Washington D.C. residents are known to be a bit brunch obsessed. As such, there should be many enthused noontime-revelers flocking to Zengo’s new bottomless brunch, which makes a memorable impression bringing a Latin-Asian flair with delicious small plates to the crowded brunch scene.
The Chinatown restaurant and lounge has gained a reputation as a destination for innovative dishes combining flavors and traditions from the Latin and Asian worlds, with an overarching fun vibe and an atmosphere that encourages indulging.
Now, they truly have something special here with their take on brunch, a refreshing change of pace from the typical fare and format of D.C.’s favorite weekend meal. While many brunches serve ho-hum food meant to be in a backup role to the beverages, or a solid but standard range of greasy, homey classics, Zengo offers something completely different.
Their brunch menu showcases small plates with about two dozen options across the spectrum from Japanese, Thai and Korean to South American, Latin and Mexican. The plates are made for sharing and can be casually ordered a few at a time, for a leisurely paced culinary journey.
Unlimited plates are offered with the bottomless brunch, and therefore the difficulty is simply trying to narrow down your options and managing to walk away with some of your dignity intact — you’ll want to try almost everything on the menu, and there are no disappointments.
Try unique takes on hearty brunch food such as the Salmon Benedict, including a poached egg, kimchee and chili hollandaise with a perfectly cooked piece of salmon and a small square of toast, or craveable bacon and scrambled egg steamed buns with salsa verde. The lobster-chipotle grits are absolutely not to be missed.
A few of the other must-try dishes include yuca fries with miso mustard, Thai chicken empanadas, short rib hash and bacon fried rice. Don’t forget to close the show with light, crunchy churros dipped in luscious Mexican hot chocolate.
The cocktail selection is nothing to scoff at either. There are four types of mimosas available, including a guava mimosa and a passion fruit mimosa, each of which are made from fruit puree rather than juice, adding texture, an amazing aroma and fresh taste with each sip.
A sweet sake sangria is also on the cocktail menu, as is a Bloody Maria, made from tequila instead of vodka. Both the Bloody Mary and its Latin cousin are made using a spicy house mix. Play nice with your waiter and you may get offered limited time concoctions such as ghost chili-infused tequila, which adds a long-lasting, jolting kick to the beverage and is for serious spice-fiends only.
Zengo’s bottomless brunch is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 to 2:30, priced at $35 per person.
This article was first published by Jake Emen on Yahoo Voices, October 29, 2012