A well-known entity on Main Street in Great Barrington, Fuel has recently moved across the street and expanded into the space that was once occupied by The Gypsy Joynt. They have expanded not just their physical space, but their hours and menu offerings as well. My husband and I have longed for a Sunday brunch spot reminiscent of the comfortable, casual neighborhood restaurants we used to frequent when we lived in Boston. There was always something so lovely about rolling into the local eatery late-morning, seeing familiar faces, sitting at the same table with a cup of coffee, a Bloody Mary and, the Sunday paper spread in front of you. Longing for that memory, we strolled into Fuel on a January Sunday and were instantly rewarded by a friendly welcome, a bustling and cheery space and the aroma of good coffee and delicious food.
The restaurant was quite busy, so we sat at the bar. The bartender, Regi, immediately greeted us with a warm smile, and we knew we were going to be well taken care of. Fuel is known for its excellent, freshly roasted coffee, and the cafe au lait, which my son enjoyed, and my double shot cappuccino did not disappoint. My husband is not a coffee guy, but he was thrilled to see a wide variety of tea is also offered.
We discovered that Fuel now has a full bar, and the Bloody Mary that our neighbor sitting next to us was enjoying was too tempting to resist. Fuel mixes their Bloody Mary mixer themselves, and Regi proudly listed all of the ingredients when asked. The second ingredient listed, after tomato juice, was horseradish, and plenty of it. For my husband and me, the first test of an excellent Bloody Mary is if can you practically chew it because there is enough horseradish in it? On that score, Fuel’s Bloody does not disappoint! Plenty of vodka and the house made mixer all go into a salt rimmed glass. Served with a stacked garnish of a celery stick, piece of crispy bacon, cocktail onion, and an olive, with a twist of lemon rind as the final flourish, Fuel’s Bloody Mary is a party in a glass!
Fuel’s Sunday brunch menu offers something for everyone, with their versions of usual breakfast fare of eggs to French toast, to hardier lunch items – salads, a burger, soups and chicken and dumplings. It should be noted that the full daily breakfast and lunch menus are also available during Sunday brunch, so there are no shortage of options.
The McGuido is one of Fuel’s longtime breakfast options which lets you customize your sandwich experience. My son decided to add chorizo sausage and avocado to the two egg and cheddar sandwich on sourdough, served with a side of home fries. The sandwich was missing the avocado when first served, an oversight that was quickly corrected when pointed out. The chorizo was a nice variation on a common breakfast sandwich theme, and the sourdough bread elevated it beyond your typical offering.
My husband went with the Farmer – two fried eggs served over house made corned beef hash and sauteed spinach, with sourdough toast. My husband loves corned beef hash, and Fuel’s homemade hash is excellent! Well- seasoned chunks of corned beef and potatoes, it’s a classic hash that is delicious and satisfying. The sauteed spinach was a tasty addition.
I decided on the 3 Egg Omelet with Two Fillers – roasted tomatoes and cheddar – which was served with a side of home fries and sourdough toast, and I added an additional side of sausage. Not the fluffiest omelet I have ever eaten, it was nevertheless rather tasty. The pops of intense tomato flavor, provided by the roasted tomatoes, found throughout the omelet made up for the fact that the dish was more like a scramble than an omelet. The cheddar was missing when first served, another error that was quickly corrected when I brought it to Regi’s attention. The same home fries that my son had accompanied my omelet, and they were delicious! Well-seasoned, with bits of red and green pepper, then pan fried, they had a nice balance of soft and crispy, and were wholly satisfying.
I have mixed feelings about the rather careless errors found in the food when first presented. There was a very large party of fourteen that had been seated shortly before us, which was blamed for the confusion in the kitchen. I am torn on how I feel about this. On one hand, a large party should not throw a well-trained, professional kitchen off its rhythm like that. The errors of omission were careless, seemingly the result of rushing to fill the order. On the other hand, the mistakes were quickly corrected and the food was tasty, so the front-end service made up for the back of the house mistakes.
Overall, brunch at Fuel is a very pleasant experience. It reminded me of the kind of brunch I remember so well, where you can sit and idle your Sunday away with the paper, good food and drink, and good friends. However, if you are looking for a spot where you can grab a quick and tasty meal in the middle of a hectic Sunday, Fuel also has what you are looking for. Comfortable, casual and friendly, Fuel is just the spot for a Sunday recharge.
293 Main St.
Great Barrington (413) 528-5505
Mon. & Tues. 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Wed. – Sat. 7 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Dinner Wed. – Sat. 6 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Sun. 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sun. Kitchen 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Bloody Mary $10
The McGuido Sandwich $8
3 Egg Omelet with Two Filler $9
Rating: From 1 to 5 forks