From a smoked salmon Benedict to cannoli French toast, King Eider’s Pub in Damariscotta has introduced its take on brunch through Sunday specials.
Co-owners Todd Maurer and Jed Weiss credited manager Hannah Meneses for the pub’s venture into brunch.
“A couple months ago she came to us and said it might be good to have brunch on Sundays,” Maurer said. “And we thought about it and put together a brunch menu, but we didn’t put it out at the time because we just couldn’t get it figured out. We didn’t want to do something if we couldn’t do it right.”
The team at King Eider’s decided to introduce a “Benedict of the day” on its specials board one Sunday. The kitchen crew experimented to find who could make the best hollandaise sauce, and the traditional English muffin was swapped out for a potato pancake to make the whole dish gluten-free.
“And that just got the ball rolling,” Maurer said. “And then it was like, ‘What can we do next?’”
The kitchen crew ran with the concept and started experimenting. One Benedict special featured the pub’s famous crabcakes, while a recent cordon bleu Benedict consisted of grilled chicken, prosciutto, and Swiss cheese topped with a Dijon hollandaise sauce.
To expand offerings, the crew decided to also make a weekly brunch special that was on the sweeter side, Weiss said. Strawberry and ricotta crepes and an Oreo-stuffed waffle are two of the recent specials that debuted to a warm reception.
“When we first started it, we weren’t sure what we were going to get for a reaction,” Weiss said. “I now have regular customers coming in for the specials each week. One couple orders a Benedict and the sweet special and then just split both.”
The brunch experiments have also offered the kitchen crew the opportunity to get creative with “brunchin’ it instead of pubbin’ it,” Maurer said.
“We have the most creative kitchen staff around,” Maurer said. “The talent pool is exceptional, and everyone has something special they learned from either a previous workplace or their mother. Everyone has something to contribute.”
The specials are posted on King Eider’s Facebook and Instagram accounts either Saturday or Sunday morning.
“The cordon bleu Benedict was the perfect example of this,” Maurer said. “We had the idea, but the question was if we could pull off the Dijon hollandaise. That Sunday morning we tried it, it worked, and we announced it. As long as we can do it right, we’ll put it out.”
The King Eider’s brunch specials will continue year-round, and the team is already looking at new ideas to showcase some of the Midcoast’s most well-known offerings.
“Don’t be surprised to see a fried oyster Benedict,” Maurer said. “That just might happen.”
Brunch specials are offered from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Sunday. Reservations are not required, but are strongly recommended. The specials are also available to go.