When we walk into Hart’s Table & Bar on a Saturday just before noon, the restaurant is full of the weekend brunch crowd, sipping berry mimosas and fueling up on carrot-cake pancakes. Maybe it’s the light coming through all of the windows in the expansive space, maybe it’s the eggs Benedict or maybe it’s the kick in their coffee mugs, but everyone is surprisingly awake for brunch-time.
While brunch runs until 2 p.m., my friend and I opt for the lunch menu — with boozy beverages from the brunch menu. We start our meal with an order of decadent duck fat French fries. Thin, crispy strips of potato deep fried in duck fat come with a side of truffle oil mayo, making a side order so rich it could almost upstage the main courses.
Next, I tuck into an order of tacos. Albacore tuna, avocado, sweet shishito peppers, cucumber salsa, and lettuce come in two crispy blue corn envelopes. The menu says the tuna is spicy, but I find it tastes more subtle than fiery. The house salad that comes with it sees farm greens mixed with orange sections, sunflower seeds, radishes and raisins tossed in a mild lemon herb vinaigrette. It’s a light-tasting side dish that feels like a good life choice after consuming all of those French fries.
My lunch companion opts for the aptly named Big Ass Grilled Cheese with aged cheddar, provolone, jalapeño havarti, bacon jam and red pepper ketchup. It’s normally served on two slices of Prairie Mill jalapeño cheddar bread, but my friend goes for the gluten-free bread instead. The sandwich’s golden brown, crispy outside melds with the gooey insides. It might not be brunch, but it’s still a great dish to kick off the weekend. (14229 23 Ave., 780-488-4278, centuryhospitality.com/harts)