There are many things I despise about the pandemic. Make no mistake about that. But one aspect Steve and I have enjoyed is the fact that on Sunday mornings we can watch our son preach via Facebook at 9:00 a.m., attend the worship service at our own church at 10:00 a.m. and still have plenty of time to "beat the Methodists" to a restaurant for lunch. If we really want to enjoy the freedom of our Empty Nest status, we can indulge in a leisurely Sunday brunch after church.
During the recent Alabama Restaurant Week, I was perusing the choices within an easy drive of Hartselle and found one that immediately captured my attention. Rhythm on Monroe. I am a musician, after all. Upon further inspection, I discovered that they offer a very tantalizing Saturday and Sunday brunch menu. We decided to try it. We thoroughly enjoyed it and can enthusiastically recommend it.
Rhythm on Monroe is actually owned by the Von Braun Center and is located a few steps away from the Mars Music Hall which offers free concerts on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00 p.m. How convenient to have an early dinner before the concert or refreshments on the rooftop bar afterward. That rooftop space, by the way, is large and open with great views of the city and Big Spring International Park. As the other entertainment spaces in the VBC reopen, Rhythm on Monroe will be perfectly poised to serve the attendees.
The menu continues the musical theme with categories such as Sound Check, Opening Acts, Intermission, Headliners, Groupies and Encore. The rooftop bar offers a Jam Session from 4-6:00 p.m. and Rooftop Riffs from 4-9:00 p.m.
The decor is a tasteful mixture of white, gray, and black with a charcoal brick wall and pops of turquoise. The floors are poured concrete squares. It has soaring ceilings and tall leather banquettes separating the bar area from the main dining room. It is modern, sleek and looks as if it would be easy to keep spotless. Tables and chairs are arranged both indoors and outdoors for appropriate social distancing.
Rhythm on Monroe opened in the spring of this year, only a couple of weeks before the pandemic caused a global shutdown. When they were allowed to reopen, they offered a carry-out menu but were then hit with a few positive cases of COVID-19 leading to yet ANOTHER closure. But now, after a rocky start, they are open, fastidiously clean, following every guideline and serving great food.
For our brunch, I ordered Eggs Bennie & the Jets with lump crabmeat.
Steve ordered Blueberry French Toast.
Both were sumptuous. (We shared both dishes, of course). Rather than using an English muffin as a base for the eggs Benedict, their dish uses a rustic biscuit -- soft and very absorbent. The French toast actually begins as bread pudding, then slices are dipped in an egg mixture and fried like normal French toast, definitely giving it a fuller texture and decadent taste.
Dinner is served 7 nights a week. Click here to check the menu on their website. I believe you'll like it. And, by the way, there's free parking in the Clinton Street North Hall parking lot.