Brunch at Whisk’D Cafe in Decatur, Alabama

Situated in the middle of a long-established residential neighborhood, Whisk’D Cafe is the perfect gathering place for friends to share an early breakfast or brunch in an informal setting with an intriguing menu.

Location: Whisk’D Cafe, 1051 Grant Street SE, Decatur, Alabama

Menu: Many of the usual breakfast items, such as eggs, waffles, bacon, biscuits or toast, are available a la carte, but I urge you to venture out and try something different. Whisk’D Cafe gives a tasty twist to what would normally be rather plain. Also, the chef is always experimenting, so you’ll likely find new items every time you visit.

Whisk’D offers a good balance of both sweet and savory dishes. Under biscuits and gravy, for example, the gravy can be either sausage, chocolate or black bean. Or, if you want to start your breakfast with something small and work your way to the heavier items, you might choose a funnel cake, blueberry muffins or pimento cheese and crackers.

The Decatur omelet is aptly named because it is topped with a white barbecue sauce that was perfected in this town by Big Bob Gibson, who started his barbecue restaurant in Decatur in the 1950’s. Most days there will be at least three other omelet combinations offered. You will also be tempted by the River City Bennie. Bennie is for Eggs Benedict, of course, and River City is Decatur’s nickname, owing to its location along the banks of the Tennessee River.

Breakfast potatoes can be ordered with a choice of five different preparations, and a Dutch baby might be either a slightly sweet starter or filled with meat and vegetables. One day you could find roast beef, potatoes and carrots, and another day the filling might be pulled pork and a salad. The usual Chicken and Waffle could show up on the menu as Smothered Waffle and include a fried egg and chicken gravy instead of maple syrup. You just never know.

For a very thoughtful and welcome touch, the coffee is free.

Thoughts: Whisk’D is specifically for the morning crowd. You’ll find it open for those who want breakfast before work, but it also stays open a few more hours for those who prefer a more leisurely brunch. It has a true feeling of being a part of the fabric of life in this part of Decatur, surrounded by older homes with long histories and obvious camaraderie. For example, the residents of Grant Street, where Whisk’D Cafe is located, and the parallel streets on each side decorate their homes elaborately for the holiday season. They even have categories, such as Best Door Decoration, Best Lighting, Most Traditional, Wonderland and Overall Excellence. It has become a much-anticipated activity of the season to choose a night in December to drive through and admire the results of everyone’s hard work.

Whisk’D has a small courtyard with tables outdoors to eat, sit and watch the world go by when the weather is nice. Inside, there are a few tables for four or six scattered around the edges, but the majority of the floor space is taken up by two long community tables flanked with chairs. The idea is obvious that this is a place to mingle with friends and neighbors.

The decor demonstrates a pride in Decatur and an understanding of what brings a smile of recognition to their patrons. Paintings on the wall include a portrait of Stephen Decatur, a United States naval officer and commodore and the city’s namesake. He was famous for saying, “My country, right or wrong, but still my country.” There are other paintings of The Princess Theatre, the Old State Bank Building and the logos for both of the city’s high schools. The floors are weathered wood, the walls are brick, and the fireplace is a reflection of the building’s longevity.

Owner Tyler Jones, himself a Decatur native, and Chef Bill Harden first partnered in The RailYard, a restaurant a few blocks away on Second Avenue that serves lunch and dinner. They recognized the potential for filling a gap in the city’s breakfast offerings and decided to utilize their talents and resources to meet this need. They have another success on their hands, and diners who enjoy Chef Harden’s dishes can now find them available for three meals a day.

Price range: Starters range from $4-6. A la carte items are $1-7. Breakfast sandwiches are $5-11, and specialty entrees are $10-14.

Connie Pearson

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