Chances are, you've had this kind of place in your restaurant rotation: It's not inconvenient, it's not too expensive and it's OK. It's also not great. You're not mad about eating there, but you wonder why you return. That's how we felt about a recent brunch at Ruins, a Deep Ellum bar and restaurant from the folks behind Armoury D.E.
You can stop by for brunch at Ruins on the weekend or any day of the week for breakfast starting at 11 a.m. But it feels a bit better to have a bloody mary on a weekend.
This brunch cocktail is pretty good, offering a fair amount of spice, though it’s a bit heavy on the tomato flavor. But who knows what you'll really get: One at our table arrived looking like the rest but tasted oddly sweet.
The desayuno menu looks promising. My vieja y yo ($10) tostada dish was the sharpest dish at the table. Two tostadas come to a plate: one with a roasted chayote and pumpkin seed puree, queso fresco, cilantro, over-medium egg and mole verde, the other with roasted tomato and onion salsa sprinkled with chorizo and queso Oaxaca, also served with an over-medium egg and with mole rojo.
The rest of the offerings were less exciting. The gorditas ($3) are easily skippable. Each comes with scrambled eggs, then you add on. For 75 cents each, you can go for a number of toppings. For $1-$2.50, you can get a protein, but neither the chorizo nor pastor were flavorful enough to order again.
You have a variety of options here, with 75-cent choices from egg to mushroom to cheese. For $1 you can get barbacoa, chorizo, chicken tinga, pastor or bacon. For $2.50, you can get tripa or jabali.
If you're going for the sweet option, you'll be a little happier. The besito Frances ($10) is a French toast tossed in agave and mezcal batter with toasted pecans and walnuts, baked apples, caramelized bananas and cinnamon sweet cream. It's hard to go wrong with that combination.
Ruins doesn't ruin brunch, but it needs some legwork to make its breakfast and brunch dishes stand out in a city as feverish for Brunch as Dallas.
Ruins, 2653 Commerce St. (Deep Ellum). Breakfast served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.