Houston's 20 Buzziest Fall Brunches, September 2015
Eater Staff on Sep 14, 2015, 1:09p
Fall is upon us and with the Houston temperature dropping to a mild warm and sunny, brunch in turn becomes the weekend meal of choice for patio lounging, people watching and mimosa sipping. Our Houston Brunch Heatmap is the guide to the newest and noteworthy spots in town for weekend brunching. This update includes a few new menus on offer at Helen, Bovine and Barleyand even a Halloween-themed drag queen brunch show.
As always, if a new one has appeared on your radar that we've missed, or if there's a fantastic addition or change to an old standby, please let us know in our tip line or in the comments section below.
— Wes Griffin
1 Baby Barnaby's
Barnaby's, specifically the original on Fairview, is the place to take visiting friends, family, and is one of the most beloved spots for breakfast in Houston. The huevos rancheros, green eggs, and pumpkin pancake are among standouts. Be sure to get up early, sign your name by the door and prepare to wait, luckily with a free cup of coffee outside.
2 Backstreet Cafe
Backstreet Café, with over 30 years of service is a monument to what good food should taste like. Selecting a meal of the day is almost an arbitrary choice with Backstreet, every meal is incredible there, must tries are their Gulf Coast beignets (shrimp, crab, andouille sausage, corn, roasted red pepper and remoulade), or their pan of fresh orange chocolate brioche rolls.
Breakfast lovers will gravitate towards the brioche French toast with cranberry jam and cane syrup, wild mushroom and smoked gouda omelettes, and nut crusted chicken sandwiched between a pimento biscuit. Don't pass up the bottomless citrus mintade or specialty brunch cocktails. After all, what's brunch without cocktails?
4 Bistro Menil
Chef Greg Martin's sleek European-inspired restaurant dishes out brunch three times a week. Menu highlights include pancetta and egg on a brioche bun, crab omelet and the decadent duck confit and gruyere omelet. French toast and mixed berry crepes round out the sweeter offerings. Sip mimosas, sangrias or a brunch cocktail on the patio before enjoying a leisurely day of art at neighboring Menil Collection.
5 Bovine & Barley
Stop by the downtown hot spot on North Main Street for a newly added brunch menu featuring pecan-crusted stuffed French toast and the croisaffle, a bologna and cheddar croissant pressed inside a waffle topped with queso and strawberry pico. Their taps and cask menu has dozens of local regional brews in the rotation alongside stellar cocktails.
6 Brennan's of Houston
There's more Southern tradition at this Creole style restaurant than just the old-fashioned award winning pralines up front. Their Texas Creole brunch is a three-course prix-fixe menu for $34 and features classics like the restaurant's famed turtle soup au sherry, eggs Brennan, and their decadent bananas foster. Added bonus, Brennan's offers a vegetarian menu for brunch, also for $34, with standouts like Cayenne pepitas and blistered pepper cream and their Creole ratatouille omelette.
7 Haras Hacienda
A brunch worth venturing beyond the loop for. This boutique hotel, restaurant and venue space is set on a luxe horse farm just outside Tomball's county line. The restaurant, having only been open to the public since February 2015, is still relatively unknown, but with fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes, aztec cake, and and an all you can eat $40 brunch it's unlikely this spot will remain under the radar for long.
Evan Turner’s locally-sourced Greek tavern menu at Helen has just added brunch. Stop by for a Greek benedict with feta cornbread, Greek yogurt with fruit, or sweet semolina pancakes and select a wine from their all-Greek list, a creative cocktail or a glass of Greek sangria.
9 Hubbell & Hudson Bistro
Nestled in The Woodlands, chef Austin Simmons' impeccable fare, play out in the midday meal as well. The menu is extensive, including eleven different egg options. The beef tongue benedict and gluten-free pancakes are showstoppers. As is any dish with the house Jamaican jerk chicken.
Chef Hugo Ortega likely reigns as the king of the Sunday brunch buffet in Houston, and rightfully so. For $31 diners can expect to sample round after round of all the goods including chilaquiles, chile relleno de almuerzo and the caballeros pobres, a Mexican-style French toast. Particularly packed on holidays, expect a wait to be seated but the rewards are plenty.
11 Kitchen 713
On Sundays, the Kitchen 713 pays homage to its rich southern heritage with subtle worldly influences such as a plate of buttermilk biscuits draped in tasso gravy and kicked up a notched with sage pecan gremolata, including a fried egg on top, tres leches pancakes, country ham (cured smoked pork belly) served with corn pudding and persevered greens are heartier eats. No southern Sunday brunch would be complete without fried chicken and diners know this, which is why this brunch-only item served family-style sells out quickly.
12 Lillo & Ella
Asian street food meets everyone's favorite weekday meal and there's nary a hiccup: from French toast with lychee and Vietnamese pastry cream to a lightened take on Chinese jook.
Following the Beyonce’s Birthday Drag Brunch in September, Lowbrow will be hosting A Lady Gaga Drag Brunch just in time for Halloween. Promising a “frightening show” paired with their brunch menu favorites like grilled cheese egg-in-the-hole, biscuit benedict, the hot mess a fried chicken and of course $2 mimosas. Reservations for this one are encouraged.
Brothers Ben and Chris Williams opened Lucille’s in a quaint house in the Museum District in 2011 whose namesake is a nod to their late grandmother Lucille Bishop’s fabled southern style home-cooking. Don’t miss out on favorites like Grandma’s famous chili biscuits, fried green tomatoes or shrimp and grits to get your down home fix.
15 Max's Wine Dive
Come for the creme brulee French toast, stay for the beast of an egg sandwich — plus fried chicken, natch — and return to be surrounded by kick-back yet professional service and a sweet down-home vibe. Max's moniker may conjure wine, but brunch is very much the name of the game.
16 Oporto Fooding House & Wine
The team behind The Queen Vic and the original Oporto Café serve a Portuguese-inspired brunch at the new Midtown post. Start with freshly pressed juice, followed by choice of vegetable paella or paella Portuguesa. Or try one of several elevated egg dishes like baked sous vide eggs in a spicy harissa amped-up tomato sauce. Relish in the sunshine on the patio or dine inside the cozy eatery with a brunch cocktail from the limited drink menu.
17 Table 57
Sure there's the "Jarred Egg," a holy union of potato truffle and egg in a jar. But you should give the entire freewheeling brunch menu at Table 57 a fair shot. Trade in tired omelets and pancakes for staples amped up with Korean fried chicken and the like. It's anything but run-of-the-mill.
18 Tiny Boxwood's Cafe
With the weather making a slight dip towards cooler temperatures, expect Houston’s finest brunching patios to blossom with crowds and Tiny Boxwood’s will be no exception. Bottomless mimosas will flow alongside breakfast pizzas, buffalo burgers and salads. Save room for a couple of their famed chocolate chip cookies, arguably the best in town.
19 Tout Suite
Yes it's just a coffee house. But it's the only one we know of with hot skillet breakfasts, tortillas made in-house and the sweetest of brunch-time desserts. Soak it all in — with free wi-fi, to boot. Saturdays and Sunday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
20 Weights + Measures
Weights + Measures has all of the components of a top-notch brunch spot: Located inside the former warehouse is baked goods dispensary Slow Dough Bake Shop, wine and espresso bar Due Fratellini, cocktail bar Love & Squalor and the most important place for sustenance, the restaurant. There’s mushroom toast topped with poached eggs, melted brie and onion jam for starters. And cake doughnuts served with fried chicken strips served alongside intoxicating hazelnut vanilla syrup. And cracked egg and panchetta pizza. Bonus: stop by the bakery for smokey cheese and bacon scones, bismarks and a host of delectable treats from the rotating menu.