TNT Diner

New brunch menu debuts at one more downtown Tacoma restaurant

The pork belly Benedict with poblano cream sauce at The Matador Tacoma.
The pork belly Benedict with poblano cream sauce at The Matador Tacoma.

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.

Bars have hopped on the brunch bandwagon big time.

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.

Matador pork belly biscuit 2
The Benedict at The Matador Tacoma comes with poached eggs, pork belly and a poblano cream sauce. Sue Kidd

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.

Matador potatoes
Roasted, seasoned potatoes come on the side at The Matador Tacoma. Sue Kidd

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).

Matador eggs
Poached eggs on the pork belly Benedict poured yolk onto the plate. Sue Kidd

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.

Matador biscuits 2
Matador’s biscuits and gravy are made with chorizo gravy, eggs any way and roasted potatoes. Sue Kidd

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;

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays