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Hidden Grounds fills gap in weekend dining with brunch menu

This past weekend, Rutgers’ favorite local coffee shop, Hidden Grounds, debuted a new weekend brunch menu at their 4C Easton Ave location. Rutgers students sorely needed a place near campus to get a good brunch, and Hidden Grounds delivered. What makes this brunch menu unique is that every item on the menu is biscuit based, and just about everything is homemade.

The owners of Hidden Grounds were inspired to roll out this biscuit menu after a recent trip to Seattle, where coffee and biscuits go together hand in hand. Witnessing this culture and how well coffee and biscuits seem to pair, they decided to bring the idea back home to New Brunswick with them. Of course, they put their own spin on it.

Every Saturday and Sunday morning a chef will make fresh and flaky biscuits from scratch, which then get topped with toppings, from prosciutto and spinach to strawberry and rose. Hidden Grounds’ menus have always featured Indian ingredients, and their brunch menu is no different. The vegetarian gravy (which is also homemade) that tops most of the biscuits contains Garam Masala, a typical Indian spice. Since it contains spices like cinnamon and clove, the Garam Masala makes the gravy a little warmer, which is definitely inviting for the cold fall and winter months we have ahead of us.

One of the biscuits that the owners were most excited about was “The Maharaja,” which is a biscuit with a sunny-side up egg, spinach, mint and date chutney and gravy. The result is a delicious, cohesive dish which is a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy and definitely leaves you wanting more. Although it may sound odd to pour gravy over a biscuit with so many toppings, the Garam Masala ties it all together nicely.

One thing you might notice about the new menu is that it has a surprising amount of meat dishes. If you have eaten at Hidden Grounds before, you might have noticed that most of the dishes are vegetarian, and there are some vegan dishes as well. Their new brunch menu features biscuits with sausage, bacon and prosciutto. All around, this menu has the most substantial food that Hidden Grounds has served so far. You may also notice the preponderance of puns in the names of the dishes. “The Final Egg-Xam,” a biscuit with a sunny-side up egg with gravy, is my favorite name.

Hidden Grounds prides itself on an ability to get customers in and out fairly quickly. Due to the nature of their new brunch menu, they say customers may have to wait about 10 minutes to get their biscuits. While they will also offer takeout, they recommend that customers enjoy their brunch in the coffee shop to get the full experience.

For now, the brunch menu is only offered at the second Hidden Grounds location, located near the train station. If you’ve never been, it’s a great place to go and grab a coffee, espresso or tea and get some work done. They also have a variety of baked goods, including the vegan chai cookies that are delicious.

Besides biscuits, Hidden Grounds will also offer freshly squeezed orange juice. Prices of the biscuits range from $7 to $11, which is reasonable for a brunch menu. The biscuits are large and the toppings are generous, making Hidden Grounds a prime option for next weekend's brunch!

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