I’ve never really thought of Schenectady as a preferred brunch location, in part because it’s so far from my house. Plus there are so many tempting options popping up in Troy, and everything in Albany is just conveniently located when you’re looking for a central location to gather some friends. But I was looking through some menus for classic Italian restaurants in Schenectady recently when I realized that More Perecca’s doesn’t just serve pasta and pizza and bread – it also has a really solid brunch menu.
The menu has a good proportion of lunch items (sandwiches, pasta dishes, and salads) on top of traditional breakfast items (like frittatas, pancakes, and french toast). Of course there is an Italian twist to many of the offerings, like cannoli pancakes or bruschetta toast or a carbonara frittata (which apparently includes spaghetti – I have a hard time picturing this one, to be honest).
One thing that immediately stood out to me was the aptly named “Reason to Live.” This simple beauty of a dish is two pieces of french toast that are stuffed with bacon, nutella, and bananas, all topped with a fried egg.
Is this the prettiest looking plate? Probably not. But man was it packed with flavor. The french toast slices were just the right thickness and sweetness so they didn’t overpower everything else, and they were perfectly light and fluffy. The house-made bacon was sliced with a thick cut that gave a bit of chew to every forkful. And the combination of bananas and nutella, one of my absolute favorite pairings, added a luscious sweetness to counteract the savory elements of the bacon and the egg. I loved everything about this plate. It was even the perfect portion size so that it didn’t feel heavy when all was said and done, even though there were so many components thrown together.
Another notable item on the menu is the “Eggs in Purgatory,” which is a bowl of poached eggs served in a richly seasoned tomato sauce. This dish comes with a heaping stack of toasted Perecca’s bread on the side (which is worth a visit on its own).
Although hard to see in this picture, the eggs were very lightly poached, which meant that lots of golden yolk poured out to mix with the sauce. We opted to top this plate with house-made sausage crumbles, which had a nice zesty flavor and really enhanced the plate. This is a great saucy offering for someone like me that loves to dip lots bread into my meal wherever I go.
The bread was definitely one of the highlights of our brunch experience, as it should be for a place that is first and foremost a bakery. I was also really happy to find out that so many of the breakfast meats (like the bacon, sausage, and smoked ham) are produced in-house as well. There’s a real quality to the ingredients here that you don’t find at most places, and I recommend getting a dish where you can try a few of these house specialties.
Brunch at More Perecca’s was excellent, and most of all, it was a nice break from some of the trendier options around the region. The tables are not awkward high tops made of restored lumber with quirky details (I’m looking at you, The Shop, even though I do always enjoy my meals there), and there’s no line out the door for hours at peak brunch time. Instead, there is more of an old-school vibe here, with plush padded booths and cozy tables. The guest demographics skewed more towards an older crowd and families with children, and service was friendly but leisurely. It felt like brunch as it should be, rather than a place fervently trying to establish itself as the most creative hotspot in the region.
I for one will be dreaming of that nutella bacon french toast masterpiece, and I’m looking forward to returning again soon.