I have always resented the fact that in brunch settings one is often forced, usually for economic reasons, but also, I think, strangely in accordance to some American custom of unknown origin, to choose sides (sweet or savory) as if it is physically impossible to be simultaneously craving something sugary and something salty for one’s first meal of the day. Such a forced choice especially irritates me when those three-plus margaritas I had the previous evening are still literally and metaphorically hanging on my head and conscious.
So, while there are great brunch places near my apartment (even within walking distance), I have recently found significant motivation to trek to either Pearland or Vintage Park: both locations of Another Broken Egg Café, whose very reasonable price point and diverse Cajun-inspired offerings mean I can order multiple dishes across the flavor spectrum without spending all my gold.
The burgers at Broken Egg are fine but in no way compete with so many others available in Houston, so skip over that portion of the menu in favor of trying some of their unique specialties. I suggest beginning with some of the hair of the dog, specifically in the form of their sassy “Lady Marmalade Mimosa,” which riffs on the traditional brunch cocktail via the inclusion of St. Germain liqueur and a dab of orange marmalade. Pair this sweet libation with a decadent appetizer (yes, you are allowed to order a starter at meals other than dinner!), such as the baked brie, an all-but-melted cake of buttery cheese served with a heaping mounds of apples, pecans, and raisins sautéed in a Grand Marnier butter sauce. There’s French bread on the side for dipping, but just digging in with your fork is not a faux pas.
Next, return to the sweet side by requesting either the cinnamon roll French toast or the granola, fruit, and quinoa. ‘Bah!’, I hear the gourmands among you say. "That’s hardly a difficult choice as the latter sounds like something I might feed my dog when he’s on a diet." Names, however, can be deceiving, for the humbly titled “granola, fruit, and quinoa” is actually a specular dish comprising a mountain of honey roasted granola layered with terrifically textured blueberry quinoa, strawberries, blueberries, whole toasted coconut-crusted bananas, and crowned with a vanilla yogurt drizzle. With a small pitcher of whole milk on the side, it’s basically, it’s the equivalent of a breakfast sundae but healthful. This is not to say, of course, that you will be disappointed if you go for the cinnamon roll French toast, which is lovely on its own though exponentially improved via the addition of sliced bananas, whipped cream, and bananas foster sauce.
Because portions are ample at Broken Egg, split your sweet main course to save room for your return to the savory. The lobster omelet stuffed with brie and adorned with respectable sized chunks of crustaceans laced in a champagne sauce is remarkable for its balance of rich dairy elements alongside lighter proteins. But my absolute favorite is the Benedict Oscar, the Café’s best-seller (in a good Harry Potter—not Danielle Steele—sort of way). Toasted English muffins serve as the base for juicy cuts of grilled flat-iron steak and two poached eggs dotted with crabmeat sautéed in garlic and asparagus. Both muffins are drowning in a delicious Bearnaise sauce with salient tarragon notes.
If owner and proprietor Paul Sikand opens a third Another Broken Egg Café in my ’hood, he would give a lot of these hipster joints a run for their money. And I might find myself eating Benedict Oscar on weekdays.