Crooked Ewe putting its spin on Sunday brunch

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By: Marshall V. King
mking@flavor574.com

Marshall V. King/Flavor574

Crooked Ewe Brewery & Ale House didn’t pull the wool over anyone’s eyes about brunch. But the owners and staff didn’t tell a lot of people, either.

Chef Alain Helfrich said the first run at brunch Sunday, Nov. 15, went well.

“We didn’t advertise on purpose,” he said.

Seven items are on the first brunch menu at 1047 Lincoln Way East, South Bend, though if you consider that all of the items can be made vegan, there are more than that.

“The feedback was really positive,” Helfrich said.

The brisket Benedict ($14) was the biggest seller. A hollandaise made in-house was served over a slab of smoked brisket, one-hour eggs and sourdough. Hoosier fries, or big mojo potatoes, were served alongside. It’s a lovely dish and I can’t wait to have it again.

“One of my favorite fat kid things was to eat breakfast at dinner.” 

The chicken and waffle ($12) was popular and Helfrich was surprised at how well the Trucker sold.

The brisket, sausage and pork belly on a plate with eggs and Hoosier fries was a playful take on what some other places serve.

“I thought it was a perfect Indiana item,” he said of the $14 plate.

If you want vegetarian/vegan options, you can get the waffles with chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms, the shrimp and grits with a vegan shrimp substitute. Other meat substitutes are available in other dishes.

The most inventive item on the menu was the Doughffle. A vegan and gluten-free doughnut mix was baked in a waffle iron and deep-fried. The resulting crispy, dense waffle is served with hazelnut spread made in-house (Nutella isn’t vegan) and cashew butter.

The concept is great, but the waffles needed to be softer or have a syrup. Helfrich said other feedback already prompted changes for this Sunday, including changing how it is made and serving it with shagbark hickory syrup.

Brunch at Crooked Ewe doesn’t start until noon, but continues until closing at 10 p.m.

“One of my favorite fat kid things was to eat breakfast at dinner,” he said.

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