Brunch has gotten a lot less boring in Houston lately. While you can still find Denver omelets and bottomless mimosas at plenty a place, more interesting iterations of brunch classics are slowly taking over. At Cuchara, for example, the Saturday and Sunday brunch menus feature pressed pork belly tacos, corn pancakes topped with cajeta, and sotol-laced bandidos in lieu of Bloody Marys. At Benjy's, look for nut-crusted French toast and a chorizo frittata with melted leeks and avocado crema.

Triniti
2815 S. Shepherd Dr.
713-527-9090
trinitirestaurant.com

Naturally, when Triniti decided to get into the brunch game last summer, it brought its signature avant garde attitude to each and every dish. The result is one of the most adventurous and playful brunch menus around—and done right, it's a considerable bargain. Carafes of "organic treehugger mimosas" are only $15, or $3 for a glass.

A basket of three big, beautiful, freshly-baked pastries—such as pineapple-filled glazed donuts or sticky-sweet cinnamon rolls—is $10. And in keeping with Triniti's tasting-menu aesthetic, there's even a five-course brunch tasting menu for only $35.

That's a little more than I can deal with at brunch, however, so I usually end up sticking to my favorites: a petite Staub pot of perfectly seasoned grits—thick with Vermont butter and salty Widmer Cheddar cheese—and a single brunch entrée. This past Sunday, it was something new: the chicken-fried biscuit with chorizo gravy—a tough call that forced me to pass up other favorites like the monkey bread French toast with orange-rum mascarpone cream and the curried chicken crepes.

It paid off, however, when the single fluffy biscuit arrived with such a pitch-perfect CFS batter I had to chuckle. On top was a thick country gravy that replaced pan sausage with peppery chorizo. And in case the creamy gravy was insufficient for the biscuits-and-gravy/chicken-fried steak hybrid, a single fried egg on top gave it extra oomph.

This past Sunday also happened to be Triniti's first jazz brunch, with New Orleans–based duo Kim Prevost and Bill Solley crooning standards across a packed dining room. I admit to being a little resistant at first—after all, Triniti is already noisy when there isn't live music in the room—but fell in love with Prevost's voice after her first Ella Fitzgerald cover, and, with mimosa planted firmly in hand, soon found myself relaxing into the clever sophistication of it all. 

 

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