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Toast to new brunches this weekend (and all the weekends until we finally get another long weekend).

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we are in that rough patch of the year where there are approximately 70—yes, that's seventy—days before another holiday weekend. I, for one, do not have Columbus Day off and wouldn't know how to appropriately celebrate if I did, so the countdown to Thanksgiving officially begins. In an effort to find the silver lining here, why not celebrate the fact we have still have the weekends to look forward to, and more than a few new, hot brunch spots to try out while we're at it. In celebration of that fact, we're spotlighting restaurants which we already know and love that have delicious new weekend brunch menus on offer.

Big Ben Tavern
636 Highway 6, Ste. #1000, Sugar Land, 832-532-7855, bigbentavern.com

One of Sugar Land's newest hidden gems, having opened just two years ago, Big Ben Tavern has become a favorite among locals for its warm, welcoming vibe and oh-so-delicious British-pub style grub. From Scotch eggs and chicken tikka to a beer list that reads like a who's who of Texas and beyond, Big Ben Tavern guarantees one fantastic experience if you find yourself in the Sugar Land bubble for the evening.

With happy hour daily from 3 to 9 p.m., the tavern has been well-received so far for its drink and food specials, but has been waiting to add a full brunch service on the weekends—until now. Starting this Sunday, Big Ben will be hosting a weekly "Sunday Funday" and rolling out its brand-new brunch menu along with bottomless mimosas. Sunday brunch menu items will include the crab benedict plate made with sweet corn pancakes, sun-dried tomato and apricot jelly, and truffle hollandaise. The patio out front will surely turn into a party, making a Sunday out in Sugar Land that much sweeter.

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Sweet semolina pancakes will be served at Helen starting this Saturday.

Helen Greek Food & Wine
2429 Rice Blvd., 832-831-7133, helengreekfoodandwine.com

Helen Greek Food & Wine has added something truly remarkable to the already dynamic dining scene in Rice Village: a Greek taverna with a flair for the modern that uses locally-sourced ingredients for its updated Greek dishes and boasts an unusual all-Greek wine list. But Helen has more up its sleeve, as owner Evan Turner promised from the very beginning when he mentioned that brunch would be on its way soon.

Starting this Saturday, Helen is rolling out its brand-new brunch menu, which will include such mouthwatering selections as the savory Greek benedict with poached eggs, feta cornbread, Cypriot sausage and avgolemono hollandaise or sweet semolina pancakes with grape molasses and grape syrup, almonds, Greek yogurt and whipped cream.

As out-of-the-box as a brunch menu can get, Turner promises guests equally unique beverage pairings to match. Notable wine cocktails include the Commandaria Cobbler—a decadent blend of Commandaria (a dessert wine that's commonly referred to as the oldest continually made wine in the world) with Mavrodaphne (a sweet red wine) and blackberry syrup—and the Nemean Lion, made with Greek liqueur, Mavrodaphne, cherry syrup, fresh lemon juices, cinnamon, house-made spoon sweets and garnished with fruits—think a Greek sangria with a punch. In a nod to more traditional brunch cocktails, the Trojan Horse features sparkling wine, lemon juice and pomegranate syrup and will surely be a hit among brunch-goers. Setting it apart from many other restaurants which feature weekend brunch, Helen invites guests to dine from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays. Opa! indeed.

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The Holy Queso at La Grange will make up for skipping church on Sunday in favor of brunch.

La Grange
2517 Ralph St., 832-962-4745, lagrangehouston.com

Deep in the heart of Texas, we can turn any brunch dish into a Tex-Mex dish—am I right or am I right? The team at La Grange understands the beauty of this concept and welcomes Houstonians to enjoy a hearty Tex-Mex brunch every weekend from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests can experience the La Grange version of vuelve a la vida with the truly delicioso shrimp and grits topped with chorizo and pico de gallo in addition to house favorites such as its popular Holy Queso and chicken and beef fajitas.

Located in Montrose, La Grange has become a favorite in the neighborhood staying open until the wee hours of the night and offering a patio scene that the locals can't get enough of. But as the weather is expected to begin cooling down this weekend and the daytime becomes bearable once again, I predict this Montrose gem will indeed be the place to indulge in mimosas, margaritas and mules for some day-drinking shenanigans.

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