Nick's Picks: Blades
The crowd at Blades surprised me. I read the menu for this newly resurrected breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot on University Avenue before I visited on Wednesday afternoon. I saw health-conscious, trendy dishes like thick cut artisanal toast topped with avocado and basted eggs, as well as “power bowls,” one made from acai, shaved coconut, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and granola; another made with chia seeds, berries, dates, and almond milk. I also noted that the presence of drinks like the sake Bloody Mary and mimosas, of which there are choices: classic, cranberry, grapefruit, and pink lemonade, encourage the concept of a boozy brunch. With all of these millennial favorites on the menu, when I visited Blades, I expected to see, well, millennials. What I saw instead was a mix of middle-aged business men and women and retirees.
Part of the reason for this demographic was because of the time, around noon on a weekday. I expect that Blades’s wide alcohol selection and fun brunch options, which also include chicken and waffles and lemon ricotta pancakes, will attract the young and hungover crowd on Saturday’s and Sunday’s, while its evergreen breakfast offerings like steak and eggs, French toast, and omelettes, will continue to attract an older crowd during weekdays. Another possible reason for the mature crowd I encountered is the nostalgia that Blades provides. For a short time in the early 1980s, Blades, which earned its name when it opened in the former Huther Brothers Saw factory, was one of Rochester’s hottest nightlife destinations. Now, thirty-five years later, patrons of the original Blades visit its new iteration to replace unforgettable nights with memorable mornings.
Blades also has an extensive lunch menu that features a mix of classic and inventive takes on sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads, pizzas and wraps. Nods to Mediterranean cuisine in the shawarma pita and the Infantino—a Middle East bean and falafel burger with tahini dressing— point to restaurant owner, Sami Mina’s, other ventures, the Mediterranean restaurants Aladdin's, Pomordoro, and Saha Med Grill.
No matter what age you are, Blades, with its open kitchen, 35-seat patio, and spacious, modern, 135-seat dining room, has room for you.
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