When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out — and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Restaurant: The Coronado
Location: 2201 N. 7th St.
Open: Less than a week
Eats: Vegetarian breakfast, lunch, and dinner
It's been about a month since we told you Liam Murtagh, one of the folks behind Bragg's Factory Diner, would open a vegetarian restaurant called The Coronado at 2201 North Seventh Street. Well, now it's here.
The Coronado opened quietly earlier this week and already is serving a small menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Everything, as promised, is vegetarian.
We swung by the newly opened spot to check out the renovations and breakfast menu.
The most impressive space in the restaurant is the coffee bar and ordering counter, where you'll find a selection of pastries and a well-stocked bar. Made with reclaimed wood from Porter Barn Wood, the back bar is chic with a distinctly hipster vibe. Black walls, white accents, and decorative metal ceiling tiles complete the look.
The Coronado also has a front room with a couch and other lounge-style seating, as well as two back rooms with a more traditional table-and-chair setup.
The breakfast menu at The Coronado is succinct. Your options include biscuits and gravy, a vegetable scramble, jalapeño waffle, or toast or a biscuit with jam.
We tried the jalapeño waffle ($9), a light breakfast that came on a clean white plate in four dainty quarters. The batter is dotted with pieces of jalapeño that added heat to every bite, but we found the texture of the waffle a little too soft. Lacking a crisp exterior, this waffle offered lots of chew and pull but nothing much in the way of crunch. On the upside, a dusting of cinnamon and generous dollop of butter made for a nice balance of spicy and sweet flavors. With a dunk in the cup of maple syrup, we pretty much forgot about the texture problems altogether.
The lunch/dinner menu includes nearly a dozen options including street corn, Coronado salad, and potato tacos. Some of the most intriguing items include deep-fried guacamole and black coffee chile served with corn bread. And fans of the barbacoa jackfruit at Bragg's Factory Diner will be happy to see The Coronado serves jackfruit sliders that come with mayo and cabbage and a side of fries.
By day, The Coronado offers a full selection of coffee and espresso drinks and by night you'll find beer, wine, and a cocktail menu. The drink menu favors clear spirits — it's almost entirely vodka and gin-based drinks with just two options using tequila and one featuring Devil's Share Moonshine. Still, the list sounds worthwhile; we'd be happy to give the Almeria a try, which combines vodka, Kahlua, and housemade horchata syrup.
During our visit, Murtagh mentioned that the restaurant's been picking up at night, though he's waiting for the morning business to hit its stride. With an affordable menu and likable atmosphere, we're betting it's only a matter of time until the Coronado neighborhood to latches onto its new namesake hangout.
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