The Unvegan

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Polentas and Omelets at Coca Cafe

An eggy polenta.
An eggy polenta.

Down in South America, coca means a very specific thing. You know, that thing that gave Coca-Cola its name. But up here in Pittsburgh, namely Lawrenceville, coca is for Coca Cafe which, as far as I know, has no connection to cocaine. Instead, it seems to be very connected to brunch. So, with little concern for accidental drug use, we braved the 45 minute wait and got ourselves in for a little Sunday brunch.

The wife and I decided to be like old people and split two dishes. She opted for their Polenta Cakes, which were on their seasonal menu and came with tomato sauce, sunnyside up egg, pecorino romano cheese and some swiss chard with some fruit on the side. Since I’m a nice guy, I let her keep the chard, knowing I could brush it off myself. It turned out to be a pretty unique breakfast and felt as though I was in some experimental Italian restaurant as opposed to a brunch spot. The tomato sauce was a but on the sweet side, which paired nice with everything else.

It's not the cheesiest.
It’s not the cheesiest.

As for my dish, I went with the Avocado Omelet, which sounds like an un-unvegan thing to do. But rest assured, I don’t count avocados as a vegetable and the other ingredients were applewood smoked bacon, jalapeno muenster cheese and a house salsa. I deduced that the salsa was really just hunks of tomatoes, so I got that on the side along with some fruit and the breakfast potatoes that I picked for my side instead of toast. Like the Polenta Cakes, the Avocado Omelet was a damn good choice. In fact, my only complaint is that it could have used more cheese. But is there ever really enough cheese? I often think the answer is no.

So if you can handle a long wait for brunch, Coca Cafe is a pretty sweet spot. Plus, Franktuary is always right across the street waiting to pick off members of the herd that are just unable to hold their hunger.