Richard Sandoval likes to go big with his brunches, and at Toro Toro, he may be going bigger and bolder than ever. In a city, Washington, D.C., with more bottomless brunches than you could hope to conquer without exploding both your budget and your waistline, Toro Toro’s new brunch stands out as a unique, must-try experience.
Imagine the best Bloody Mary bar you’ve ever seen, and then keep on going, making it bigger and more comprehensive, adding an array of accompaniments and treats and toppings and that’s what you’ll find at Toro Toro.
You have your choice of vodka or tequila (for a Bloody Maria, of course), as well as three house-made mixers; tomato, spicy tomato, and a tomatillo mix. Then, select from several dozen hot sauces and seasonings, as well as every topping you could imagine — bacon, shrimp, crunchy chicharrones, olives, pickles, lemon and lime, celery, asparagus and more. Be as traditional, or as creative or absurd, as you dare.
The Bloody Mary bar could be worth the price of admission on its own. If that’s not in your wheelhouse though, you’ll also have four types of mimosas to try, including a mango mimosa and blood orange mimosa, and the Toro mimosa, with fresh passion fruit puree.
Onto the food, you’ll find a buffet which also goes far beyond what you’d expect to find. This includes Toro Toro’s signature grilled, carved meats, with options such as Picanha steak, chorizo, and achiote chicken, all of which accounts for a big portion of their dinner-service tableside Rodizio Experience. You’ll have to walk up to the grill to get your fresh carved meats at brunch, but that’s not much of a sacrifice.
There’s also charcuterie and cheese selections — and we’re talking good stuff here, hunks of blue cheese and sliced prosciutto, for example — chipotle-agave glazed bacon, a huge range of fresh fruits, salads, breads and pastries, and plenty of seafood, with shrimp cocktail, oysters and ceviche. Latin standouts such as chilaquiles, guacamole, papas bravas and tortilla Espanola are all worth trying.
With a rotating crop of both hot sides and cold small plates you may find a few new twists or add-ons from visit to visit, such as delicious and creamy quiche variations, and chorizo and potato hash.
If you somehow, someway, still have any room left, then you can try some Mexican-chocolate waffles served with a Nutella sauce and bananas, as well as tasty single-serving cortadito jars stuffed with fresh pie concoctions.
All too often brunches are either generic or unsatisfying, with restaurants unsure of whether they’re trying to serve breakfast or lunch, or merely offering a lot of decent food without anything which is actually worth having on its own. That’s far from the case here. Just be sure to find a comfy seat inside, because you’ll be there a good while.
Toro Toro is located at 1300 I St, NW, walkable from both the Metro Center and McPhersen Square Metro stops. Brunch is available from 11 am to 3 pm on both Saturday and Sunday, and costs $39 per person.