Sneak Peek: Could spend All Day at this Cafe

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I got a chance to try out the new All Day Cafe this weekend during a soft launch, and oh boy, what an upgrade we’re all in for.

Let’s be honest: Champps Americana was terrible. Mediocre (at best) bar food in a dirty, run-down atmosphere. And in a HUGE, prime spot next to the popular Scheels, even before the upcoming expansion, it was a bummer of a culinary dead spot.

So I’ve been looking forward to the new WR Hospitality spots (they’ve decided to split the space into two separate restaurants) since they were announced in the Sioux Falls Business Journal.

The first to open will be the All Day Cafe. You can expect an open seating area with plenty of window light, a menu I think is both fun and aggressive in its breadth, and a bar that will right out the gate be serving up some of the most interesting and delicious drinks around.

Friends Paul and Charmel joined Megan and me for brunch, and we treated it like a family-style meal, sharing our food and drinks to try a little bit of as much as we could.

As mentioned above, the largely Southern-influenced menu is aggressive, sporting an oyster po’boy, a “5280” Green Chili sauce on some dishes, Pimento cheese sandwiches and fried chicken to name a few. And that’s just on the brunch menu.

Between the two couples, we ordered six items (above, left to right, top to bottom):

• The Hot Cheese Roast Beef (with Tillamook Cheddar, caramelized Vidalia onion, pot roast, veggies, and a horseradish crème)

• The Pimento (a sandwich with sharp cheddar grated, roasted red pepper, wedge lettuce,  tomato and smoked ham on grilled sourdough)

• The South (a poached egg on a Cheddar biscuit with smoked pork, 5280 chili, red pepper hollandaise, charred relish and Cotija cheese)

• Hash It Up (thick-cut corned beef hash with cafe potatoes, eggs, chili hollandaise and bread)

• Oyster Po-Boy (fried oysters with a salt/pepper breading, tomato aioli, cucumber onion relish, lettuce and a Sriracha side)

• Colorado Hot (turkey, ham and bacon stacked and topped with Cheddar and pepper jack cheese, green 5280 chili, over grilled bread)

Yeah….that is a LOT of food. Even for four hungry adults. But that’s how I actually normally roll, and passing plates and trying lots of different dishes, I was happy we again went this route.

Without going into detailing each one (they also came with side options which I’ll get into some), here are the highlights:

I love corned beef hash, and this was a solid offering. Big chunks, salty and just a bit of char. Good stuff. Everyone loved the pimento sandwich. The cheese was smooth and had a great sweet, pickled pepper flavor and the grilled bread was a nice counterpart. Maybe the best thing on the table was the Hot Cheese Roast Beef. Just a great piece of meat, the vegetables were great and the horseradish really set it off. The other clear winner was the mac and cheese side dish. What often is a throwaway dish/side at many restaurants, this one actually had some time and thought put into it. Feta and Cheddar were definitely in play, and the beer cheese sauce made this a flavorful cup I wish I had more of.

The chili, present on the Colorado Hot and the South had a pretty decent flavor, but next to zero heat. Just a bit of spice would have gone a long way. As is, it ended up being a tad flat for me. The oysters in the po’boy were really nicely fried and tasted fresh and peppery with the light breading. Unfortunately, the cucumber relish was so good (seriously, I loved this), the oyster was hidden in the dish. There is a great sandwich in there somewhere, and I think it’s worth ordering. Just maybe take it apart? The one thing none of us liked was the side of grits. A little watery and bland.

All this, and I’ve not even gotten to my favorite part of the All Day experience: the drinks! Tons of options here, and we tried a few of them. All were great and fun. I really loved the Bacon & Eggs (see below), a drink with Jack Daniels, maple syrup, lemon juice, bitters, egg white and a strip of bacon, served in a martini glass. Not too sweet, balanced and light/frothy. Charmel, originally from Alabama, said it “tasted like Alabama football”, which I can’t personally attest to, but I’m guessing is true. Order this.

Other great drinks (not pictured) were the SD Rootbeer (Kahlua, Galliano, soda, Coke and a splash of beer), which was dangerously non-boozy tasting and delicious, the ADC Irish (Tullamore Dew Irish Whisky, a sugar cube, coffee and Jameson-infused whipped cream), just about the perfect coffee drink and again not boozy tasting at all, and the variety of Bloody Marys with house-made infused vodkas, mix and toppings. I had the Bloody Bull that had beef stock added, green onion and salami, and it was outstanding.

To say we had a great brunch is an understatement. And with a breakfast and dinner menus yet to check out (see them here), I’m sure to hit this place up again soon. Doors officially open this Friday, December 27.

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