Antigua - An International Brunch

Wisconsin in early Spring. It's never my favorite time of the year. If I had a some extra cash laying around, I would hop on the next flight south and enjoy the sunshine and food of Latin or South America. Luckily for those of us on a budget, we can still get that amazing food. Antigua is new to the brunch scene, but what it offers cannot be beat.

Heading south on 60th Street into West Allis, Antigua is on the corners of 58th and Burnham Streets and Beloit Road. The cold, dreary day meant nothing to my friends and I as we walked into the restaurant. Painted in vivid, bright, warm colors, the restaurant is cozy and inviting. The windows bring in a lot of natural light and with the dismal weather outside, I was pleased to sit with my back to them. 

We were seated immediately, and our server, Rosy greeted our table and took our drink order. Andrew ordered a bloody mary, but our server kindly explained that the restaurant did not offer them for their Sunday brunch. I think this should be re-evaluated for future brunches. He asked what would be a good brunch-type drink, and Rosy told him about the sangria ($6.50). Our friends, David and Jason were a long as well, and they both ordered orange juice ($2.49 each), while I ordered my usual, coffee ($2.29), water and mimosa. However, Rosy told me that they did not offer a "traditional" mimosa. Instead, they offer Agua de Valencia ($7.50) which is a cocktail
made with base of Spanish  cava or champagne, orange juice, and vodka. It was delicious, and Andrew really enjoyed his sangria as well. While not "traditional" brunch drinks, we weren't in a traditional American restaurant. We all decided to go with the flow and look over the menu.

We ordered and while we waited for our food to come to the table, Rosy brought out a complementary appetizer. Rather than a typical chips and salsa served at the table, we were amazed to see the plate: a potato croquette, mango quesadilla, and a cheese and pork empanada, served with an amazing red salsa. There were exactly one of each for each of us at the table, and they were all exquisite. This was a great appetizer to help wake up our table to prepare for our entrees. We watched as other tables were sat and greeted with this same plate—each time prepared for how many people were at the table. What a great, welcoming plate.

Andrew ordered the Chilaquiles ($10.25). This plate is shown as one of Mexico’s cure for a hang over, Chilaquiles are made with crispy tortilla chips, smothered in a red salsa. This makes the tortilla soft and moist.  They are garnished with fresh crumbling cheese, and sour cream to cool off the heat.  Served with grilled beef strips, and a side of refried beans, this plate is definitely worth the trip. The flavors remind me of eating from a food stand in Mexico City, very down-to-earth comfort food. I think I was able to steal a couple bites from Andrew's plate before he stopped me.

David decided to check out the Anitgua Burger ($8.59). This hearty burger is topped with melted Manchego cheese, sliced avocado and chipotle mayo. The patty was obviously hand-made and had the aroma of backyard barbeque. The small sliver I was able to try was really good. I would recommend checking out this burger even for a mid-week lunch. And to add to the Latin American flare, rather than traditional fries from potatoes, they were yucca fries.

Jason took one look at the menu and called out, "I want those!" He ordered the Latin Cakes ($7.25), and when the plate arrived at the table, it looked as if he ordered dessert. These small moresels of moist pound cake are coated with coconut flakes and topped with powdered sugar. A very sweet and tropical take on a traditional French toast. And if that wasn't enough, they are served with a side of strawberry sauce. If you are looking for a sugar rush or have children, this plate is a must-try!

I decided to check out the Perico Venezolano ($7.25). This dish from Venezuela, literally means parrot, Rosy informed us. The dish is scrambled eggs with tomatoes, bell peppers and onions in a small bowl and served with arepas. The arepas are similar to empanadas but have a more cornmeal-like exterior. These were filled with pulled pork, I believe, and I used the egg dish as a topping and ate with my hands. I think it was the correct way, because the flavors were so good—nothing like anything else I have ever tasted for a brunch item. I was really impressed.

At the end of the meal, we noticed that Rosy and the other server were the only two in the front of the restaurant. They were the only ones seating guests, taking orders, bussing tables and making drinks. She stopped and talked to us and answered our questions about the restaurant. She was very friendly and told us about the Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare specials the restaurant offers throughout the week. 

So, if you wake up one Sunday morning and want to break out the norm, think about heading to Antigua in West Allis for brunch. While the names might be confusing for some, the flavors will not disappoint. At roughly $15 per person, Antigua is not going to break the bank by any means, and with parking on the street or in the small lot in front of the restaurant, you won't have to worry about metered parking like in downtown. So, don't worry about your passport, just come with an open-mind and an empty stomach and enjoy a brunch at Antigua!

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

What have been your experiences at Antigua? 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)

Antigua (****½)
5823 W. Burnham St.
West Allis, WI  53219

(414) 321-5775

Antigua on Urbanspoon

Brunch hours:
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Atmosphere: ***** (awesome)
Bright, warm, inviting

Food: **** (very good)
Entrees are authentic and not like any other brunch in the city!

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

Drinks: ***½ -  (pretty good)
Mimosa - **** (very good, a little too much pulp for me)
Bloody Mary - n/a (but they should offer one... just because it is Milwaukee)

Sangria - ****

Price: **** (very good)
Around $15 a person that will leave you full and wanting to come back again.