Waiting in line outside Baby Barnaby's for breakfast on weekend mornings is a Montrose tradition. If you aren't prepared to wait, then you should be prepared to get there at 8 a.m.—and even then, you're not guaranteed a seat right away. This isn't such a bad thing; it's nice to watch the gentle rumble of traffic down Fairview and enjoy the sights and sounds of a part of Montrose which has so far resisted mass gentrification.
However, I don't like lines and I don't like being places at 8 a.m. on the weekends. I'll wait at the Breakfast Klub once in a blue moon, sure, but—strictly speaking—when I show up to a restaurant to eat, it's because I'm hungry and want to eat relatively soon.
That's why I'm so in love with the Barnaby's downtown on Market Square. Sure, it only opens for breakfast on Saturdays at 11 a.m., but let's be honest—I'm barely out of bed by 11 a.m. And yes, it's not open at all on Sundays, but Sundays are for lady brunching, and that takes place at either Pondicheri or Saint Genevieve (if I'm feeling fancy). Barnaby's hits that perfect Saturday morning sweet spot for me, and it even serves breakfast all day long for the super lazy. Yes, even you who want breakfast at 9 o'clock at night.
The Barnaby's downtown even has my favorite breakfast options from Baby Barnaby's: green eggs, which is two scrambled eggs with spinach and artichokes, served with a side of chicken-apple sausage and potatoes. And as with every Barnaby's, the service is simply spectacular. You will not find better service in Houston outside of Uchi and Tony's than at a Barnaby's; it's like a magnet for all the kindest, smartest, most talented waitstaff in town.
Barnaby's also fills a nice niche in Market Square, where previously only a couple of places served breakfast: Niko Niko's (whose breakfast pitas are a marvel of Houston fusion cuisine) and Macondo Latin Bistro, where you can get a variety of classic Central and Southern American breakfast dishes piled high with beans and plantains. Barnaby's fits the modern Texan diner mold, offering fluffy Belgian waffles and chicken-fried steak and eggs alongside huevos rancheros and migas.
And the best part of all: no line. Sure, you'll have to pony up for the parking meters, but I'd rather pay a couple of bucks to park right across the street, stroll inside, sit down at a booth with no wait, and have my coffee and waffles hit the table mere minutes later. That's breakfast done right.