Restaurant Review: Rex 1516 for Brunch

I discovered Rex 1516 a few months ago, and after a very enjoyable dinner there, I was eager to return to check out their brunch offerings.  So, I rounded up my mom and aunt on Sunday and off we went.

Rex definitely does brunch right.

Sunlight streams in through the front windows, and light jazz music provides a backdrop for the black-and-white movies on the big screen television over the bar. Complimenting this casual atmosphere is a menu of comforting sweet and savory options to satisfy a wide variety of brunch preferences.

As with dinner, chef Regis Jansen’s brunch menu is inspired by his favorite ingredients and flavors of the South. There is also a nice selection of specialty drinks, including basil mimosas.

Specialties include shrimp and grits, topped with fried egg, roasted tomatoes, crispy pork belly and spicy cheddar sauce, and sweet potato biscuits with chorizo gravy. On the lighter side, there is the homemade granola with vanilla bean yogurt and heaps of fresh fruit. I really enjoyed the cornmeal waffles, which have a heartier taste and texture than their standard counterparts and are complimented by a bright citrus maple syrup and whipped cream.

Cornmeal waffles, my new favorite.

Rex 1516 is one of a few area restaurants which offer completely gluten-free options at every meal. Diners choosing from those options don’t have to worry about sacrificing taste or creativity, as gluten-free breads and pastries are prepared in-house on a daily basis. My mom enjoyed the tofu scramble features veggie sausage, sweet potato home fries and a choice of wheat, white or cinnamon raisin toast, and a side of jam.

Sandwiches and salads round out the brunch offerings. My aunt had the Carolina style barbeque pulled chicken sandwich, the spiciness of which is toned down a bit with cool, housemade cole slaw.

At the end of our meal, our server brought over the dessert menus. We would have loved to try the king’s gateau, a flourless chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse and banana ice cream, but were just too stuffed.

We arrived at the restaurant at 11 and it wasn’t very crowded, but it had definitely filled up by the time we left about 90 minutes later. Prices are very reasonable, with items topping out at $11.

Rex 1516 serves brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, so be sure to check it out next time you are in the South Street West area.


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