Brails – Eugene

Brails is one of those restaurants I didn’t even know was there when my father suggested it as a place to enjoy breakfast – “It’s the best hangover breakfast in Eugene” he said.  That was a rather odd statement as far as I was concerned, because the last time I remember him even ordering anything that would even cause a hangover was a day or two earlier when he ordered a Coors Light (in a glass) then drank exactly none of it.   That was pretty typical and while not a teetotaler he didn’t drink even once a year.  So I’ll admit being a little curious about the prior statement.

There is a large sign on Willamette street in front of the “Espresso” building, however that wasn’t the actual restaurant area that I ended up visiting.  If you’re driving along seventeenth street from either direction it’s not likely you’ll miss the two story section on the east side that has the name brightly emblazoned on either side.

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The parking lot isn’t enormous, but I was able to easily find parking along seventeenth street right in front of the entrance.  As I parked I noticed there was more newspaper boxes than I’ve ever seen in one location.

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The side window along seventeenth was plastered with all manner of waybills and advertisements for events in Eugene, almost like they were being used like a type of wallpaper or a means to obscure the window.

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I got to the actual entrance and was very pleased to find a large area where folks could wait if the place was full.  There was a nice clear rain shade over the waiting area outside – especially nice considering the amount of rain Eugene gets most of the time.

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Once inside I was immediately impressed – the interior was very tastefully done with a counter for single diners to enjoy their meals and quite a few tables done in fantastic colors.  There is a large corner booth that would accommodate six or seven diners inside the door that looked super comfortable.

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We were shown to a table near the back.  It was interesting going through what must have been separate businesses at some time, there were small  portals between large rooms where folks  could enjoy their meals and lots of disabled exterior entrances.  It made for a somewhat separated feeling overall but it didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the atmosphere.

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Our wait staff arrived and I got an opportunity to peruse the menu.  It looks like there are many specialties at Brails and the owners seem to have had a wonderful time coming up with the menu – Chris’ Loco-Moco sounded fantastic as did The Skillet.  It was nice to see there was a good variety of vegetable and tofu options!

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I managed to find my favorite Chicken Fried Steak and ordered that when the staff came by again to take the order – Gravy on the side, eggs over medium, crispy hashbrowns, and ice tea.  After ordering I was able to take a closer look around and based on both the menu (The Hangover Special is an item on the menu!) and some of the inside advertisements I was able finally figure out what my father was referring to when he said “The best hangover breakfast in Eugene”.  There were advertisements for the mixed drink (traditional hangover cures) and also a newspaper front page from the Eugene Weekly that describes Brails as the Best Hangover Breakfast.  So, I guess it all makes sense now.

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My breakfast arrived and it was absolutely delicious!  The bread tasted locally made and the gravy was thick and very flavorful.  The hash browns were cooked exactly as I’d requested.  Everything was especially good!!!

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Overall I really enjoyed Brails, I’m not sure even now how long it’s been there and I’m not too sure about being known as the Best Hangover Breakfast in Eugene is something to be proud of or not, but I did really enjoy the food and the interior was very tastefully done.  It can’t be that easy turning several businesses into one large place, but Brails seems to have done exactly that – and I’ll definitely be back for some of their specialty offerings.  Brails deserves the four and a half Heywillamettes I’ll reward it and I wholeheartedly recommend you visit when you’re in Eugene – especially if you have a hangover.

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