FRANKLIN - Mimosa opened quietly in the middle of February, but owner Apostoli Evreniadis says they didn't stay quiet for long, as Franklin residents have been rushing to try out the new brunch restaurant right away.
“To have such a response from everybody is a true blessing. We are very humbled by how much attention we’ve received and it’s all based on word of mouth, people on posting on Facebook,” Evreniadis said.
The restaurant sits close to the corner of 27th Street and Ryan Road, and inside is filled with locally sourced food, up-cycled décor, and – of course – Mimosas.
“It’s a wholesome, healthy, adventurous menu with an emphasis on local products and the best mimosas around,” said Evreniadis.
More than a drink
However, the restaurant’s name has less to do with the cocktail more to do with Evreniadis’s childhood memories of the morning – though Mimosa does offer three varieties of the beverage, all featuring fresh-squeezed orange juice and even one with authentic French champagne.
Evreniadis knew he definitely wanted to open a brunch business, and one day was listing potential restaurant names to his sister, who stopped him at the name “Mimosa.”
“She said, ‘Ooh, Mimosa. What does that have to do with breakfast?’ ” Evreniadis recounted. In response to her, he mentioned the drink and then described that when he was growing up in Greece, he used to play in the morning next to a Mimosa plant.
“We did decide to go with it because it hit close to home, reminded us of childhood,” he said.
The restaurant’s logo also features the plant, though in a bubbly form to allude to the drink, as well.
Inside the restaurant, a diner can also see a total of eight depictions of the plant along one of the walls, all of which are reprints from the Royal Botanical Gardens in Spain, framed in refurbished windowpanes.
The artwork is only one of the many items in the dining area that were repurposed. The reception desk is made from two former radiator covers and reclaimed wood, and the banquette, or long dining bench, is made by one of Evreniadis’s friends who happens to be a retired engineer.
The bench is actually the reason they serve shrimp omelets.
Evreniadis said when he asked his friend to build the bench, he agreed, but said he would not charge for it. Evreniadis was thrilled, and thankful for his friend's generosity. However, the carpenter’s one cost was that shrimp omelets be added to the menu.
“I said, ‘I’d rather pay you,’ ” Evreniadis said he told his friend. “ ‘I’ve made up my mind we’re not going to make any seafood.’ ”
His friend said he wouldn't make the bench any other way, though. And long story short, now shrimp omelets are on the menu.
Since shrimp had been added to the lineup of ingredients, along came came a jambalaya skillet and a variety of other “adventurous” breakfast and lunch dishes, as well.
Close to home
Many of the other recipes on the menu came from chef friends of the family. The Evreniadis said his family has owned many restaurants in the area, though this is his first restaurant endeavor. However, most of their signature dishes, such as the breakfast potatoes, came from Evreniadis’s mother.
“We only have one kind of breakfast potatoes. They’re made with fresh potatoes; we cut them every day. They’re cooked in olive oil, and only in olive oil,” Evreniadis described. “They’re actually the potatoes I grew up with. That’s what my mother would call fries.”
It took Evreniadis a while to convince his mother to let him use her recipe for the dish, but he says they are hit at the restaurant, even though it seemed like a risky decision to opt for the home recipe instead of traditional hashbrowns or fries.
And he said that's not the only risk they've taken in building their menu.
“We’ve taken some risks. … We only have three kinds of toast, and they aren’t your typical options; we only have Stevia as a sugar alternative,” Evreniadis said, adding that many of their choices are based on serving breakfast options that are “better for you.”
Part of the task of making breakfasts that are good for you is completed by finding local ingredients, such as eggs that come from a local farm and fresh vegetables from Nature’s Nook just down the road. They also sell Collectivo coffee, something else local to the Milwaukee area.
“We’re not going to serve something just because people ask for it if it’s not something we believe in,” Evreniadis said.
He added that they also avoid processed meats, but are still able to create dishes that are “out-of-the-box, but not too far,” like French toast made with Challah bread – also from a Milwaukee-area bakery – and an omelet with Greek yogurt avocado sauce.
These creative dishes have already drawn Franklin crowds, more than Evreniadis said he first anticipated, though he hopes that will help them stick around for years to come.
“I owe a big, big thank-you to the Franklin community,” Evreniadis said. “We wanted to start slow and get the ropes, but we have been forced to react, and so far it’s been fantastic. And we can’t complain.”
Mimosa is located at 9405 S 27th St. in Franklin and is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day of the week.