Erin Petersen
Sunday Brunch

siga siendo mi corazon

By - Jun 27th, 2010 04:00 am
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I don’t get the chance to “brunch’ much. In fact, most weekends you’ll find me on the other side of the table/bar, serving up hot plates and cold drinks for the Sunday fun-day crowds, so it’s a real treat to have someone else make my breakfast, and to enjoy a nip of champagne before noon without feeling too guilty about it (so long as my brunch spot is within walking/short biking distance).

Café Corazón quickly became a favorite of mine when it opened last November in an old train stop on a sleepy block of Bremen Street. Everything from the charming decor, replete with Dia de los Muertos ephemera, Latin-Catholic inspired artwork (including a sweet holographic painting of Jesus) bold colors and quaint table settings (fresh lavender and wild flowers on every table), sitting at Corazón is as comfortable as being in your own kitchen.

The place is quite small, with only about 6 tables (seating about four each) and a handful of seats at the bar, plus a few tables outside during the summer months. But its size only adds to the laid-back atmosphere, creating a cozy environment for brunching, lunching or just enjoying a cocktail.

During the holidays, a few days before Christmas, I met a few friends there for a few glasses of Spanish wine. We sat in the corner booth (made from what appear to be old church pews) and chatted under the soft red glow of the bar’s hanging lamps. Suddenly, three men came in wearing Santa hats and carrying instruments — a trumpet, a sax and an accordian, if I remember correctly — and immediately began playing Christmas carols. The entire bar joined in on the chorus of John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” and it was absolutely magical.It’s just that kind of place.

Oh yes, and then there’s the FOOD.

Cafe Corazón’s brunch menu has something for everyone — appetites large and small, carnivores and vegans alike. With a variety of egg dishes, breakfast burritos, pancakes and even burgers and tacos, it’s near impossible to decide what to eat.

Photos courtesy of Cafe Corazon via Facebook

I’m partial to the Migas — eggs scrambled with cheese and lightly crispy tortilla strips, served with rice and beans. Or the Despierta (Wake up!) — two eggs covered with cheese, fresh tomatoes, jalapenos and homemade red sauce, also with rice and beans. Migas will run you about $7 and the Despierta $10, but that dish also includes any one of the featured breakfast bebidas.

I got mine with a hot cup of (strong) coffee and a bubbly mimosa.

I could eat nothing but rice and beans for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy, but this weekend I was upset that I didn’t opt for the side of fresh fruit instead once I saw my neighbor biting into ripe, juicy slices of mango and papaya. Next time…

My boyfriend Scott typically leans toward traditional breakfast dishes and has a bit of a sweet tooth, so he likes their fresh pancakes, which are lightly dusted with powdered sugar and topped with fresh blueberries. This time around, he opted for a breakfast burrito (it’s HUGE) filled with either tofu or eggs, cheese, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, onions and jalapenos, all for $7.

I gave him my side of bacon once I realized that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. At Corazón, if you ask for a side of bacon, don’t expect to get a plate of greasy, crunchy strips that taste more like the griddle than like bacon. Oh no, these are tender, organic, thick-cut selections. In fact, all of the side options on their menu are more than substantial and always fresh.

We finished our plates (well, I did — the other half of that burrito came home with us, but didn’t last long in the fridge) and sipped on coffee while watching World Cup soccer with the other patrons. When the check came, I took a look — for two amazing meals, a few cups of coffee and some drinks from the bar, the damage was about $25.

Give it a shot the next time you’re in Riverwest and in the mood for a relaxed brunch experience, an evening drink or an exotic (and inexpensive!) dinner. It will become your new favorite place, I promise.

Café Corazón
3129 N. Bremen Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Cash, Mastercard and Visa accepted

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