Cleveland's Catch offers seaworthy brunch

Cleveland's Catch offers seaworthy brunch

June 26th, 2014 by Todd South in Chattnow Dining

Bennie and the Eggs adds a salmon twist to eggs Benedict.

Photo by Todd South/Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

Where: 233 Inman St. E, Cleveland, Tenn.

Phone: 423-790-1235

Hours: Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Price range: $3 for sausage or bacon to $24.50.

Alcohol: yes

I took a short drive to downtown Cleveland, Tenn., on a recent Sunday morning and found refreshing seafood brunch options at reasonable prices.

Catch Seafood Bar and Grill has a brunch menu, which manages in a single page to give enough options to satisfy any diner's palate.

The eatery has been open since 2011, and though the grill has served brunch less than a year, they've got it down right.

THE MENU

Food includes options from the traditional sides of country sausage or bacon ($3) to steak and eggs ($24.90). But the reason you go to a seafood grill is for the seafood, right?

A rich starter is the Oysters Rockefeller ($13), six oysters on the half shell with a cream and Romano cheese sauce and crunchy bacon sprinkles. It's a flavorful combination that gives oyster lovers a little salty flavor at the end but provides tepid oyster eaters with a different taste that's not overpowering.

Cleverly named Bennie and the Eggs is what you would expect, eggs Benedict, with a twist. Your meat options are pork belly ($9.90), pork tenderloin ($10.90), smoked salmon Florentine ($14.90), crab cakes ($14.90) and filet mignon ($17).

But, again, we're at a seafood place.

The salmon Florentine was wonderful. The fish was cooked just right to flake off as I cut a bite with my fork without being too dry.

A great entree treat was the Crab Cake BLT, a take on the traditional bacon/lettuce/tomato sandwich but with a hamburger bun and healthy patty of lump crab. I recommend ditching the bun. Too much bread takes away from the crab flavor, and that's one of the best seafood items you can get.

For something a little sweet, the menu has Bananas Foster French Toast ($10.90) and classic French toast ($7.75).

I went with the bananas. It's two slices of toast with cinnamon, drenched in syrup and a whole banana slightly caramelized and sliced lengthways.

Not bad, but could it have used some powdered sugar for both decoration and texture.

Don't forget the bar part of bar and grill. Catch has a full bar so the mimosas ($1) are a refreshing beverage. For the "I drink my meal" crowd, a classic Bloody Mary is available.

THE SPACE

We walked in at 11 a.m., when they opened for brunch. For the hour and a half that followed, only another four tables were seated, so it wasn't crowded or loud. I can't speak for the after-12:30 church crowd. The place may fill up. If so, I'd be a little worried about acoustics. The exposed-brick walls, low, open ceilings and noncarpeted floor might get loud.

The decor is decidedly nautical. Fish and paintings with ocean themes, along with dark blue curtains draped from the ceiling and low lighting, give the place a basement seaside bar feel.

Enter in the back of the restaurant where there's a quiet courtyard for kids to run around if there is a wait.

THE SERVICE

As with nearly every brunch I've ever had in my life, the staff was helpful but a little sleepy. Probably the product of waiters and waitresses who typically work evening shifts, likely stay out late afterward (like I did when I waited tables) and then get a few hours shuteye before hitting the once-a-week brunch shift.

Despite the schedule, the staff worked promptly, made no mistakes with the order and answered every request.

Brunch is a more leisurely meal to begin with, so if you're wanting a quick in and out, maybe pick up a breakfast burrito at the nearest McDonald's.

THE VERDICT

It's about a half-hour drive from downtown Chattanooga. But for those who live at the north end of Hamilton County or in Bradley County, it's likely a quicker trip than downtown and just as good as most brunch options closer to the Tennessee River.

I recommend Catch for those wanting good seafood at a reasonable price for brunch.

Email Todd South at tsouth@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347.