If you live in Houston, chances are you have been to a brunch or two. Especially when the weather is so nice like it is now! I remember the days of LaStrada and the party Brunch, so I thought this article from CultureMap was a great find that brought back some old memories.
I actually had brunch at J. Black's last weekend, so I speak from experience... If you are looking for something less "party" get there early - we got there when it opened and it was very relaxed and not crowded. Also, great $2 momos and make your own bloody mary bar! The Good Life is definitely on my list to try.
Photo from J.Black's last weekend.
The best party brunches in Houston: When the morning after needs to have a groove
There are two kinds of people in the world: The kind who cures a hangover with an Advil, and the kind who cures a hangover with a Bloody Mary. Me, I’m all about the hair of the dog.
If you like your Sunday brunch like your Saturday party, here are five brunch places that will keep the party going. These restaurants have all the party atmosphere essentials: Loud music, strong drinks and a crowd dressed in glitter.
The food: Saint Genevieve offers strong drinks and food that’s well-executed. The $15 bottomless mimosas go well with the piping hot egg white and goat cheese frittata. The locally produced salmon gravlax on a warm crispy toasted bagel was satisfying.
It’s nice to have a Sunday brunch place where the menu offers healthy items like parmesan kale salad and roasted beets salad. Truthfully, I think they offer salads because otherwise the Beautiful People around you will be judging you for ordering that syrupy sweet French toast, all the while wishing they could have a bite.
The crowd: On Sunday, Saint Genevieve is usually taken over by what one might call the society gays and internationals. The restaurant decor is like a mini Vegas club with everyone dressed the part.
The Music: The volume is at 11.
Pro Tip: Saint Genevieve only take reservations for parties of 10 or more. So if you arrive late you might be in for quite a wait.
The Good Life
The food: Jeff and Darren Van Delden, the same brother entrepreneurs who opened Saint Genevieve, opened The Good Life in Midtown. The Good Life just started a brunch buffet — it’s $15 and the food is actually pretty solid. The buffet is refilled constantly to keep the food fresh.
Look for great jalapeno poppers, macaroni and cheese, and migas. The service is also very attentive.
The Crowd: There was a guy with hair down to his waist, wearing a tight T-shirt and trucker cap. One of the waitresses wore sunglasses indoors. Nuff said?
The Music: Good DJ on the day we went, who played 1980s music remixes. But it was too loud for conversation. Maybe that was the point?
Pro Tip: Skip the salad and pastries and go for gourmet Jello shots, the restaurant’s specialty (the key lime Jello shot was my favorite).
The food: Royal Oak’s $7 Sunday mimosa pitchers, where they empty an entire bottle of champagne into the pitcher, is probably the best deal in town. The restaurant has a craft beer selection and TVs with football games on, which makes it seem like a sports bar, but the music is so loud that it makes it seem like a dance club.
The truffle fries and shrimp and grits do their best to compensate for the horrible service. The bartenders make a good drink . . . once you actually get their attention.
The crowd: You either love this party crowd, or you’ll hate it.
The music: Very loud.
Pro Tip: The front patio faces Westheimer for optimum people-watching. But parking can be difficult. Even with the new parking lot across the street, Sundays are usually full and you'll probably end up having to valet anyway.
The food: Farrago’s challah bread French toast stuffed with maple cream cheese is worth waiting for. With no reservations, unless you arrive by 11 a.m., you can be in for quite a wait at this Midtown spot. Once you get seated, you have the option of walking to the quieter back patio to check out the omelette station.
But on our visit, the omelette station took a long time because the staff was making only one omelette at a time and kept running out of ingredients. The staff was nice but seemed unorganized.
The crowd: A much calmer crowd, at least in the back anyway. The bar is usually packed on Sundays, especially during football season.
The music: The DJ inside the restaurant spins a party atmosphere.
Pro Tip: For a quieter brunch, opt for the patio in the back.
The food: On the morning of our visit to this Washington corridor spot, I saw three diners send their food back. Skip the breakfast pizza and go for open-face egg sandwich or the breakfast tacos instead. The crowd here prefers to drink their meals, and really, with the quality of food here, who can blame them?
The mimosas are superb — when they’re not out of orange juice. Service is mixed. I’ve personally had very friendly waiters, but other people have complained on numerous occasion about snobby service.
The crowd: Good news . . . only 30 percent of the polo shirts will have their collars popped.
The music: The DJ spins a good variety of 1990s and Top 40 songs.
Pro tip: The best thing about J Black's is its beautiful outdoor patio. It’s not as packed as some of the other brunch spots with outdoor spaces.