EDITOR’S NOTE: We define brunch as a weekend-only meal. Restaurants that serve breakfast throughout the week—while they may be perfectly tasty—were not eligible for this list.

UPTOWN

Malai  Kitchen

Brunch served Saturday and Sunday

Brunch at a Thai restaurant may sound off-putting, but Malai Kitchen’s breakfast fare with a Thai-Vietnamese twist will set you straight. Don’t go expecting Sterno-heated chafing dishes; everything here is cooked to order. We found the cozy patio surprisingly quiet on a Saturday at noon, but the friendly service made up for any loneliness we may have felt. Each diner receives an amuse-bouche of sticky rice and eggplant dip. Chef Braden Wages turns French toast into an Asian delicacy. He tops thick slices of a Vietnamese baguette with flambéed bananas. Warm coconut syrup, which is made with coconut milk and palm sugar, and contains hints of tamarind and mango, comes on the side. His version of eggs Benedict is done Malai style, which means coconut-spiked biscuits, Thai basil, shrimp, and poached eggs, all covered with a Thai chile hollandaise sauce. We admit we were leery of this dish, but it turned out to be the highlight of the meal and worth every artery-clogging calorie. Other offerings include a scrambled egg mix with curry “salsa,” Vietnamese noodle soup, fried rice topped with a fried egg, and a Vietnamese burger. There are $3 mimosas and $5 Bloody Marys, but splurge on a Lemongrass Fizz, a concoction of Ketel One Citroen, St-Germain, lemongrass syrup, and sparkling wine designed by mixologist Jason Kosmas. The flavors don’t collide with the cuisine.

brunch_02 Malai's Banh Mi French Toast photography by Kevin Marple

LOWEST GREENVILLE

The Libertine
Brunch served Sunday only

The Libertine is a full-service establishment for serious beer drinkers. Every Saturday night they tempt with pints (and pints) of Belgian Chimay and sinful-sounding lagers such as Southern Star Bombshell Blonde. On Sunday morning, the kitchen offers a brunch menu designed to ease the pain those pints inflicted the night before. Take a seat—preferably the same one you occupied only a few hours earlier—and order a Snake in the Grass, a soothing concoction of green chartreuse, St-Germain, citrus juice, and Peruvian bitters. As the fog begins to lift, pluck sautéed shrimp from creamy manchego cheese grits. If you’re craving eggs, go with a ragin’ Cajun-style Benedict with andouille sausage and grilled crawfish piled atop an English muffin and covered with a poached egg and a runny dollop of hollandaise. Need a stiffer kick-start? Order the chilaquiles, a spicy mixture of eggs, tortilla slices, and tomatillo sauce.

brunch_03 (from left) Hattie's Hangtown Scramble and interior photography by Kevin Marple


NORTH OAK CLIFF

Hattie’s
Brunch served Sunday only

Long before North Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District became one of the city’s more popular culinary destinations, this graceful Southern belle set the standard for fine dining south of the Trinity. It’s easy to see why. Brunch at Hattie’s is as sleepy and seductive as a Mississippi drawl, and the offerings are down-home delicious. The Hangtown Scramble is a gustatory hangover helper: herbed scrambled eggs, hash browns, and bacon-wrapped fried oysters all topped with Parmesan shavings and a red chile hollandaise drizzle. Breaded pork cutlets come with fried eggs and sweet potato hash browns. For those with a sweeter taste, cornmeal griddle cakes and sourdough French toast with bananas Foster sauce are sinfully indulgent. Yet every time we visit Hattie’s, we have a hard time not ordering the chicken and waffles: a perfectly fried chicken breast sitting atop a crispy waffle drenched in spicy maple syrup. It’s an off-the-
menu gem.

UPTOWN

Komali
Brunch served Saturday and Sunday

Owner and Chef Abraham Salum’s love affair with chiles is evident all over Komali’s brunch menu. From rich pasillas to smoky chipotles to mellow poblanos, his regional Mexican cooking is soothing and fragrant, a far cry from cheesy-greasy Tex-Mex (not that there’s anything wrong with that). With its sisal-covered walls and airy, light-filled interior, Komali feels like a Baja getaway. Brunch entrées are likewise a respite from the ordinary. Huevos ponchados feature two corn sopes—thick masa patties lightly fried—topped with chorizo, poached eggs, and pasilla hollandaise. It’s a zesty, dense dish for those with hearty appetites. A lighter option is the lump crab-stuffed crepes bathed in a lovely poblano cream and queso Oaxaca. Migas and chilaquiles—no strangers to most Texans—are traditional Mexican breakfast options cooked well by chef Salum. For a sweet ending, you can’t go wrong with sugar-dusted churros. At Komali, they come with a cup of Mexican hot chocolate.

brunch_04 (clockwise from top left) Ava's Big 'Ol Biscuit Sandwich, Randall Copeland and Nathan Tate, cinnamon roll French toast, and smoked brisket scramble photography by Kevin Marple


ROCKWALL

Restaurant Ava
Brunch served Sunday only

Don’t let your big-city snobbery show. Though this charming and rustic restaurant is located in historic downtown Rockwall—yes, Rockwall—its contemporary American fare is some of the finest in North Texas. Chefs/owners Randall Copeland and Nathan Tate’s farm-to-table mantra is evident in the list of local produce and meats they use: Athey Farm eggs, Barking Cat Farm greens, J.T. Lemley’s produce, and more. Likewise, their brunch is fresh and satisfying, with offerings changing with the season. One thing remains constant: every brunch begins with complimentary homemade biscuits. A self-proclaimed biscuit aficionado at our table declared Ava’s big, fluffy, moist biscuits the finest he’s had in Texas. That’s high praise. The smoked brisket scramble is a ridiculously enormous plate featuring pecan-smoked brisket, eggs, potatoes, queso fresco, and fried tortilla strips. Roll it all up in a slightly charred flour tortilla and spoon on some roasted tomato salsa. Cinnamon roll French toast has a welcome granola-baked crunch with plenty of warm, spicy cinnamon flavor while not being too sweet. A side of house-smoked bacon certainly doesn’t hurt. That same delicious bacon appears in Ava’s three-cheese-and-spinach quiche. With brunch this fine, you might catch yourself plotting your next visit to Rockwall. Or some casual house hunting.