A week ago The Common Edmonton hosted their second Hip Hop Brunch. When I saw a tweet last week teasing the upcoming event with very few details, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: first come first served, I was instantly intrigued. Brunch is my favourite meal and I am a fan of Chef Jesse Morrison-Gauthier and his ever-changing fun and affordable menus.
While The Common is not traditionally open for Sunday brunch, the first hip-hop brunch being hosted in October 2014, it only took a few lead-up tweets to get the word out. Our friend arrived by 10:40 a.m. to find a line-up outside the restaurant and bar.
I prefer to make reservations to avoid line-ups, but for the right event I will always make an exception. Thankfully Meryl was holding our place in line and we only had to wait about 40 minutes to the sounds of hip beats before we got seated with a glass of wax crayons and interactive menu placemats.
I hear the first brunch had a dim sum style and ideal for sharing, but this past Sunday’s menu was inspired by the choose your own adventure books of my youth. Choose one of seven mains, one of five staples, and one of three finishers for $20 and compliment with mimosas ($5 a glass or $29 per pitcher) or $7 Hennessay Passion tasty beverage.
As the DJ spun retro classics (I may have chair-danced/lip-synched my way through Salt-n-Pepa Shoop), many diners could be seen with heads down colouring, completing an Old Dirty Bastard maze, or searching for ‘no diggity’ and ‘da bomb’ in the hip hop word search on our menus.
I popped over to say hello to my friend Tressa, drooling as I snapped a few pictures of the food that had just arrived at her table.
The food envy continued as dishes started arriving at our table – seated next to the window gave those near the front of the line a front-row look at our assortment brunch menu items.
Even the lady behind me couldn’t help but get an eyeful of my roommate’s sausage Benedict.
There were a few gluten-free options available at the Hip Hop Brunch; I happily ordered the soft boiled eggs, asparaus, smoked salmon with smoked bacon topped with a pineapple ring. For dessert – I received a fruit salad topped with parfait.
The Spaniard traditionally opts for a sweet breakfast, but he decided on the pulled duck & waffle, fried egg, & lemongrass apple pie topping with crispy potato hash with green onions and thyme. While he had a bit of a pout on waiting in line, he was all smiles after the food arrived. He powered through the duck dish and lapped up the shortcake parfait. A hard one to please – he thought the hip hop brunch (line up and all) was worth it.
Both Meryl & Marc chose the same adventure – sausage benedict with maple, apricots & hollandaise sauce with tempura fried sausages topped with sweet grainy mustard, and fruit & cheese on a biscuit for dessert.
The energy in The Common was electric and the DJ’s mix of retro hip hop classics mashed up with more current R & B hits kept me chair dancing throughout the afternoon. I thought the price was excellent for the quality and assortment of options on the one-off menu. I would definitely line up for the next hip-hop brunch at The Common.
A little bright blonde birdy helped me score this photo of Chef Jesse Morrison-Gauthier. I’m happy to see he could smile during the Hip Hop Brunch; Chef Jesse and his culinary and service team were kept busy getting 250 covers out in just a few hours.
9910 109 St NW, Edmonton, AB