By Krin Mims
It was a cold Sunday in the fall and my husband and I were starving after church. We were in search of great brunch and the Internet recommended a local experience downtown at The Place. The parking, including a small shared lot and parallel options, was plentiful despite being located on a narrow, one-way street. We couldn’t miss the restaurant’s well-marked exterior with its beautifully decorated pumpkins, hay and fall foliage.
We arrived at 10:45 a.m. making note that they open for brunch at 10 a.m. on Sundays. It took a moment for the staff to greet us, but with only one other couple in the restaurant, they seemed to be quite busy back toward the kitchen. A young man told us to choose a seat anywhere, so we decided to go upstairs and eat while looking out over the restaurant. Menus were delivered, and our drink order was taken.
The décor was a bit hodge-podge, but there was a distinct vision of Halloween throughout. Our table had Halloween placemats and figurines, and we noticed lights and other décor around the restaurant.
There is something so calming about eating in downtown Hopkinsville — the buildings are fascinating, and the exposed walls and imprinted ceilings inside The Place made me wonder what they’ve seen. The character that comes with a structure of its age was on-point and well displayed.
Our server failed to introduce herself, but arrived shortly with our drinks and asked if we had any questions. The menu was easy to understand and well stocked with delicious options — especially for a Sunday brunch. My husband chose the Kennedy omelet and I chose the eggs Benedict with crab cakes.
While waiting for our food, we did a little exploring. The salt and pepper shakers were recently cleaned, and the tables were all nicely set with napkins, flatware and cute-themed placemats.
Without being asked, our server brought more coffee to the table during our short wait. Despite the “Kennedy omelet 20-minute waiting disclaimer” printed on the menu, the food was out in no time and everything was steaming hot.
Without wasting a moment, I checked my poached eggs to see how they’d been cooked. The poaching process seems simple, as you’re simply boiling a cracked egg, but a few moments too long and you’ve cooked the yolk, while a few moments too soon and you’ll have raw whites. I was thrilled to find perfectly poached eggs smothered in rich hollandaise sauce.
Upon piercing the whites, delicious yolk flowed over my crab cakes and crisped English muffins. The cheddar grits I chose for my side item were well seasoned and had plenty of cheesy bite. As a Georgia-grown “grit connoisseur,” I give these grits a solid B+ for excellent texture and taste. It seemed to me the grits may have been baked after the initial cooking process so they had a few more lumps than I’d prefer. They were a little dry and crumbly overall.
The hollandaise was creamy and perfectly seasoned. The crab cakes were seared with a nice crisp exterior but I found that they were made up primarily of filler. I’m a huge fan of crab cakes and finding more breading and veggies than lump crab meat was quite disappointing.
The Kennedy omelet was full of cheese, peppers, onions and sausage. It was positively giant and very well seasoned. The hashbrown casserole was fantastic and tasted fresh — I could have eaten an entire plate of the hashbrown casserole alone.
There were also four large wedges of bread on the plate and a small container of fruit. The fruit was advertised as fresh on the menu, but the grapes, canned pineapple and grainy cantaloupe left us dissatisfied.
We ordered some of the higher priced items on the brunch menu and walked away spending over $40. It was delicious, but I’m not sure it was worth that much in regard to freshness and food quality. We were unable to finish our meals, as the portion sizes were substantial.
The staff continued to come by the table to check on us and offer us fresh drinks. They were all extremely friendly and quick.
Though we only saw three other customers come in, I think it would be a fantastic place for families. They seem to have a lively lunch crowd Monday through Friday, a Friday fish fry and weekend brunch. Overall, we will absolutely visit The Place again to sample more of their menu and friendly service.
The Place: A Local Eatery Co.
Location: 104 East Sixth Street, Hopkinsville
Try it at home: Cheese grits
Get creative with your grits for breakfast, even if you’re using a quick-cook packet. Try using half water and half milk, try new cheeses and add cooked bacon or other meats. I love using smoked Gouda cheese — it has an earthy, smoky taste but creamy, mild flavor. It can easily transform breakfast or add a creamy alternative with steak and shrimp for supper.
Be sure to try: The Hashbrown Casserole
It was very creamy with a well balanced amount of potato, onion and cheese. My husband loves hashbrown casserole and ranked this toward the top of his list.