What is it about brunch that's so appealing? Is it the combination of breakfast and lunch, the license to drink hard alcohol before noon or the lazy lull of a late Sunday morning? It's hard to say, but the fact is brunch is the "it" meal of the weekend. Enjoy it at these eight "it" places, and don't forget to have a Bloody Mary for us.
Yes, you'll have to wait in line. Yes, it might be over 30 minutes on the weekend. But yes, you're going to enjoy one of the best soul food brunches of your life. Plus, the staff's hospitality - offering water stations in hot weather, handing out menus to those in line, being nice and friendly in general - helps the wait go quickly. You'd be remiss not to order the chicken and waffles or the catfish and grits, though there's nothing on the menu that will do anything but dazzle.
3711 Travis St.; 713-528-8561
The brunch at either location of this Houston original is worthy of a lazy Saturday or Sunday, but the original Rice Village location just happens to have slightly better parking. Texas ingredients and upscale comfort food are what you'll find on the menu. If a Bloody Mary is on your "must-have" list, fear not. Their version is pepperoncini-infused and served with house-pickled veggies.
2424 Dunstan Rd.; 713-522-7602
Two chefs are better than one, at least in the case of The Pass & Provisions. And now, chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan will be doing Saturday brunch (they're closed on Sundays). With categories like "fruits and vegetables," "pizza," "eggs," "breads and pastries," "meat and fish" and "grains and sweets," there's no denying seats will be going like hotcakes. We leave you with three words: foie gras grits.
807 Taft St.; 713-628-9020
James Beard nominations in Houston are as hard to come by as Cronuts, but namesake chef Hugo Ortega has garnered two in as many years - both as a finalist. If that doesn't convince you to try out his brunch, maybe this will: endless amounts of food prepared from recipes inspired by the cuisine of interior Mexico, served buffet-style. It's a stuff-your-face free-for-all, but in the most civilized, refined way. Also, there are churros and authentic Mexican hot chocolate to dip them in. P.S. tequila.
1600 Westheimer Rd.; 713-524-7744
Over-the-top is the best way to describe brunch at this compact and always lively wine "dive" on Washington Avenue. Serving brunch Friday through Sunday, items to indulge yourself with include red velvet pancakes or the chicken-fried rib-eye and eggs. Because it's brunch, you're given full license to drink bubbly before noon, as well you should. Just don't blame us for the nap that's sure to follow.
4720 Washington Ave.; 713-880-8737
For a very quaint brunch amid highly manicured greenery, consider Tiny Boxwoods. Its scenery comes courtesy of the high-end plant nursery to which it is attached, and the food is equally as country-club evoking. Saturday and Sunday brunches have their own unique menus, on which brunch pizzas, fancy burgers and French-inspired fare all make an appearance. Though of course, being Houston, there are also Southern and Tex-Mex influences as well.
3614 W. Alabama St.; 713-622-4224
Strong, barista-made coffees, inventive cocktails and a super cozy vibe are a siren song to Houston brunchers, which is why Down House is always packed by 10 AM on the weekends. It also helps that its New American menu boasts some of the best bites in town. Recent selections like the Vietnamese-inspired shrimp and grits in a fragrant pho broth and the chicken and waffles with a spicy pepper honey only left us wanting more.
1801 Yale St.; 713-864-3696
It offers all the flavors of Indian food, plus the eggs and carbs beloved by Americans - so basically, the perfect marriage. What's even better is that Pondicheri (little sibling to chef Anita Jaisinghani's Indika) is open every day of the week for counter-service breakfast or brunch, serving all items until 3 PM. The morning thali is a good place to start, with a huge variety of dishes on one plate. Follow it up with their housemade chai for full effect.
2800 Kirby; 713-522-2022