When people think of brunch, they may imagine a dinerlike atmosphere with pitchers of mimosas and plates full of egg-centric foods being passed about. Nobody ever thinks of ribs, brisket and pulled pork as brunch fare, but one man, Matthew Aranda, is hoping to change that.

Aranda’s new barbecue joint, Mesquite and Oak, recently opened in San Jose’s Luna Park neighborhood and has been turning heads with killer smoked meats and fantastic sides. As if that isn’t enough of a draw, their constantly evolving brunch menu should keep people coming.

“Our weekend brunch menu is handwritten on butcher paper. The items featured are a collaboration between chef Marshall Reid and pitmaster David Vickers,” Aranda says. When I mention my idea of serving ribs (or brisket) and waffles, Aranda doesn’t flinch. “Come in and the staff will make it happen.”

I personally love this concept, because I’ve honestly grown tired of breakfast’s same old-same old—to the point that I rarely go out for breakfast anymore. My cohort and I stopped in here on a Sunday morning and eyeballed their latest creations. They did have some fresh takes on the usual suspects, such as a smoked brisket hash ($12.95) and a Benedict burger ($10) that sounded great. However, the real eye-opener was something they call the Frito Bandito ($11.95), which is a clever take on the popular Mexican breakfast dish, chilaquiles. We decided on the hash and Bandito and settled in for some chow.

First up was the brisket hash, and the centerpiece on top was the perfectly cooked over-medium egg. The yolk just oozed all over the potatoes, onions, peppers and bits of brisket to form a symphony of smoke and yolk in our mouths. The brisket was tender, juicy and had the perfect amount of smoke to it. Anywhere else and this dish would be a real star performer.

But this wasn’t anywhere else, as the star this day was their Bandito; I almost couldn’t believe my eyes as the mound of pulled pork, cotija cheese and salsa verde sat on top of a bed of everyone’s favorite corn chip. What ensued was a porky, smoky dream that was over as quickly as it began. Every bite was so good, and just to change things up I added a bit of their spicy house barbecue sauce to give the dish some sweet and heat.

While Mesquite and Oak has some terrific barbecue on its own, the real draw here is their creative and delicious brunch items that will be putting them on the map in the South Bay dining scene.

Mesquite and Oak 
856 N 13th St, San Jose.