Smile Politely

Weekend brunch at The WheelHouse

If you’ve ever heard of The WheelHouse in St. Joe, chances are pretty high that it’s only been positive. At least that was the case with me, so I was pretty pumped to head over and indulge in the best meal of the day: brunch.

I had previewed The WheelHouse’s brunch menu prior to my visit and already felt the crushing weight of indecision; everything sounded so good! Well, imagine how I felt when I arrived to find that the menu they handed me had even more options. There was nothing, and I mean nothing, on that menu that I did not want to order. But, here’s what we ended up settling on: Spence Farm ham breakfast; The WheelHouse breakfast; Willow Creek Farm sausage gravy and biscuits (half order); and the sticky buns French toast. And to top it all off, their mimosa flavor of the week, which was called a Sunrise Mimosa.

Delightfully twee with a rustic and bicycle-themed decor, it’s a relaxing place with super friendly staff and a laid back atmosphere. If there is anything to take away from this review, it’s that you obviously need to go to The WheelHouse for brunch, and also keep an eye out for their special (it was a Brinner Burger when I went). Readers be warned: your mouth is about to water.

Spence Farm Ham Breakfast

All the ingredients The WheelHouse uses are fresh, seasonal, and locally-sourced. This way you can support local farmers while having one of the best brunches ever. It’s a win-win situation, really. In addition to the Spence Farm Ham, the breakfast also comes with bacon, egg and cheese biscuit (more on these biscuits in a bit), and WheelHouse potatoes.

Let’s just start with those potatoes, because I am very passionate about potatoes in general. Those potato chunks were crispy and flavorful, seasoned with some magical blend that makes them “WheelHouse Potatoes.” The seasoning had a smoky flavoring to it and honestly, I could eat a bowl of those whenever. Because in my opinion, brunch is not complete without a potato dish of some sort. This menu item is a nice brunch option if you’re looking for something hearty but not overly filling. ($11)

The WheelHouse Breakfast

This option is two eggs your way, bacon or ham, WheelHouse potatoes, and grilled challah. A good ol’ American breakfast. And as my brother, who ordered this, said “Grilled bread is the bomb.” He’s totally right. Seriously, why don’t breakfast joints make that a norm? I know it’s called “toast,” but c’mon, let’s have fun with it. You can’t go wrong with some crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, and those potatoes. And to remind you that all these ingredients are locally sourced and fresh as can be, it couldn’t get any tastier. ($10)

Willow Creek Farm Sausage Gravy & Biscuits

I love biscuits and gravy. I could eat them for any and every meal any and every day. Ordering this was a no brainer, but biscuits and gravy are a little different everywhere you go. The WheelHouse biscuits are definitely homemade, and they are dense, moist deliciousness. The gravy was a magical concoction of sausage grease and familar flavors I couldn’t quite pinpoint. Because if you don’t make your gravy using the sausage grease, can you even legally call it gravy? The answer is no, no you cannot. It was all topped off with thinly sliced scallions. I stuck with a half order ($6) because of the next item I ordered, but you can also go for a full order for $10. Whatever sized order you get, just make sure you do order the biscuits and gravy, m’kay?

Sticky Buns French Toast

Ah, the finale. The metaphorical cherry — or should I say strawberry — on top of a delicious brunch. And, oddly enough, the only sweet option on The WheelHouse menu. Usually for breakfast/brunch menus I skew towards sweet, but their menu is quite savory. The sticky buns French toast comes topped with strawberries, strawberry ice cream, mixed nuts, and whip. Yes, you read that correctly: It comes topped with strawberry ice cream! A tower of scrumptious heaven, its base is a warm, cinnamon-y sticky bun. Its middle layer a big ol’ scoop of strawberry ice cream, melting on top of the bun. And to top it all off, a dollop of whip. Drizzled with a strawberry sauce, tossed with mixed nuts, and dusted with powdered sugar, there’s no way you won’t want to finish it. It’s ice cream for brunch! Like a child I am easily won over with ice cream. It’s an indulgent brunch option, but worth every calorie. ($11)

Sunrise Mimosa

The WheelHouse has quite the selection of brunch-time cocktails: screwey mule driver (Down East vodka, ginger beer, lime, orange juice), the classic Bloody Mary (green or red, with the option to upgrade to Blaum Bros. Hellfyre Vodka, or add a 5 oz. draft), the Mimosa Flavor of the Week ($7), or a WheelHouse Coffee (Ezra Brooks Rye Whiskey and cream). The weekly flavor during my visit was sunrise, which meant that in addition to the regular mimosa, there was pink lemonade involved. Festive! While pretty darn tasty I could have used some more of that lemonade flavor. I’d be curious to know their other flavors. My next review, perhaps?

The WheelHouse
109 N Main Street
St. Joseph
T-Th 5 to 10 p.m.
F + Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sun 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Photos by Remington Rock

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