It’s entirely possible that months ago, I said, “Let’s do away with brunch.” OK, I did say something along those lines, but so did Brian Luscher.
And if someone who was serving one of Dallas’ best brunches can say it’s stupid, maybe I can, too. But not all brunches are. Breakfast can be insanely good, and the opportunity to sit down with someone for longer than usual on a weekend to have a morning meal is worthwhile.
(But yeah, dollar mimosas and mediocre plates using gotta-use ingredients can, by all means, go away.)
They serve “breakfast/brunch” all day, which is perfect for while we’re still working at home. Take a lunch break and have brunch on a Tuesday? Why not?
Go for the No. 2 brunch item on the menu, the Zaguán brunch. Eggs with cheese and vegetables are scrambled or prepared in an omelet — your choice for how you want the onion, mushroom, tomato and peppers — and are served with an arepa, beef or chicken and your choice of a fruit smoothie.
The vegetables are seasoned well to go with the egg, which would make a fine meal in itself (that’s the No. 1). The beef was fine, but not the highlight. That would be the arepa, which was better than expected with a perfectly crisp exterior and plenty of cheese.
They’re surely not using the wonderful Filipino mangos in the smoothie here, but it hits the spot to where I can close my eyes and feel like I’m in Pampanga again. Get a mango smoothie — you’ll love it even if you haven’t spent time on Luzon.
The egg, ham and cheese croissant is wonderful. Sure, there are drive-thrus in town where you can get a version of this, but here each component is intentional and complementary. There’s a slight sweetness with the salty ham that rests with melted cheese and the buttery croissant that makes this simple assortment decadent.
The menu includes other options, such as a cheese croissant, an arepa with egg and cheese (what I’m ordering the next time I give in to a mango shake craving).
This Oak Lawn spot has plenty of space on its covered patio; sitting there while the rain falls is a lovely scene. Even better is doing that with a cheese arepa and a fruit smoothie. That's simple and why it's worth going: It’s a well-executed breakfast that doesn’t fall into the brunch scene and instead provides a memorable meal.
Zaguán Latin Cafe and Bakery, 2604 Oak Lawn Ave. (Oak Lawn). Open 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; and 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday 214-219-8393.