Midday nosh: Brunch treats beyond bacon, scrambled eggs and toast 

I’ve never been a breakfast person. The so-called “most important meal of the day” is so not my thing. My brain is barely online by 9 a.m., and forcing myself to endure a paste of overnight oats, a bowl of cereal or a power bar before the sun is up simply because “science says so” has to be one of the most pleasure-devoid, utilitarian ways to think about food. 

Ergo, praise be to brunch—those hearty meals predicated by the question, “What sounds good today?” Oh, the romantic anticipation of a beautiful meal, smack dab in the middle of the day, when I get to enjoy my food in fully conscious bliss. 

This month’s best three things are only available during the first half of the day, and they stray from the standard bacon, eggs and toast. In fact, each of these three menu items is beautifully prepared and exceptional in quality, making for a delicious, worthy pause that I hope everyone can take amidst the holiday pandemonium. 

What: Samosa chaat 

Where: Thali, 148 West St., Reno; available 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday 

Price: $7.99 

Contact: 775-470-5898; www.thalireno.com 

When I think of Thali, I think of flavor. Thali’s expertise in spices and commitment to organic, sustainable ingredients has made the West Street Market hotspot a local favorite since 2016. While I adore the bottomless dinners, I recently visited for lunch and was utterly delighted by the samosa chaat: a bowl of two crispy samosas (savory pastries filled with spiced potato, onion and peas) smothered in chana dal (chickpea curry) and topped with yogurt and tamarind chutney. 

Breaking off a piece of crispy samosa and scooping it with a spoonful of the curry was an experience—the warm spices, cooling tang of the yogurt and pop of sweetness from the chutney created an irresistible flavor bomb. Next time, I will order an extra side of yogurt and naan to make the most of the bowl until the very last bite. 

What: Turkish eggs 

Where: Claio, 3886 Mayberry Drive, Suite D, Reno; available 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Friday-Sunday 

Price: $19.75 

Contact: 775-657-8554; claiorotisserie.com 

A decade ago, weekend brunch for me included a search for who had the cheapest bottomless mimosas. Now, it means food worth leaving the cozy respite of my apartment. Claio, without a doubt, offers just that. 

Claio, Perenn Bakery’s sister concept, focuses on “Greek-ish” inspired fare and recently began offering brunch. While the entire menu looks fabulous, I opted for the Turkish eggs—a plate laden with a pillow of silky labneh (Greek yogurt’s Mideastern cousin) topped with fried eggs, crispy chickpeas, blistered cherry tomatoes, melted Aleppo pepper butter, herbs and spices. I ordered it with the Israeli bagel, a bready, oval-shaped confection that became the conveyor of each unique bite. 

The Turkish eggs are a great example of a choose-your-own-adventure type of dish where each bite can be a bit different, and seemingly more delicious than the last. On your way out, be sure to get a pastry for later—the twice-baked baklava croissant is implausibly delicious. 

What: Verdis chilaquiles 

Where: Los Chilaquiles, 3380 S. McCarran Blvd., Reno; available daily 7 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Price: $14.99 without added protein 

Contact: 775-622-8966; www.instagram.com/loschilaquilesbreakfast 

Chips as a meal? Sign me up. Chilaquiles—tortilla chips tossed and pan-friend in salsa—is one of my favorite brunch foods, and Los Chilaquiles does them well. I love the verdis, which features a bright, zesty green sauce topped with crema, queso fresco and the option to add a choice of protein—I typically go for eggs over-easy, as the runny yolk adds to the texture of the dish. 

There are many different chilaquiles options at Los Chilaquiles, all of which are served with the most perfectly seasoned black beans and cheesy mushroom potatoes. The attention to detail and presentation are notable, as most everything is served on beautiful Mexican clayware, and drinks—like horchata—are served with a fresh flower garnish. From the quality and quantity of the food, to the friendly service, a meal at Los Chilaquiles is worth every penny.