Best Bites: Row 14's Hangover Helper

July 2011

Brunch bills can quickly skyrocket out of my typical price point—just see our March rant on the subject—so I tend to avoid the meal altogether. Then I discovered Row 14 Bistro & Wine Bar’s brunch menu, which features one particularly affordable offering: the hangover helper.

The meat and cheese board features chef selections, a can of PBR, and a house Bloody Mary—all for $15. It’s a perfect starter for two, with two wedges each of cheese and cured meats, plus breads. On a recent visit, my plate featured ciccioli, a subtle fennel salami, a three-milk Manchego (made with goat, sheep, and cow's milk), and, my favorite, MouCo Cheese Company's ColoRouge, which has a slightly sweet mouthfeel and a wonderful bitter finish. The plate was rounded out with a selection of pickled vegetables, walnut bread, and toast points.

While my first sip of the spicy Bloody Mary (which comes topped with pickled green beans and celery salt) was surprisingly hot, the flavors eventually evened out for a nice vinegary kick.

If you split the board and are still hungry, I suggest the New York breakfast (bagel with cream cheese and house-cured gravlax). Row 14 flies the rolls in from the famed New York bagel shop, H&H Bagels.

891 14th St., 303-825-0100