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Fat Rice’s Brunch Skips the Pancakes for Bolder Options

Instead of Benedicts and Bloody Marys, go for egg tarts and Belinhas at the Logan Square spot.

Macanese hash at Fat Rice   Photo: Carrie Schedler

The shtick: The cuisine of Macau in the morning light.

The vibe: If you have ever waited (and waited, and waited) for a table at Fat Rice around dinnertime, their three-day-a-week brunch is the answer. Our group waltzed right in at 11 and was the only other party in the restaurant for most of the meal, which meant there was plenty of room to take in the rustic-Asian kitsch of the compact eatery. 8 out of 10.

The food: If you’re of the brunching school that prefers to keep things classic, Fat Rice is not your place. Benedicts, pancakes, omelets—nary a one in sight. Instead, the menu skips tired basics in lieu of bolder textures and intriguing updates.

The must-order thing here is the Portuguese egg tart. Much like the Chinese egg tarts that sit atop dim sum carts everywhere, these guys feature a gently sweetened custard filling inside puff pastry. Just go ahead and request one for each person at your table (they come two to an order, so do the appropriate math) when you sit down.

Once that’s out of the way, there are plenty of options. The Chinese almond pudding with seasonal fruit is analogous, sort of, to your basic brunchery’s fruit and yogurt bowl. The just-barely-sweet cubes of pudding get brightened up with bites of berry and crunch from coconut and chia seeds, but much like its yogurty cousin, it’s not the most compelling thing after a couple of bites.

The Macanese hash, however, will hold your attention from start to finish, thanks to a mix of textures (crunchy crouton! Runny egg! Juicy beef and pork!) in the classic potato-and-stuff hash format. 8 out of 10.

The drinks: Would that all Bellinis were as balanced and mellow as the Belinha, a slightly herbaceous twist on the classic peach-and-sparkling wine sugar rush. Even better, the mugs of Sparrow coffee come bottomless. 8 out of 10.

The service: For the most part, no complaints, though the waiter didn’t seem all that excited to be awake on a bleary Sunday morning. (Then again, who is?) 7 out of 10.

Overall: The cure for the common brunch. 8 out of 10.

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