If you’re looking for brunch with authentic Mexican flavors, look no further than Que Bueno Suerte on Old South Pearl. Executive chef Ivan Ceballos hails from Mexico and says that many of the dishes he created for the brunch menu are based on traditional recipes from his home town.
Que Bueno Suerte's orange door and enclosed entryway give the illusion that you're walking into a small restaurant, but it actually takes up two attached buildings, so the interior is cavernous. The bar zigzags along the far wall and holds at least twenty seats, all lit by the glow of an overhead installation comprising at least 100 fluorescent tubes hanging vertically from the ceiling. Rather than providing direct light, the tubes hide LED bulbs that shift from a red/orange spectrum to blue and purple hues.
Ceballos introduced me to the menu through a combination of sides and shared dishes offered on the brunch menu. Black-bean purée, fried sweet plantains (called maduros) and Maple Leaf bacon can all be ordered separately, and they all go great with the tocino rostizado, which the menu calls housemade roasted bacon, but which is more like a meaty piece of pork belly dripping with a delightful apricot chipotle glaze. This sauce had a bit of a kick but was balanced out by the sweetness of the apricot.
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Not on the brunch menu but available if you're in the know is a Suerte happy-hour favorite called molotes. Cheese is my primary food group, my lifeblood and overall my main reason for living, and a single molote more than satisfied my love of cheese. A molote, as Ceballos makes it, is asadero cheese and chopped poblanos rolled into sweet-potato masa and fried. It was so cheesy that I had to twirl my fork four times before the cheese eventually broke free from its fried prison. On its own, the molote doesn't pack too much heat, but the kitchen turns out a variety of salsas for spicing things up, if you so choose.
Savory egg dishes and sweet French toast round out the menu, with a few surprises like Yucatecan ceviche, a torta stacked with carne asada, and eggs Benedict built on sopes, little boats made with the same sweet-potato masa as the molotes.
Brunch cocktails include Bloody Marys, unsurprisingly, but here you can have them made with tequila or mezcal, or, for a dollar more you can get serrano-infused vodka or cucumber-infused tequila. The sangria, made with red or white wine, is a great way to go, since you can order a carafe for $20 or a single glass, with enough garnishes to make a fruit salad, for $6. Several house cocktails are also offered, including a tangy Mexican mule, a michelada verde and a quaffable piña colada.
Que Bueno Suerte is located at 1518 Pearl Street and serves brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 720-642-7322 or visit qbsuerte.com. Hot tip: Beyond weekend brunch, you can get those happy-hour molotes all night, from 4 to 10 p.m.