Hawaii: Hula Grill
> City: Waikiki (Honolulu)
Casual and colorful as befits its Waikiki location, Hula Grill serves brunch featuring both breakfast-style dishes (tropical pancakes, lump crab and spinach Benedict) and such lunch fare as sweet soy pork ribs, fish and chips, and steak frites with sesame soy aïoli.
> City: Boise
At this casual bar and grill with exposed brick walls, comfortable booths, and outdoor seating, brunch can mean anything from vanilla custard French toast or strawberries-and-cream overnight oats to a Korean-accented bibimbap breakfast bowl with glazed crisp chicken and over-easy eggs or a breakfast burrito filled with braised red chili pork, scrambled eggs, pinto beans, and country potatoes. Tableside build-your-own mimosas and a build-a-Bloody Mary bar are added attractions.
Illinois: Maple & Ash
> City: Chicago
This acclaimed upscale establishment was named by Open Table as one of the 100 best restaurants in America for a big night out, but they’re a good choice for brunch, too. It’s admittedly pricey ($60 per person), but each table gets a roasted seafood tower to begin, followed by ricotta-truffle agnolotti pasta. Then there’s an opulent brunch buffet, including made-to-order omelettes and a filet mignon station. A “Bottomless Bubbles” option adds Champagne and assorted fruit juices to the proceedings.
> City: Indianapolis
A handsome contemporary Mexican restaurant, Nada prepares classic huevos rancheros and bananas Foster French toast, but also such specialties as mac and cheese with roasted poblanos and jalapeños and fried avocado tacos with chipotle bean purée.
Iowa: Leaf Kitchen
> City: Iowa City
The atmosphere is casual here and the brunch menu is brief, listing only 10 or 12 items, but Edible Iowa River Valley magazine recently named Leaf Kitchen “Best Chef/Restaurant” in Iowa, so it seems like a good choice for a special occasion. Homemade granola pancakes, tomato feta omelette, and Moroccan eggs with pita and hummus are some of the dishes served.