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A special grits bowl features fried chicken, eggs, garlic greens and a biscuit at Ma Mosa's in Grants Pass. [Photo by Sarah Lemon]

Latin and Southern cuisines at Ma Mosa's in Grants Pass

Breakfast goes far beyond basic pancakes, waffles, bacon and eggs at Ma Mosa’s in Grants Pass.

A menu featuring farm-fresh, locally grown foods would be plenty to recommend this small spot on Northwest E Street. Boasting creatively conceived cocktails, including mimosas with house-labeled sparkling wine, Ma Mosa’s offers even more reasons to rise and shine, or to extend the first meal of the day into afternoon.

Latin and Southern cuisines influence the style that avid gardeners Carrie Catterall and Jodi Haines bring to Ma Mosa’s kitchen. Burritos, biscuits and grits are menu mainstays, with huevos rancheros and fried chicken and waffle as flagship dishes, each priced at $11.

For lunch, there are chicken and fish tacos, sandwiches ($11-$14), salads ($6-$14) and macaroni and cheese ($10). Latke tots ($7), fried chickpeas ($5) and fried cauliflower florets tossed in buffalo sauce ($9) compose an imaginative assortment of afternoon snacks and appetizers.

The Canadian staple poutine ($7), made with country potatoes smothered in cheddar cheese and gravy, with the option to add bacon and an egg, is among the most unusual breakfast items offered in Southern Oregon. Ma Mosa’s serves breakfast all day.

Making every item from scratch, using whole ingredients verified by the Non-GMO Project, Ma Mosa’s also caters to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diners. Substituting gluten-free bread tacks on a dollar to the price of most items. House-baked buttermilk biscuits are the standard vehicle for Ma Mosa’s breakfast sandwiches ($11-$12).

The promise of a biscuit, plus grits, with fried chicken and garlic-braised greens ($15) was more than I could pass up on a weekday visit. The special, served with two eggs, numbered among the half-dozen on the restaurant’s hand-written board. Other items included a curry-spiced frittata, apple-stuffed french toast and an omelet filled with brisket, mushrooms and broccoli, served with horseradish sour cream.

The most expensive of the lineup, the “grits bowl,” as staff called it, constituted more than I could eat in a sitting. Dining solo, I planned to take home some of the chicken, greens and at least half of a biscuit, which would make a filling lunch.

Weekday responsibilities kept me from ordering a bloody Mary, peach bellini or apricot-carrot-ginger mimosa from the list of a dozen cocktails. But I couldn’t resist Ma Mosa’s fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, a dying breed of beverage that’s become almost impossible to find.

Nevertheless, my smile widened every time staff popped the cork on another bottle of sparkling wine, eliciting cheers from customers filling the cozy, brick-walled dining room. Next time, I’d order the grapefruit juice, topped off with bubbly and a ginger-infused salt rim, dubbed “The Metro.” Cocktails are priced from $5 for a small to $27 for a pitcher. There’s also wine, beer and cider.

Perched on a bar stool overlooking the kitchen, I spent just a few minutes sipping juice and coffee from nearby Rogue Roasters before my breakfast arrived. My poached eggs were cushioned on a pool of yellow, cheese-enriched cornmeal, adorned with vibrant greens. I could have been happy even without the chicken and biscuit, but a few bites of each enhanced the rest.

Beer batter added even more savor to the juicy chicken thigh. And although the biscuit was a tad dense, it was a nicely toasted canvas for Pennington Farms preserves. The greens were just garlicky enough that I didn’t crave additional flavor from habanero-chili hot sauce delivered with my plate.

My all-time favorite breakfast fare, eggs Benedict is the main event Sundays at Ma Mosa’s. And if I ever arrive in the mood for a dish to soothe the stomach, the brown rice porridge simmered with spices in coconut milk would be just the ticket.

I also plan to watch for special dinners highlighting ingredients from family farms within 100 miles of the restaurant. The restaurant doubles its seating capacity in warm weather with a well-appointed patio.

At 18 N.W. E St., Ma Mosa’s is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Call 541-479-0236 or see mamosas.com.

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