Sunday Brunch at Triniti: Affordable Luxury

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Even though I've been to Triniti a handful of times, I'm still stunned by the subtle beauty of the airy space every time I walk inside. Accents of gold and cool-toned wood glitter and gleam in the mid-morning sunlight, never detracting from the clean white palette. Visiting Triniti during its new Sunday brunch service affords me more of a chance to admire the restaurant in the daylight hours than ever before.

As with its streamlined lunch menu, the Sunday brunch at Triniti is compact and affordable. And although you may have to rush back to work at lunch, brunch is an ideal time to linger with friends -- which is exactly what I did last Sunday afternoon.

The menu is split into three sections: $6 "fruit, yogurt, grain and oats," $12 "plates" and $4 "breads and muffins." Only the latter category produced a dud -- a single $4 buttermilk biscuit that had the same uniform appearance as one out of a pressurized Pillsbury canister. For $4, I'd like to see at least two biscuits on the plate...and to see them have the rugged, homemade appearance of the biscuits that places like Blacksmith and Triple A (each on opposite ends of a spectrum) turn out of their ovens.

The rest of our brunch was much more in line with a typical meal at Triniti: creative, delicious and affordable -- especially considering the talent and products behind the line.

A $12 bowl of "scramble" was actually fancied-up migas, with chorizo and goat cheese sparking up the scrambled eggs and lightly skillet-softened tortilla chips. Smoked tomato and spinach rounded it out with vegetal sweetness. Although it was filling on its own, I was glad I'd also ordered the $6 cheese grits -- if only to appreciate the cereal under its blanket of Widmer Cheddar. It's tough to find well-cooked (and well-seasoned) grits in this town; Triniti delivered, though I admit to being wary when they arrived in a cutesy Staub ramekin. (Cutesy does not usually equate to good, homestyle grits.)

Also excellent was a Belgian waffle that was of the denser variety than a traditionally yeasty, airy waffle. The crisp exterior and enjoyable chewy interior that soaked up the [thankfully real] maple syrup couldn't be faulted, nor could the fresh fruit on top.

The tacos were perhaps my favorite of the meal, served three to a plate inside what were clearly house-made, roughly-formed tacos instead of the pre-bought variety. The light, bubbly tacos had a deeply satisfying crunch that gave way to refried cow peas in lieu of traditional Tex-Mex beans. The creamy, salty beans played nicely with the scrambled eggs and shredded cheese although I wished for a bit more of the lettuce and tomatoes. I was also confused by the literal interpretation of "on the side" when my dining companion's requested addition of avocado and bacon (50 cents each) arrived on their own separate plates.

In fact, I found the clatter of plates that crowded into our four top a bit odd overall: One plate of bacon, one of avocado, one of grits, one of waffles, one of tacos, one of migas, one of a buttermilk biscuit and one of barley and eggs all jostled for space with two coffee cups, three Bloody Mary (very, very good and very spicy, I might add) glasses and a mimosa flute. The kitchen could surely have fit the food onto a smaller quantity of plates, although considering it was Triniti's first ever brunch service, I'm sure it will quickly work out any kinks.

Still, I'm always happy to have my table play host to a mad jumble of plates if they contain food this good.

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