stint writing guest reviews for some great Milwaukee foodies! You can follow here on Twitter, @sarah_ogden.

UPDATE: Carleton Grange Pub closed its doors as of Monday, September 6, 2010 due road construction in front of the restaurant and a weak economy. For more information read the article on JSOnline

First of all, I’d like to thank Chris for all of his patience during my guest review undertaking.  After thoroughly enjoying some weeks of World Cup magic at neighborhood meeting spot, Carleton Grange Pub, during which the brunch schedule was suspended in favor of more soccer friendly fare, my dining companion Jered and I finally had the opportunity to sample the Sunday morning menu.  Let me state for the record, it was worth the wait!

Named for a hostel in England, Carleton Grange Pub is styled after a traditional English pub from its casual, friendly atmosphere and offering of classic pub games, to its menu of fish and chips, pub sandwiches, international beers, and more. Carleton Grange Pub serves brunch on every non-holiday, non-World Cup Sunday, so Jered and I hopped on the Vespa and headed to St Francis.

We were greeted by a friendly hostess who asked if we wished to dine inside or out.  Since this was one of the first dry and not swelteringly hot Sundays in a while, we opted to dine alfresco at a partially shaded table. The patio was charming, although would have been slightly more so had the brown and wilting roses been better tended.  Also missing was the lovely music of the Jazz duo performing inside.  Piping the music to the outdoor guests would have been a nice touch.

Our waitress promptly arrived with the specials of the day and took our drink orders. I ordered my brunch fave, a mimosa ($4), and Jered his, a bloody mary ($7.50) with a Hoegaarden chaser ($1.50 extra, since it wasn’t the designated chaser beer). The mimosa included pulp free juice and was accented with a cherry, which I like, but it didn’t taste incredibly fresh. Jered’s bloody was thin and lacked complexity and depth of flavor. Set with our drinks and basking in the glow of the sun and coolness of the breeze, we sat back to peruse the menu. Among the normal brunch plates of omelets, waffles, and fruit, a few traditional English dishes were peppered in, which were just what I was looking for.

My brain did not choose my meal, but rather left the decision to my taste buds. One of the morning’s specials, Hopple Popple ($8.95), jumped off of the page. The description of a “large open faced omelet, with sausage, bacon, peppers, onions, and mushrooms, with cheddar jack cheese,” while simple, got my mouth watering. Suffice it to say, the dish did not disappoint. The deliciousness of this egg concoction reached the ends of the plate and was complemented by an English muffin and small skewer of fresh fruit. The potatoes were seasoned to perfection without being the least bit salty. The veggies were well cooked, not raw, not soggy. The cheese added just the right amount of creaminess. The English muffin was a nice addition to cut the richness of the eggs, and the fruit was a delectably ripe and juicy palate cleanser.

While I was drooling over the Hopple Popple, Jered was doing the same over the Homemade Scotch Eggs ($9.25). The two eggs were well cooked, the layer of sausage tender, and the coating crisp and golden delicious. The only complaints were that the sausage was a bit bland, and the tangy bistro sauce seemed superfluous, as it did not complement the eggs very well. It wasn’t a bad sauce, and my guess is it’s a catch-all dip since it appeared multiple times on the menu. Accompanying the eggs was a delightful and savory Roasted Potato and Pepper Hash. Well seasoned and dusted with parmesan cheese, this side was reminiscent of Mom’s warm and cozy home cooking. As with the Hopple Popple, an English muffin and fresh fruit topped off the dish.

While much of our delight that morning came from us actually being able to enjoy brunch on their regular schedule, Carleton Grange Pub delivered an enjoyable experience.  The service was great, and the meal, with the exception of our drinks, was satisfying and delicious.  We will be returning to sample more English inspired goodness, and suggest you do the same!  My advice - check the soccer schedule when planning your trip!  Cheers!

What has been your experiences at Carleton Grange Pub? What are some other good entrees? Respond below in the comments!

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

Carleton Grange Pub ****(very good)
3807 South Packard Avenue
St. Francis, WI 53235
(414) 747-9669
Carleton Grange Pub on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Atmosphere: *** (pretty good)

Food: **** (very good)

Service: ****(very good)

Drinks: ** (ok)

Price: **** (very good)

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