State And Allen: At The Intersection Of Good Food And Assbaggery
Bloody Marys are small but mighty at State and Allen Lounge.
Photos by Andrea Grimes and Man O' The Hour
It's disappointing, though not surprising, that Uptown is one of the few reliable neighborhoods for Saturday brunch in Dallas. Uptown is young, Uptown is packed, and Uptown loves drinking on all available weekend nights and most weekdays, too. They brunch accordingly.
With heads ablaze and stomachs afire for something greasy and satisfying, the Man O' The Hour and I set out from Deep Ellum with our figurative eyes on unobtrusive Uptown neighborhood joint, the State and Allen Lounge. Little did we know that standing between us and brunch were several hundred anti-choice protesters marching through downtown, because everyone knows that nothing addresses the problem of unintended pregnancy like people holding signs. Eventually we powered through the Maple-Routh Connection and found ourselves at our destination, seated on State and Allen's toasty patio next to two women and a baby named Sloane.
How do I know the baby's name was Sloane? Well, first, I could have guessed, because Uptown people are the kinds of people who would name their kids after Crate and Barrel place settings. But I didn't have to, because I spent the first half of my meal listening to Sloane's mom and her friend talk, in detail, about the many and varying kinds of drool coming out of Sloane's mouth.
What I am saying is that Bloody Marys were in order, and quickly. State and Allen, and our goateed server, did not disappoint, either in cocktail quality or in price.
Understanding that its usual clientele likely spent the previous evening shelling out $10 for drinks or much, much more for bottle service, State and Allen charges a measly $3 for its Bloody Marys, which are squat but no less tasty for their petite size. Made with Zing Zang mixer--always a winner, always--our drinks were spicy, as requested, and promptly delivered with businesslike friendliness by Goatee Server, who looked like he'd be more at home down at Reno's Chop Shop than anywhere else. We were happy to have two apiece, and if the staff hadn't inexplicably raised the plastic patio covers to let in wafts of cold air, we probably would have had three.
State and Allen's ham and cheese omelette.
The Lounge's brunch menu covers all the essentials--eggs, Tex-Mex, even chicken and waffles--at mostly single-digit prices. I ordered the Tasso Ham And Cheese Omelette, a big, lumpy pocket of spicy ham, sharp cheddar and smoky salsa. It was exceedingly salty, something that most diners would find off-putting but I appreciated immensely, because I am the kind of person who would put salt on salt cakes topped with salt icing on a bed of freshly ground salt. The proportion of ham to cheese to egg was ideal--never did I take a bite that wasn't well balanced with all three.
A toasty Toad In A Hole.
The Man O' The Hour had the Toad in a Hole--an egg cooked directly into a thick, salty piece of bread. He reported that the plate "benefited from the healthy dose of grease and salt they apply to pretty much everything" and especially enjoyed his purple potato hash, which was "great." His bacon was "thick and chewy--heavy on fat and bathed in grease." I believe he intends that to be a positive review. His sole quibble was the fixing of the egg, which he requested over-easy but was more like over-medium, so it lacked the hoped-for goop-on-toast effect.
Thanks to the cheap Bloodys, we got out of there for under $15 apiece, and were none too sad to leave when we did, because Baby Sloane and company had been replaced by a man who spent a half-hour talking to his girlfriend about the new low-carb diet he's trying out with his roommate. The State and Allen Lounge's cheap, tasty food is worth the trip, but Brunch Drunk Love recommends getting as remote a seat from your fellow diners as possible.
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