Make us your home page
Instagram

An ode to one of St. Petersburg's best brunch deals: Engine Rose's $8.50 eggs Benedict

The brunch sun over St. Petersburg shines dimmer. On Aug. 9, Engine Rose announced its shocking closure, and my life will never be the same.

It was a special day when I first stumbled upon the former best brunch in Tampa Bay. I was floored — almost a dozen different eggs Benedict? $3 mimosas and draft beers all day? For four glorious hours on Sundays, the Grand Central District restaurant, sister spot to burger joint Engine No. 9, had the best-kept brunch secret in St. Pete.

There was a classic Benny on perfectly toasted English muffins. A smoked salmon Benedict sat over crispy hash browns. Portobello mushrooms were the base for a vegetarian delight. Crab cakes floated over Canadian bacon with a chipotle hollandaise. Chicken and waffles with a poached egg became the ultimate sweet-and-savory pairing. Fried plantains were the base for two boys: a veg-friendly huevos rancheros, and the perfect dance of shrimp and chorizo.

The king of them all was, without a doubt, the fried green tomato Benedict, complete with a chunk of seared pork belly and a chipotle hollandaise.

But the Benedicts were only as good as the poached eggs on top, and Engine Rose's were perfect. There was never an overcooked yolk; they sat atop these dozen indulgences impeccably cooked, the golden egg oozing over the rest of the dish.

It became my mission to eat every one of these varied Benny styles. Now, that mission will forever be a distant dream. I will never be able to stake my claim in completing this legendary list of brunch delights, never be able to overcome my denial of red meat to see how the aged shaved sirloin, American cheese and peppercorn hollandaise came together.

There was fervor. There were days I arrived at Engine Rose, eyes bright and stomach grumbling, yet brunch would be over.

"There was a huuuuge party, it was packed from noon until now," the bartenders would tell me as I slyly rolled in around 2 p.m. "Who told!?" I'd demand, ignorant of the fact I had literally been talking about the brunch to anyone who would listen in the past months.

 

Today, I only have the photos. I only have the memories of $3 Crank Cycle on tap. I only have the videos of my yolks breaking, squirting gleefully over home fries. I only have the unbelievable story of brunch for under $20 with a full stomach and a soft buzz.

For now, all I can do is pour out some mimosa, choke back my tears and look for the next yolk to break.

An ode to one of St. Petersburg's best brunch deals: Engine Rose's $8.50 eggs Benedict 08/11/17 [Last modified: Friday, August 11, 2017 2:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Seasoned cast scores an extra-base hit for St. Petersburg Opera with 'Faust'

    Stage

    TAMPA — Charles Gounod's Faust sets the table early. The world-weary philosopher immortalized in a dramatic poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is in his study, lamenting his state of affairs. He's willing to give away everything he has to be young again, even his soul.

    The St. Petersburg Opera Company begins its season with Faust, in a production seemingly aligned with the original intent of French composer Charles Gounod and librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. [St. Petersburg Opera Company]
  2. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway

    Stage

    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.
  3. A scene from "Epiphany."
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 22

    Events

    Clearwater Jazz Holiday: The Avett Brothers: The Avett Brothers, with their blend of folk, bluegrass and rock, lead the lineup. 1:30 p.m., Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $16 per day, $45 reserved, $170 VIP. (727) 461-5200.

    AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 15:  (L-R)  Joe Kwon, Bob Crawford, Seth Avett, and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers pose for a portrait at the "May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers" Premiere - 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 15, 2017 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 21

    Events

    Conor Oberst: The Bright Eyes mastermind will be joined by opener, the Felice Brothers. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30.50-$36. (727) 791-7400.

    Handout photo of Conor Oberst, performing Oct. 21 at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. Credit: Grandstand Media