West Virginia is one of about 12 states holding onto prohibition-era blue laws limiting alcohol sales on Sunday.
Alcoholic beverages are only sold in restaurants/bars after 1 p.m. on Sundays. Beer and wine can be purchased at retail stores after 1 p.m., but liquor is prohibited all day.
Within the past few years, brunch - typically a meal between breakfast and lunch - has become trendy, with restaurants all over the country investing in this rediscovered meal.
It's an opportunity for restaurants to capitalize on a new meal time, draw in a different crowd and offer new menu items.
But current legislation is holding back restaurants in West Virginia from serving customers a Bloody Mary with their pancakes.
A bill was introduced last year to allow restaurants to cater to the boozy brunch crowd beginning at 10:30 a.m., but it ended up being bogged down with extraneous inclusions - like changing the cut-off time for alcohol sales at bars to 2 a.m. instead of 3 a.m as part of some compromise. The House approved the bill. The Senate, however, was not too fond of the amendment.
West Virginia restaurants are missing out on an opportunity because of outdated laws, and if we intend to foster growth, local businesses and tourism, wouldn't this be a great place to start?
With that said, I wanted to compile a list of local Morgantown restaurants serving up Sunday brunch:
How can you resist Capt'n Crunch-Encrusted French Toast with peanut butter mousse and caramelized bananas? GAH.
Terra Cafe has a Sunday brunch buffet, so there is a ton to choose from. But here is what they had on hand when I went last: Ham and bacon quiche with potato and cheddar; roasted brussels sprouts; eggs benedict with butternut squash, hollandaise, tomato and chive; wild rice with kale; broiled salmon with citrus-dill beurre blanc; house ground chicken sausage with fresh herbs and garlic aioli. ** [EDIT 5/1/16: Terra no longer offers the brunch buffet, but it does indeed offer a brunch menu - I had a piece of quiche! Mmm]
Coach's Crab Shack
Coach's offers just a few Sunday brunch specials - like their smoked salmon hash, "hot mess express" feature, and what I ordered: crab cake benedict with crab cakes, poached eggs, smoked salmon, creole hollandaise and home fries.
If you've never had this fried chicken and waffles with bourbon maple syrup and smoked butter from Table 9, you. have. not. lived. Add a small plate of their potato croquettes, served with scallions, parmesan and pepperoni tomato jam and you may not ever leave this place.
The Dancing Fig
Quickly becoming one of my favorite restaurants in town, The Dancing Fig does it all - including brunch. They even have a bloody mary bar! This Croque Madame rocked my world - open face ham sandwich with melted Gruyere, smoked gouda, a fried egg and hollandaise. A side of fresh fruit? Yaaas.
Cafe Bacchus is known for their traditional eggs benedict with housemade Canadian bacon, but they also are home of on of the only places in town who serves up crepes. This sweet apple cinnamon blintz was delish. And butternut squash soup!
A newcomer has begun offering brunch. Tin 202 is serving up an array of items, like omelettes, lox & bagel, and a crab corn chowder. What looked delicious to me, though, was the "savory pie" - spinach, ricotta cheese, raisins, pine nuts in a homemade crust with a side of hash. Tasty!
Sargasso, a higher end restaurant in Morgantown, began offering brunch recently, and it did not disappoint. The shrimp and grits dish is served with jump shrimp, aged cheddar grits, roasted tomatoes, fresno chile sauce, and Nueske's bacon jam. So, so, sooo good! A nice variety of flavors and textures that all work super well together.
Eight restaurants in Morgantown are doing a great job with brunch if that's your thing. And hopefully with a little help from our representatives, they can do even more.
[EDIT] It appears Mario's Fishbowl is also offering brunch options on the first Saturday of the month. Their "Brews and Brunch" is held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a rotating menu, with mimosas and bloody mary specials. Items in the past have included caesar salad, omelettes, lasagna, meatball hoagies, popcorn shrimp, bagels and more.