OK, maybe breakfast is too early for bourbon, but what about bourbon with bacon? The Universal’s eye-opener—bourbon, maple syrup, bitters, muddled orange, and a strip of crispy, thick-cut bacon—won me over in a hurry.

At the two-month-old spot in Sunnyside, small Southern touches such as this consistently turn the breakfast and lunch offerings into something special. Think creamy Anson Mills grits studded with kernels of sweet corn and topped with chicken confit, or take the buttery buttermilk biscuits doused with perfectly seasoned gravy and porky bites of house-made sausage. Or choose the huevos rancheros, which are reconfigured and updated with fluffy cornbread, Niman Ranch eggs, and a tower of accouterments.

The Universal took over the 38th Avenue space after Leigh Jones and Margaret Moore closed the Coop de Ville at the Stingray in April. The neighborhood spot, which is now owned by Kourtnie Harris (formerly of Jonesy’s EatBar) and her husband Steven Sharp, hits all the right notes. The globally inspired menu is tightly curated, spiced with Southern flair, and universally appealing.

Tip: Not keen on bourbon? Choose a cup of smooth Coda coffee instead (all the better if it’s sipped on the Universal’s patio).

2914 West 38th Ave., 303-955-0815