The 2014 Mother’s Day Brunch List
From trendy to traditional, we’ve got this Mother’s Day covered.
If a picture-perfect patio is what’s most alluring to you in a brunch spot, Batanga more than checks that box with one of the best views of downtown from its spacious, shady, well-manicured patio overlooking Market Square. Tucked under one of dozens of red umbrellas, you can enjoy tapas-style brunch dishes such as tostadas topped with chorizo and scrambled eggs or house-cured lomo with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. Don’t miss out on glasses of sweet sangria spiked with Chambord.
Regardless of which Benjy’s location you choose, the original in Rice Village or its ultra-modern sister on Washington Ave., you’ll find an inventive brunch menu, attentive service, and chic decor that coolly declares the weekend has arrived—and you should spend it in style. At both locations, you’ll find Benjy’s famous nut-crusted French toast, brunch cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juice, and bottomless carafes of refreshing mintade.
At BRC Gastropub, the beer-centric restaurant manages to make brunch—like the rest of its menu—into the kind of affair even the gruffest Gus would enjoy. Look for the chicken-fried steak battered with jalapeño potato chips, a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with brisket and a fried egg, and “Gorilla breakfast tacos” drenched in creamy queso—all of which pair perfectly with one of BRC’s excellent craft beers on tap.
This newcomer to the flourishing Montrose dining scene is actually the first Houston location of a successful Lafayette-based chain. Its Louisiana roots are on full display with dishes such as deviled eggs topped with tasso and fried oysters, freshly fried beignets, and even an eggs benedict po-boy. Brunch is served from open to close, seven days a week, but we recommend going on the weekends, when you can enjoy the clever build-your-own Bloody Mary menu.
Hugo’s has held the unofficial title of Houston’s best brunch buffet for a decade, but chef/owner Hugo Ortega’s second restaurant, Caracol, is poised to grab the title from its big sister restaurant, with a buffet offering seafood-stuffed poblano peppers, empanadas, ceviches, and much more—including half-price grilled oysters. Brunch is only served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays, but the airy dining room appears more than capable of holding the crowds that will no doubt pack in for years to come, just as they’ve done at Hugo’s.
If you love breakfast at Pondicheri, try the elegant Sunday-brunch service at Indika. This is the one day a week when chef/owner Anita Jaisinghani serves her specialty naan breads such as pistachio-apricot with cilantro chutney, and dishes such as eggs stuffed with a wild mushroom masala topped with walnuts, or fried eggs with Goan sausage and masala potatoes. Unlike Pondicheri, Indika has a full liquor license, which means you can get cocktails (we love the pineapple jaljeera) in addition to fresh-squeezed juices, teas, tisanes, and coffees.
Get to this popular Turkish outpost early for Sunday brunch—your best bet for beating the crowds is arriving no later than 10:30 a.m. Grab a table and a plate, then peruse the extensive brunch buffet of Turkish favorites such as menemen (think Turkish migas) and fluffy rounds of bazlama bread while your waiter delivers delicate, tulip-shaped glass mugs of hot tea. Between the food, the tea, the extended Turkish families who pack in, and the delightful live music from a Turkish trio, you’d swear you woke up that morning in Istanbul.
If you’re looking for the party on Sunday mornings, it’s at West Ave hotspot Saint Genevieve, which is currently carrying the La Strada torch for day drinking and debauchery. The patio at this second-story aerie fills up fast; these are the best seats for the fashionable runway of patrons dressed to the nines before noon, who parade in with a sense of purpose (to be seen, and to drink). Underneath all the pomp, however, are legitimately good brunch dishes: we love the breakfast quesadillas with pulled chicken, the chilaquiles with a ruddy mole sauce, and the decadent brioche French toast with Nutella whipped cream.
Brunch at Triniti is every bit as busy as dinner—which is to say, you definitely need a reservation, otherwise you’ll risk watching jealously from the bar, waiting it out with a mimosa as diners pounce on baskets of freshly baked cinnamon rolls, bowls of creamy cheese grits, and plates of chicken-fried biscuits topped with chorizo gravy and fried eggs. Triniti often hosts a jazz duo at brunch, lending an even more refined quality to the already stylish dining room. Savvy diners know the best brunch bargain is chef Ryan Hildebrand’s “Five-Course Sunday Feast” for $35.