Houstonians are really big on brunch, a reason why restaurants new and old around the city are constantly vying to entice weekend diners with innovative menus boasting everything from freshly shucked oysters and champagne to the latest version of eggs Benedict. Have an appetite for a new spot but don’t know where to go? Forbes Travel Guide has the dish on five fabulous new brunches to try right now.
What would you expect to find on a menu that’s written as a “love letter to the Gulf Coast?” At Houston Heights’ Bernadine’s, chef Graham Laborde is winning hearts with everything from stellar heritage breed creations to twists on New Orleans classics. For brunch, must-orders include his lovingly made, house-smoked barbecue pork and new potato hash, along with this phenomenal barbecue shrimp toast with eggs — a play on NOLA barbecue shrimp that is part dim sum, part eggs Benedict.
Also not to be missed are drinks by Leslie Ross, the bar director who shakes things up with cheekily named libations such as the sweet-sounding, sweeter-tasting Sweet Magnolia, a Dolin Blanc vermouth-based drink with Cocchi Rosa, sparkling wine and grapefruit. As an added bonus, brunch is offered on both Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., inside and alfresco on Bernadine’s sun-dappled, tree-lined patio.
There’s so much to love about Houston’s darling of the moment — it’s chic and très Français. Under the guidance of Alex Gaudelet of Invest Hospitality, the two-story structure has been transformed into a mini Eataly, with multiple concepts under the same roof. Downstairs you’ll find a bakery called Macarons situated next to an eatery named Marché, where marble tabletops set against gingham-covered banquettes and wooden chairs evoke the feeling of a Provençal bistro.
Here, brunch can be a fluffy orange-scented brioche French toast with almond crust, crème chantilly and berries, or a Tex-Mex-meets-Toulouse concoction of egg carnitas made with slow-cooked pork shoulder, caramelized onions, marble potatoes, cage-free eggs and shishito salsa. And what would brunch be without a lovely wine pairing? A beautifully hued, pale pink rosé from Provence completes the picture. Offered daily from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Helen Greek Food & Wine
Houston’s only James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best New Restaurant this year, Helen Greek Food & Wine is notable for many reasons, the first of which is that its wine list is entirely Greek. Secondly, Helen is a passion project by sommelier/partner Evan Turner; a meal here is meant to be experienced like at a Greek taverna. Everything comes out on plates that are meant to be shared and savored over a fabulous glass of Greek vino.
For brunch, chef William Wright’s menu beguiles and delights with Mediterranean classics like Tsoureki toast (commandaria braised cherries, walnuts, Greek yogurt whipped cream); Gulf Coast shrimp saganaki, served on a bed of caper tomato sauce and topped with feta; and his own version of a Greek Benedict — poached eggs atop a wedge of feta corn bread, with cypriot sausage and an egg-lemon avgolemono sauce. Brunch is offered Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Weights + Measures
With its grab-and-go bakery and hip, retro-style dining room, bar and lounge, Weights + Measures is a cool place to hang out from the wee morning hours late into the evening. But it’s brunch time when the sun’s rays cast an ethereal glow through the floor-to-ceiling windows that the space shines most brightly. Add chef Richard Kaplan’s prettily constructed plates of avocado or mushroom toast, cake donuts and fried chicken (or his to-die-for but utterly gluttonous peanut butter-Nutella-banana and fried egg sandwich), and you’ve got a mighty fine start to a lazy weekend. Craft cocktails — the Dandelion Wine and Almos Paradise are favorites — make for a grand, boozy great time. Served 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Chef Mark Holley’s eponymous Holley’s has been slammed from day one, a reason why it’s taken more than a year and a half to roll out its much anticipated brunch menu. The mouthwatering carte provides a range of options, from East Coast and local oysters on the half shell and a selection of ceviches and crudos, to the Southern plates that are meant to whet your appetite, like the delicious fried quail and sweet potato waffle.
Diners who want a taste of everything can also opt for Holley’s Prixe Fixe Brunch, which allows you to choose from selections like the citrus-cured smoked salmon starter; entrees such as the seafood Spanish tortilla with octopus and mussels; and a delectable Down South coconut cake for dessert. Served Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.