Since opening the second local location (the other is on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in New Tampa) of The Brunchery Breakfast & Lunch on S.R. 56 in March of this year, owner Alket (Al) Marku says he is thrilled with the way the Wesley Chapel community has already embraced the former long-time location of Wolf’s Den.
Despite having some competition nearby, Al says, “Our Wesley Chapel location is actually beating our sales in New Tampa, which is kind of amazing to me.”
Al, who was originally a partner in the New Tampa location when it opened in 2019, bought it outright from his former business partner in 2021. He and his wife Erinda Kostandini will open their third Brunchery location in the Lithia area sometime later this month and will open a fourth location in Riverview in the summer of 2023. “We plan to open many more locations,” Al, 37, says. “We think we have a great variety of menu items that will be welcome wherever we open.”
Unmatched Breakfast Options!
Breakfast at The Brunchery definitely offers a little something for everyone. My favorite is what is known as the “Breakfast Feature,” which features two eggs any style, with your choice of bacon or sausage, seasoned home fries and a homemade biscuit, which I sub out for The Brunchery’s tasty marble rye toast. Oh, and although you can sub grits for the potatoes, I add a side of grits because it’s so worth having all of it!
But, if you don’t “just” want eggs for breakfast, The Brunchery more than has you covered. There are nine different Benedicts, including smoked salmon, corned beef hash, crab cake and chorizo sausage Benedicts. There also are four different skillet breakfasts, including Al’s favorite chorizo skillet.
Need something sweet? There are four varieties of French toast, including plain, orange pecan, loaded (with strawberries, blueberries and bananas) and the awesome stuffed strawberry French toast shown on this page.
There also are homemade muffins, breakfast crepes, three different pancake and three waffle options, including excellent crispy fried chicken & waffles.
“Our sweet breakfast items may be our most popular,” Al says, although he says items like avocado toast, fluffy omelettes (including heart-healthy egg white omelettes) and bagel & lox breakfasts also are popular. And, even the coffee is delicious, and there are specialty and iced coffee drinks available, too.
What About Lunch?
Although Al says that the majority of people who visit The Brunchery at lunch time still order breakfast items, Jannah and I really enjoy his smaller lunch menu, too.
My favorite lunch item is the grilled chicken melt with crispy bacon and Swiss cheese on a Kaiser roll. Jannah raves about the chicken salad croissant and I also am partial to the Reuben sandwich (corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss on grilled marble rye with thousand island dressing). Also on the menu are a BLT avocado wrap, chicken Estrada (grilled chicken breast, spinach, mushrooms, feta and Swiss cheese and may) and even a half-pound cheeseburger.
Please note that while The Brunchery’s New Tampa location serves wine-based cocktails like mimosas and peach mango sangria, Al says they aren’t yet available at Wesley Chapel, but should be within the next few months.
Special Thanks Go Out To…
Al, who is originally from Albania, says that his entrepreneurial spirit was instilled in him by his family, especially his father Alexander. However, he says his training in (and love of) the restaurant business was provided by the man he calls his mentor, Anthony Moissis, who still owns Anthony’s Family Restaurant in Eastlake, OH, where Al first moved when he was just 15 years old. “It was a great learning experience for me,” Al says, “Anthony taught me everything I know about the restaurant business, especially how to take care of not only my customers, but also my employees. My parents were still back home in Albania, so Anthony’s family became my family in the U.S.”
About three years later, Al and his brother Alphonse opened Alexander’s Restaurant in Ohio. Years later, when Al and Erinda (who are expecting their first child in a month or so) decided to move to Florida, he brought those experiences with him to The Brunchery.
“I love this community,” Al says. “I appreciate all of the customers who support us.”
Speaking of support, Al says he and Erinda would appreciate your vote when you enter the Neighborhood News Reader Dining Survey & Contest.
Both Brunchery Breakfast & Lunch locations — 27607 S.R. 56, Unit 110, and 17507 Preserve Walk Ln., New Tampa — are open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. every day. For more info, call (813) 994-9666 (WC) or (813) 533-7271 (NT) or visit LoveBrunchery.com.