Where: Jefferson Park, 2637 W 26th Ave, located in the historic William J. Dunwoody House
When: Monday-Friday 6:30am-2:30pm, Saturday-Sunday 8am-3pm
You’ve got to try: The Deep South Benedict and one of Sassafras’ many playful Milkshakes while you sit back and relax at a table on the wrap-around porch of this 124 year old home.
It’s often the small details that make a great restaurant experience stand out. From the moment you pull up to Sassafras and spot the “Welcome Home” sign, the vegetables growing in the front yard and the made from scratch condiments on every table, it’s clear that this place really aims to do the comfort food experience right.But beyond the cute, crafty décor and the appeal of getting to see the detail of a historic home up close, Louisiana-bred executive chef Collin Mallet also brings an authentic Southern flavor that makes Sassafras a satisfying dining experience from start to finish.
Whenever I visit the South, I feel like I do nothing but eat as I try to get a taste of every delicious Southern treat I miss. That old familiar feeling crept back as soon as I started reading Sassafras’ menu. Go hungry and start with a milkshake. Sassafras does not serve alcohol, but it was hard to miss the booze with milkshake flavors like Chocolate Dipped Bacon, Cap’n Crunch, and PB&J. Beyond the milkshakes, Sassafras also offers Smoothies, Fresh Squeezed Juices, and a full Espresso Bar for your morning caffeine needs.
For a starter, go for the Fried Green Tomatoes. This is an easy dish to mess up, but at Sassafras they slice the local, organic tomatoes thickly and use a cornmeal crust instead of a batter. The result is a scrumptious appetizer that tastes fresh and crispy with no sogginess to be found. Served with house-made Pickled Pepper Aioli, it’s impossible not to clear the plate.
The star of my meal was the Deep South Benedict. Though it’s not the prettiest dish, it is one of the tastiest I’ve had during my brunch adventures. Tender pulled pork is served atop a fresh buttermilk biscuit along with braised-for-hours collard greens, pickled pepper jam, poached eggs and a generous helping of lemony hollandaise. Every component is jam-packed with authentic Southern flavors from the smoky hints of pork in the greens to the creamy lick-your-plate hollandaise, and the Potato Casserole served alongside is a cheesy home style treat unto itself.
Another scrumptious pick is the Chicken Fried Eggs + Smoked Buffalo Hash. A perfect blend of Southern inventiveness and Colorado inspiration, this dish features two battered eggs fried on top of Colorado buffalo hash with a roasted Fresno chili hollandaise and a piece of freshly baked cornbread on the side. The eggs are crispy on the outside yet satisfyingly runny on the inside and the smoky hollandaise gives a nice depth of flavor to the whole dish.
In addition to tons of spins on Southern breakfast favorites, Sassafras also offers sweeter breakfast items like the Brioche French Toast along with a variety of salads and sandwiches including Louisiana’s favorite, the Po Boy. I’m looking forward to going back for a taste of their Fried Chicken, marinated for 24 hours in buttermilk, along with some Made-To-Order-Mac. Deserts change daily and are always made-from scratch, so save some room if you can for selections like Sweet Potato Pie and Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce.
If you’re heading to Sassafras on the weekend, expect a wait. Coffee and water are available on the patio, so grab a chair and some Southern patience and let your mouth water. It’s worth the wait. But Sassafras is open for brunch seven days a week, so spend a lazy Wednesday on their porch if you can and get ready to fill up on hospitality and homey comfort along with some truly scrumptious eats.