I have a confession to make.
I love brunch.
That’s probably not surprising. It’s kind of like saying you love puppies. Who doesn’t love puppies? Or brunch?
Sad people, that’s who.
Brunching isn’t just a meal. It’s a hobby. It’s a reason to start your day with champagne in a socially acceptable way. Best of all, it’s an excuse to load a tub of butter on an egg and call it “hollandaise”.
Now that we’re all aware of my unhealthy obsession with brunch, I proudly present the low-down on one of the newer spots in town with this Ruby Sunshine review.
Now, Ruby Sunshine itself is not necessarily new. It is in fact, the latest concept from the Ruby Slipper restaurant group, the brand behind the acclaimed New Orleans-based eatery Ruby Slipper Café.
Husband and wife duo Erich and Jennifer Weishaupt opened the original Ruby Slipper Café location post-Hurricane Katrina. Using all the hospitality of New Orleans, it was an effort to help draw people back to their Mid-City New Orleans neighborhood.
The success of that original location has enabled the restaurant group to operate 11 Ruby Slipper Café locations across the Gulf region. And Ruby Sunshine is now expanding to states in the southeast such as North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama to provide great food to new audiences.
What is on the Ruby Sunshine menu?
Let’s start with the priorities: The eye-opening cocktails.
Ruby Sunshine offers a variety of cocktails with unique flavors. For instance, the Big Easy Mimosa, Peach Bellini, Bloody Mary, Morning Margarita, Boozy Iced Coffee and Brandy Milk Punch.
The mimosas come in grapefruit, cranberry or seasonal flavors.
I went with the bartender’s recommendation (after telling him I like fruity flavors), and landed on this blueberry mimosa. It was sweet, but not in the fake-sugary kind of way. It was naturally sweet and appropriately strong.
And beer is also on the menu if that is your preference.
The atmosphere of Gatlinburg’s Ruby Sunshine is also cozy. It’s on an upper floor in downtown Gatlinburg, so you can look out at people walking the streets below as you enjoy your morning buzz.
I know that Bloody Marys are big in this town (admittedly, I’m still a mimosa girl at heart), but I was told by my new friends at the bar that the Bacon Bloody Mary at Ruby Sunshine is, in fact, spicy.
Ruby Sunshine is a New Orleans brand of Southern food. Referred to as a Big Easy twist on Southern brunch classics, it may not be for you if you’re looking for a “Tennessee-traditional” spot.
But that being said, visitors will still find a collection of Southern breakfast classics, including buttermilk biscuits, eggs, omelets, french toast, pancakes, fried chicken, gravy and the works. Are grits on the menu as well? Of course, they are.
And also for omelet lovers, try the Spanish omelet, with fresh pico de gallo.
Finally, for those with a sweet tooth, try the Bananas Foster Pain Perdu or the French Toast Bites.
Kids meals are available for as low as $5.
An honest review of the breakfast
Now it’s time for the main course.
Ruby Sunshine uses fresh and local ingredients whenever possible and prepares the food fresh in their scratch kitchen.
I ordered The Peacemaker, a mix and match of any two eggs benedict. I usually opt for benedict because I’ve yet to figure out how to make it on my own.
It. was. delicious.
The meal doesn’t look quite as huge as other breakfast portions in the area, but it was very rich. I was basically full after my first benedict sandwich.
The hollandaise looks more orange in color than what I’m used to. I asked the server what the secret ingredient was, and he assured me it was just butter. (It’s OK, Ruby Sunshine, you keep your secrets. I’ll just have to keep coming back.)
The two benedicts pictured are the Eggs Blackstone and the Hot-Smoked Salmon. The Eggs Blackstone is a more traditional benedict with applewood-smoked bacon, tomato and poached eggs over a biscuit with hollandaise.
The Hot-Smoked Salmon was more unique. It had poached eggs, dill hollandaise, red onions and flash-fried capers.
Other benedicts on the menu include the Eggs Cochon Benedict, the Chicken St. Charles, and Bayou Shrimp with creole tomato sauce and fried green tomatoes.
It was honestly a delicious combination of flavors that I would never be able to put together by myself.
Ruby Sunshine is now open in Gatlinburg
The new restaurant hosted its grand opening in March of 2019 in its downtown location.
Despite the state of the world during that time, Ruby Sunshine survived 2020 and is now holding regular breakfast hours in the Smokies.
Ruby Sunshine is located at 105 Reagan Drive, Gatlinburg, TN.
They are open from 7:30 am-2 pm and 7:30 am-3 pm on weekends. Reservations are not accepted, but you can join the waitlist here.
Locals and guests will not be disappointed with the all day brunch Ruby Sunshine location.
For more information, visit them at the Ruby Sunshine website.