Oak & Stone does pizza and more for brunch

Sausage and Gravy Knots are Oak & Stone’s version of biscuits and gravy.
Sausage and Gravy Knots are Oak & Stone’s version of biscuits and gravy.

When I took a trip to Washington, D.C., over Labor Day weekend, I noshed on a fantastic breakfast pizza at Sunday brunch. My travel companions and I agreed that Bradenton-Sarasota has a breakfast pizza problem – in that we couldn’t think of a single place that served it.

Oak & Stone, 5405 University Parkway, changed that a few weeks ago when head chef Mike Yoder announced a Sunday brunch menu. Yoder tested brunch dishes on hungry people who crowded Oak & Stone to catch Sunday football games. The resulting menu is simple and sticks to your bones.

The customer favorite so far? The Benedict breakfast pizza, said general manager Anthony Liakakos.

I think you can pretty easily make a decent breakfast pizza if you drop a fried egg on any pizza, but Yoder’s pizza goes a little further.

Garlic sauce, white cheddar, Taylor pork, bacon, caramelized onions and a sunny-side up egg sit atop Oak & Stone’s crispy, brick-fired thin crust. I think the real distinguishing factor of the Benedict pizza is the house Hollandaise sauce drizzled over the top.

The next favorite, Liakakos said, is the Sausage and Gravy Knots or the Bloody Burger. It’s like biscuits and gravy, but with garlic knots. Yeah, Yoder went there. And it’s a good place to go. Throw a couple fried eggs on top and you won’t need to eat the rest of the day.

And, just to be clear: the Bloody Burger isn’t served rare, though the name may make it seem that way. It’s an homage to the Bloody Mary. The burger is dressed with golden steak sauce, Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and an egg.

I got a great brunch tip from Liakakos, too. He said parties will often order a plate of Bourbon Barrel French Toast for the table. I hadn’t thought of it myself, but it’s the perfect way to solve the brunch dilemma of needing a hearty, well-rounded meal, but wanting to say never mind that and ordering the indulgent dish. The combination of Kentucky bourbon barrel batter, brioche, pecan butter and cinnamon makes for a great dessert-like bite to close a brunch trip.

Oak & Stone is known for its beer bracelets. They’ve also got a full bar for Sunday brunch, including $10 bottomless mimosas and bloodys. So whatever your fancy, bottom’s up. Oak & Stone serves Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on Oak & Stone, call the restaurant at 941-225-4590.

Janelle O’Dea: 941-745-7095, @jayohday

If you go

Address: 5405 University Parkway

Phone: 941-225-4590

Price per person: $14 to $15 for brunch


Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Thursday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.