Now you can combine your two loves: tacos and brunch.
The Matador in downtown Tacoma started a new weekend-only brunch menu Jan. 6.
The menu follows the same format as if does for lunch and dinner: A hodgepodge of Tex-Mex breakfast fare with the added bonus of a hefty tequila list.
The 21-and-older-only restaurant is riding a brunch wave that has been building for two years. Higher-end restaurants, such as downtown’s Pacific Grill, entered the brunch game in 2016.
Breakfast has never looked so interesting in Tacoma.
Here’s a first-bite look at what’s on the brunch menu at Matador:
Restaurant concept: Never been to Matador? It’s a modern Tex-Mex restaurant for grown-ups (as in, no kids allowed).
The decor is what I like to call call brooding cowboy meets gothic Tex-Mex. Lots of ornate metal work, a fire circle, a tall ceiling, moody color scheme with equally moody music and moody lighting by night. During brunch hours, those floor-to-ceiling windows wash the dining room with light.
Get off my lawn: This is a seen-and-be-seen joint on weekend nights, but safe for normal people of a certain age on weekend mornings, lunch or generally during daylight hours.
Parking: Tricky on that end of Pacific. If you’re not adept at back-in parking, find someone who is.
The brunch menu: Nine breakfast entrees, including huevos rancheros ($12), chilaquiles with eggs any way and a choice of meat ($11), biscuits and chorizo gravy ($12), a breakfast-sandwich version of the restaurant’s torta sandwiches ($11), breakfast burrito ($12), carne asada and eggs ($18) and carnitas hash ($12).
Also available: The restaurant’s typical menu of taco plates ($12.50 to $15.25), burrito plates ($12.50 to $14.50), enchilada plates ($12.50 to $15), torta sandwiches with fries ($10.50 to $14), salads ($7.50 to $14) and 10 appetizers ($6.50 to $12.50).
Worth noting: Gluten-free and vegetarian offerings. Look for the symbols on the menu.
Breakfast booze: The city’s go-to tequila list, plus five flavors of breakfast mimosas ($5), choice of a bloody mary with a house mix or a bloody Maria with tequila ($8), Micheladas ($6), spiked coffee ($8) and a few other cocktails.
Order the: Pork belly Benedict with two perfectly poached eggs that spilled a river of golden yolk over chile-marinated pork belly and a crunchy, toasted ciabatta roll. A blanket of creamy poblano sauce ratcheted the flavor considerably and the sauce deliciously collided with the perfect roasted potatoes on the side ($12). My only quibble was the pork belly was crispy-chewy enough to require a steak knife, but had to be requested.
A dense biscuit arrived split in half, well toasted and drenched with a delicious pool of chorizo gravy ($12). The orange-flecked gravy was as creamy as it was punchy with heavy chorizo spicing (but low on actual chorizo sausage). A fun second flavor punch came from a surprise slick of verde salsa underneath the biscuit. Perfect over-easy eggs flanked crispy potatoes.
Tip: Matador serves one of my favorite versions of Brussels sprouts, roasted with cotija cheese, vinegar-licked peppers and a squeeze of lime ($6, specials sheet).
The Matador Tacoma
Where: 721 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
Info: 253-627-7100; matadorrestaurants.com
Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays