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    Eat & Swig

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    Like many millennials and most Louisvillians, I have a soft spot in my heart for a good Sunday brunch. But when Papalinos invited me to try their Sunday brunch I was a little skeptical. Other than the gross cream-cheese and canned-peaches breakfast pizza of my high school days, I have little experience with breakfast pizza. I didn’t know how well the New York-style pizzeria could possibly carry out brunch. Boy, was I wrong.

    Papalinos pretty recently closed their Baxter Avenue location, but remains open at 3598 Springhurst Blvd. They won the 2014 Best of Louisville Award for “Best Pizza” and their remaining location (another Papalinos was open in Cardinal Towne in 2012) focuses more on artisan pizza and farm-to-table Italian entrees, lots of beer on tap, and a pretty awesome bar program.

    The usual brunch-y cocktails are available, but we chose to order from Signature Cocktails menu.  A proper old fashioned ($6) with Old Granddad Bonded, bitters, demerara, lemon and orange, was dark and perfect, and darn big for $6. A Burnt Orange ($6) with Grey Goose orange vodka and Bulleit bourbon was laced with ruby red grapefruit juice and sweetened with simple syrup. The bourbon-vodka combination is never one I’d come up with in my own kitchen, but it really works. The Burnt Orange is pleasantly punchy with a nice bittersweet aftertaste.

    We kicked off our meal with some dulce de leche sticky knots ($7) five beautiful knots of soft dough laced with cinnamon and drizzled with home made caramel sauce, powdered sugar, and sprinkled with pecans.  The portion sizes at brunch are really hefty, we never totally finished one thing at the table besides our drinks. Service was snappy and great.  

    The breakfast pizza was by far our favorite entrée of the meal. For $11.50 we got a 10-inch pizza with smoked gouda, bacon, and sunny-side-up eggs. You can choose your own toppings but boy, ours was that a fantastic combination. The cheery sunny-side eggs atop the pie were beautiful, and when the pizza was eaten (with a fork, of course) the creamy yolks popped and soaked the buttery dough. What a treat.

    We also sampled the Righteous Pig frittata ($9.50) with meatballs, house-cured bacon, sausage and pepperoni. Are you sensing a theme here? We kept ordering pork items because Papalinos actually has a charcuterie curing room to perfect their “righteous pig.”

    By far, our favorite item on the Italian brunch menu was the BIG BACON ($6) two long, seriously almost inch-thick slabs of Papalinos hand-cut strips of house-cured bacon. The BIG BACON is certainly worth the $3-per-slice price tag and the all-caps listing.

    Along with the joy of a belly-bursting brunch came the joy of discovery. Papalinos isn’t particularly well-known for their brunch (yet!) we had absolutely no wait on a Sunday morning. Better hustle down there and give it a shot before the word gets out. Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

    Elizabeth Myers's picture

    About Elizabeth Myers

    Big fan of bacon and bourbon, deep fried anything, sweet tea and sweet nothings.

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