Hangover Helper: Johnny Rad's makes for a good, excessive Sunday Funday

Let's be honest. Some Sundays, in an effort to forget about the inevitable Monday to come, you’re prepared to go all in. Take the gloves off. Throw caution to the wind and make it a full-on Sunday Funday. Having recently found ourselves in such a mood, we quickly discovered that the laid-back vibe, indulgently good food, and excellent drinks made Johnny Rad's (2108 Eastern Ave., [443] 759-6464, johnnyrads.com) the perfect spot for the ensuing fun-as-shit show.

The place was only a quarter full when we rolled in at noon, so there was no problem quickly finding a four-top, which was fine by us because it meant no long waits for food and drinks. But based on the service we got, we doubt there would be much of a difference even if it were busy. 

Looking to get down to it, we quickly ordered some bloody marys and mimosas as part of the $10 all-you-can-drink deal (11 a.m.-3 p.m., so get there early) along with waters and coffees (the holy trinity of brunch beverages: uppers, downers, and hydration). Upon asking our server if we could sub a mango bellini ($5) for a mimosa, he politely explained that wasn't possible with the special, but on multiple occasions delivered us special mimosas with mango puree in addition to the OJ, a much-appreciated gesture.

The mimosas were your standard run-of-the-mill variety, which we were perfectly happy with, but the bloody mary was something else entirely. Super thick with a house-made puree of tomatoes and a healthy dose of black pepper and spices, it was essentially a vodka-laced gazpacho, in the best way possible. We happily slurped it down, knowing we were getting our vitamins along with our buzz. 

Continuing on our journey of excess, we decided to order the full breakfast pizza ($12) as a large amuse-bouche, to whet the appetite of course. Upon first bite, we found ourselves drowning in one of those blissed-out "errrmehgerrrrd" moments that we're constantly searching for but rarely find. A char-edged pillow of crust was layered with sharp cheddar cheese, coaster-size slices of salty pancetta bacon, browned crumbles of maple sausage (the real kicker), over-easy eggs, and, as if that weren't enough, a layer of house-made hollandaise sauce. Whoa. We want this every day, all day, even if it means gaining 200 pounds.

We could have ended there, but of course that wasn't about to happen. This was serious business. As we gulped down mimosa and bloody mary number four, our main dishes were delivered to the table. Our build-your-own sandwich ($8) was made up of wheat toast, fried eggs, fatty-but-crisp apple-wood-smoked bacon, and hunky white coins of fresh mozzarella. It was a solid breakfast sandwich any one of us would have been happy with, fulfilling and full of delicious ingredients. Still, we kept eyeing that pizza, which was still taunting us in the middle of the table. 

The breakfast burrito ($10)—a red sun-dried tomato wrap holding in a hearty mix of scrambled eggs, the now-infamous maple sausage, sweet grilled peppers and onions, and an oozy cheddar cheese—held up much better to the pizza than the sandwich due to its wonderful meld of breakfast flavors. The side of home fries, brown and crispy on the edges but soft and buttery on the inside, reminded us of something that would more likely come out of a well-honed diner than a pizza joint—they were great.

As if we hadn't had enough meat already, our next dish was a heaping bowl of steak and eggs ($10). Not beholden to the traditional large hunk of meat and a side of eggs, the dish is instead a breakfast mountain layered with a base of hash browns, a gooey layer of melted cheddar, a middle layer of thin slices of rib-eye steak (vegetarian steak is also available along with a slew of other vegetarian dishes), and topped with a blanket of over-easy eggs. The move is to puncture the eggs, thus producing a waterfall of yolk running down the steak and into the hash browns, creating a rich and tasty breakfast meat-lasagna-esque plate of comfort. The steak could have used some more seasoning—salt, specifically—but that was quickly remedied with a couple of dashes of Cholula hot sauce, a no-brainer addition. 

A B.L.T. sandwich ($8) came out as our proverbial brunch cherry on top, with pancetta once again happily replacing the traditional bacon. Crispy, salty, and layered with a fresh bright red slice of tomato and snappy green arugula, the sandwich was good enough on its own. But with the addition of a spicy and smoky chipotle sauce, it reached a far superior level. Our only nitpick was the sad-looking toasted kaiser roll they chose as the bread.

Filled to the brim with food, we decided it was the perfect time to linger around and let all those breakfast meats help soak up the onslaught of alcoholic drinks that would follow: starting with our last hurrah of all-you-can-drink breakfast booze (to get your money's worth, of course), moving on to their killer beer list, and finally, ill-advisedly—as things tend to get when the gloves come off—shots of whiskey. 

Copyright © 2019, Baltimore City Paper, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Privacy Policy