Out and About: American Gymkhana Spices Up Brunch in Orlando

American Gymkhana - veranda seating

Saturday we were invited to try out the new brunch at American Gymkhana. Having enjoyed the restaurant’s modern Indian cuisine for dinner, I was very interested in trying out their brunch offerings.

When we arrived, we were seated on the recently opened veranda, at a table for two next to the windows. We received menus and our drink orders were taken. We opted to go with the day’s special cocktail creations.

The brunch menu was divided into four sections – sweet, savory, classic, and egg dishes. It was hard, but my friend Joan and I narrowed the choices down to three dishes to try.

American Gymkhana - Desi Omelet
Look at all those peppers and oozing cheese in the Desi Omelet at American Gymkhana

From the egg dishes we selected the Desi Omelet with a side of Marsala potato wedges. The vegetarian omelet featured serrano peppers, sauteed onions, cilantro, and Amul cheese, and the ingredients complemented each other well. The Indian cheese was creamy with a bit of tang, while the peppers provided a mild heat. The potatos tasted like potatoes. I couldn’t taste any spice, but it made a good base for the roasted onion chutney served with it.

American Gymkhana - Noorani Burger
American Gymkhana’s Noorani Burger, a lamb stuffed chicken delight

From the savory portion of the menu we chose the Noorani Burger, an unusual take on the traditional burger featuring a patty of ground herbed lamb inside a thin layer of ground chicken. It was then topped with a sharp cheddar, tomato and onion slices, and served on a bun. This sandwich was a huge hit with both of us. The lamb was fragrant and moist, while the chicken provided a crisp outside to the patty. The combination of all of the flavors just worked so well together, we’ll be back for this one. We ate this entree with a side of kale & cashew salad, which was simple but delicious (even for a non-kale eater like myself).

American Gymkhana - Banjara Chicken & Waffles
Banjara Chicken & Waffles, the American Gymkhana take on the classic dish

The final dish was off the sweet menu: the Banjara Chicken & Waffles, an Indian-flavored take on the classic dish. The chicken tenders were spiced and breaded, drizzled in a garlic yogurt, and served on top of four corners of a fluffy waffle. While I loved the chicken, it was  the syrups served with the dish that elevated the taste. My favorite was a gingered maple, especially with the chicken, but the honey-orange zest was good, too.

American Gymkhana - Marsala potato wedges, lamb bacon, kale and cashew salad
A trio of American Gymkhana sides – Marsala potato wedges, lamb bacon, kale and cashew salad

We also tried a side of lamb bacon because it sounded so unusual. According to General Manager Steven Jones, the meat was brined like bacon then flash-fried for crispness.  It was pretty close to actual pork bacon, and so very tasty. We would’ve liked more of a black pepper taste to make it more bacon-like, but I would definitely order this again.

Overall, Chef Aarthi has created a menu of inventive, yet balanced dishes – nothing was too strongly spiced, yet the flavor combinations were just unusual enough to elevate the offerings above standard brunch fare.

American Gymkhana - Peach ginger bellini, blood orange and clove mimosa, bloody mary
A trio of American Gymkhana crafted cocktails – Peach ginger bellini, blood orange and clove mimosa, bloody mary

Brunch offerings come with two drinks, created by mixologist Hemant Pathak. I tried the peach-ginger bellini, which had a nice crispness, and the blood orange-clove mimosa, which was sweeter but you have to like clove to enjoy it. Joan tried the Mumbai Mary, their version of a bloody mary, which featured fresh tomato juice, seasoned with traditional house blended garam masala, olive brine, and other unusual spices like star anise. What resulted was a bloody mary with layers of flavor. Different enough to wake the taste buds but still recognizable as a bloody mary.

Brunch at American Gymkhana is $25 per person (plus tax/gratuity), and includes an entree, side, and two drinks (there are mocktail options for those that don’t drink). It is served Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am to 3:30pm.

If you’re looking for a brunch option that that is familiar with a twist, I highly recommend American Gymkhana. Visit americangymkhana.com for more information or to make a reservation for brunch this weekend.

American Gymkhana on Urbanspoon

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.

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