Monday, June 24, 2013

Coca Café: Best Brunch in the ‘Burgh


So, when my husband and I moved to Pittsburgh in 2006, our first habitat was a rental in Bloomfield.  What does this have to do with Coca Café you ask?  Sadly, my dearest readers…we had no idea that Coca existed at that time!  It wasn’t until we moved 6 miles down the way in 2008, that we discovered this culinary delight…a haven for all those seeking sanctuary from unimagined “greasy spoons”.  

Coca Café serves up an array of eats.  They have delicious sandwiches for the lunchtime crowd and small plates Thursday through Saturday (from 5-9pm) for the dinner patrons, but I have a dangerous obsession with their Sunday brunch.  Yes, lots of upscale eateries are boasting gourmet weekend brunches these days, but Coca is simply the best.  Coca offers a stellar spread of breakfast items Tuesday through Saturday.  I often get the Pumpkin Pancakes (Fall Menu) or the Lemon Blueberry Pancakes (Summer Menu), and my husband is always up for ordering their fluffy Avocado Omelet on a weekday.  While their “standard” menu items are already plates of perfection, Sunday is a true event.  Don’t believe me?  The line outside the door (which begins forming just before 9am) doesn’t lie.  (Hint: While they do not take reservations, you can call ahead to put your name on the list.  Just make sure you have your entire party present when they call you, or you won’t be seated.) 


Arugula Salad with Beats, Goat Cheese, and Salmon (Lunch and Dinner Menu)
Avocado Omelet with Roasted Potatoes 
Lemon Blueberry Pancakes (Hoping to see these back on the summer menu soon!)


Once inside (and you’re so pumped when they call your name) you are greeted to funky, retro décor and the aroma of freshly brewed La Prima coffee.  The front room has larger tables that can seat relatively large parties quite comfortably.  My favorite spot is the “sun room” in the back.  Here, you can bask in the rays in cozy little booths and tables for two.  The atmosphere is usually quieter back there and the servers can focus more of their attention on you.

The Sunday brunch menu is printed weekly, and it’s clear that careful consideration is put into its creation.  Many of the weekday items are still present, but there is also a list of five to six specials of the day listed at the top.  And man, are they special.  Each Sunday, I struggle to make up my indecisive mind.  I’ve had or tasted (stolen bites off of my dining companions' plates) everything from Braised Short Ribs over Manchego Cheese Grits to Seafood Cakes Eggs Benedict.  As frequently as I go, there are just too many goodies to list here.  It's rather pointless anyways, Coca doesn’t repeat specials too often.   They cook with fresh, seasonal ingredients so each week is a new culinary surprise. 



Chicken Stuffed Banana Peppers with Egg
"Waffle" Challah French Toast with Grilled Peaches and Cardamom Mascarpone Sauce

Don’t be like me and miss out on Coca longer than you need to.  Go this weekend if you can handle waiting for a table or go on your next weekday off (you should be able to get a table quickly).  I’m still mad I’ll never get those two years of Sunday brunches back.


I give Coca Cafe: 5/5 forks

Will I return? Absolutely

Coca Cafe
3811 Butler St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 621-3171

Coca Cafe on Urbanspoon

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