EAT: Mister Crunch @ Pontotoc Lounge weekend brunch

Lately I’ve been doing Sunday brunch at the Blind Bear, but this week Perjorie T. Roll wanted to go to Pontotoc Lounge to see her Uncle Brad at the bar.

As it turned out, I am glad she made that call. When I got down there, I wasn’t hungry, and I planned to just drink PBR and wait until later in the day to eat. However, my buddy Otto joined me. Brad told him the brunch menu had changed, and he went over some of the new items.

“We have a Mister Crunch,” Brad said. “It’s an open faced biscuit sandwich. We put thick-cut bacon on there, and the chef makes the bacon himself. He sous vides it to retain more of the flavor. The bacon is covered in Mornay sauce and cheese.”

As I said, I wasn’t hungry, but that sounded too good to pass up. After one more PBR I gave in and put in an order.

The photo does not do this dish justice. You can see the open-faced biscuit there on the bottom, covered  with Mornay sauce and shredded cheese. But what, you might ask, are those twin towers atop the biscuits?

That is BACON!

I showed the photo above to another customer inquiring about the dish, and he said, “Oh, so it’s like rolled bacon, huh?” and I said no. Those are two SOLID PIECES of bacon atop the biscuits. When they say the bacon is thick-cut, they really aren’t messing around! It’s well more than an inch thick. I had to use a steak knife and fork to dig in.

Brad also wasn’t kidding when he told me that they sous vide the meat to retain more of its natural juice and flavor. The taste was INCREDIBLE. This was easily the best thing I’ve ever had to eat at Pontotoc Lounge, and considering that I’ve had the Mississippi Pot Roast there, that’s saying a lot. Really, if I were blindfolded and took a bite of this bacon and was asked to guess where it came from, I’d reply, “Did my BBQ team make it?” It’s that good, and I didn’t realize sous vide bacon could have such a smoky flavor. This dish is simply a must-try if you are a carnivore.

One thing: Although the dish is called “Mister Crunch,” I wouldn’t describe the bacon as crunchy. It’s actually quite chewy and tender.

There have been some other additions to the brunch menu at Pontotoc recently, including pancakes and ribs. That is the lounge’s answer to chicken and waffles, which seemingly show up on every brunch menu nowadays. Nice that Pontotoc dares to be different, and the ribs are a nice tip of the hat to Memphis’ BBQ heritage.

Another change to Sunday brunch there is they got rid of the jazz band. Although the people in the band were nice guys and clearly talented musicians, I like this move. Sunday brunch at Pontotoc has built up a huge following of regulars, and jazz isn’t a great fit for the most of the regulars’ musical tastes. Also, the band tended to play so loud that it was hard to hear the person sitting next to you talk. By not having the band anymore, there’s now space for three window tables where diners can look out upon South Main as they brunch. There’s now a Sunday Fun Day Pandora station that plays, with classic hits, stuff like the Stones and Aretha that is familiar to most everyone.

Pontotoc is at 314 South Main, half a block south from the street after which it is named. They do brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays.

I predicted Monday would be a slow news day, and I was right. I only have two news items, and neither is particularly time-sensitive, so I will defer them until tomorrow. See you then.