• Steven Keith

The Block rocks a new (large!) Sunday brunch menu

I’m a hopeless brunch-aholic. There’s nothing like enjoying a leisurely late-morning boozy breakfast that, before you know it, turns into a leisurely mid-afternoon boozy lunch. All wrapped up in one.

Cajun Shrimp & Gorgonzola Grits from The Block
Cajun Shrimp & Gorgonzola Grits from The Block

A Bloody Mary or mimosa paired with eggs benedict, biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits – you name, I’m here for it.


Lately, however, I’ve been on a quest to pass on those traditional favorites in search of something different. Something you don’t see on every other brunch menu in town.


That has led me to the amazing Karne Norte at Barkadas, a Filipino-style corned beef hash and egg dish I raved about a few weeks ago, and to an awesome new find at Tricky Fish, which I’ll tell you all about next week. And, quite literally, all the things at Sam’s Uptown Café.


But today we’re focusing on The Block, which to my surprise recently rolled out an expanded brunch menu featuring more than a dozen breakfast dishes, sandwiches, salads, flatbreads and chef’s specials that deserve your attention.


Spanish Shepard's Breakfast from The Block
Spanish Shepard's Breakfast from The Block

There’s a Pain Perdu (New Orleans-style French toast with fresh berries, syrup and whipped Greek yogurt), a Burger Royal (with smoked bacon, smoked gouda, pickles, onions, grilled tomato, red onion, shredded Romaine and Block sauce) and a White Truffle Burrata (baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, onion, burrata cheese, basil and fig-balsamic glaze with grilled baguette).


It pained me not to order the Gorgonzola Shrimp & Grits with Cajun-spiced shrimp over creamy gorgonzola grits with a sunny-side-up egg and candied bacon crumbles. Especially after the woman across the dining room could not stop raving about how gorgeous and delicious the dish was when her waitress placed it in front of her.


But I wanted something different, and boy did I get it!


Bloody Mary from The Block
Bloody Mary from The Block

The Spanish Shepard’s Breakfast was a gem of a find. A small cast-iron skillet came filled with bubbly hot sofrito tomato sauce filled with chorizo, goat cheese and poached eggs floating on top. Served with toasted garlic bread for dipping, it was infinitely satisfying on a cold winter’s day and more than enough to fill me up.


But that grits woman … would not … shut up!


So I ordered those shrimp and grits (we’ll call it my dessert, I guess?) and let me tell you that was a good call. There was a tad too much oily butter floating on top and I wouldn’t have turned down a little more crumbled bacon, but this was otherwise a gorgeous, solid, delicious dish.


If you’re looking to expand your brunch horizons like me, you’ll definitely want to pay a visit to The Block for Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


  • IF YOU GO: The Block, 201 Capitol St. in Charleston, is currently open from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 681-265-9074 or visit www.theblockwv.com.


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Charleston continues its celebration of local restaurants with “Charleston Takeout Month,” a special push throughout February to help drive business to businesses that are still reeling from the effects of COVID.


A partnership between the city, Charleston Area Alliance, Charleston Main Streets and the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the campaign features a social media restaurant guide and a “Charleston Needs” storytelling series produced by the Charleston CVB that highlights the impact small independent businesses have in our community – and how much they need our support right now.


You can learn more and follow the campaign at www.supportsmallcwv.com.


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The City of Nitro has also launched a “Get it to Go in Nitro” campaign featuring six restaurants featured in a series of new videos that highlight their backgrounds and carryout/drive-through offerings.


Hosted by “Live on the Levee” emcee Jim Strawn, the videos were loosely based on the Food Network’s popular “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” series and showcase Shima’s Family Restaurant, Katherine’s Café, Dream Day, Checkers, Tudor’s Biscuit World and Gino’s Pizza & Spaghetti House.


You can check out the videos at www.cityofnitro.org.

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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at www.wvfoodguy.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at wvfoodguy@aol.com.

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