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Jazz Brunch

June 5, 2013
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Family Dog offers music and awesome breakfast foods

ORONO Brunch is arguably one of the most sublime meals in existence. Blurring the lines between breakfast and lunch, it is a quintessential meal for a lazy Sunday morning (or afternoon, depending on your sleep schedule). 

The Family Dog is known as a hot dog and burger haven, nestled in the old Lissus' Pizza building off Pine and Park Streets (there's an entrance to the plaza on both streets). The huge windows and large tables offer a spacious and inviting dining environment any time. But on Sundays, live jazz music replaces classic rock and signature, made-to-order brunch items replace burgers and dogs. 

The reason for having a Jazz Brunch is simple: Bob Cutler, owner of Family Dog wanted to have one.

'When I was growing up, my father would tell my brother and I that he would take us to Jazz Brunch if we were good. So twice a year we got to go to Jazz Brunch because we never behaved,' he said. 'I was talking to my brother and joked about no jazz brunch' [when one of his kids misbehaved] and it clicked: I can do it every Sunday whether I behaved or not.'

Brunch itself runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the live jazz by Wells Gordon happening from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

'Wells Gordon is incredibly talented he brings in different accompanying artists and it's great,' said Cutler.

And unlike many brunch offerings, rather than a buffet, Cutler went with a smaller set menu of amazing-sounding dishes, including signature omelets. There's a vegetarian Garden Omelet that is made with egg whites, broccoli, onion, green peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes; the Southwest is filled with diced tomatoes and avacados, onions, Monterey Jack cheese and topped with salsa; The Cowboy Up Omelet is filled with bacon, sausage, onion, green peppers, American cheese and topped with chili; the Denver Omelet has ham, onion, green pepper and melted cheddar; and the Philly Omelet offers the filling of the famous cheese steak sandwich in breakfast form.

Then there's the fresh beef hash, made from a beef brisket that is made on-site, or steak and eggs, French toast (classic or stuffed with a sweet cream filling), breakfast sandwiches or a breakfast burger.

If you need something on the lighter side, try the grapefruit brulee. 

'Growing up in Arizona, we had a grapefruit tree and ate grapefruits every day. My dad was running out of ways to get us to eat them,' said Cutler. One of the more creative routes his father took was sprinkling the top of the fruit with sugar and then taking a torch to it to form a caramelized crust that you had to crunch through with a spoon like crme brulee. 

You can enjoy it with a mimosa.

For more information about The Family Dog, visit or find them on Facebook and Twitter (@TheFamilyDogME). 

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