Lower Greenville feels like it’s been ebbing and flowing with businesses since Angela Hunt started making moves to revitalize it.
With that, we’ve seen some places come and quickly go. We’ve seen some places that make us want to adopt another neighborhood’s “Don’t Uptown my Deep Ellum” saying.
So when a newer place steps in and feels like it knows the neighborhood, we like it just a bit before we even look at the menu.
Alamo Club opened last year in the space formerly known as the Blind Butcher — that was one of those closings that made us say, “Please go to restaurants you like.”
But anyway: Alamo Club serves a superb chicken sandwich, as I’ve elaborated previously. It also serves brunch, which took us in last weekend.
I don’t walk through those doors all that often, but I was greeted as if I’m there as frequently as I’m in Cosmo’s, so I was definitely outed. Despite that, service didn’t become extra-stellar and no complimentary foods came out, so write I will.
Looking at the brunch beverages, you’ll find a bloody mary with bacon, shrimp and a house-made mix ($8), but for just $2 more, you can get a carafe of blood orange mimosa. We were OK with this — it has the proper ratio to accept it and handle a couple of glasses.
If you want to go hard in the morning, the brunch boilermaker gets you a shot of whiskey with a pony, a small beer ($5).
Appetizers for brunch here don’t offer variety from the list of the regular menu. But the deviled eggs are still good — pimento and cheddar have a bite from pickles, and the five half eggs come with a mound of shaved ham in the middle ($9). A touch of roe on top of each swirl of filling would’ve been appreciated, but the saltiness of the ham is good, too.
You can’t get the fried chicken sandwich at brunch — people apparently ask for it, too. But what you can get is a plate of fried chicken strips, which is that much better because most things with decent gravy just are ($12). This one comes with a jalapeño gravy, one that’s heavy with the pepper’s flavor without much heat. The real surprise here, though, are the fries: The thick spears were such that there was plenty of delicate potato inside and extra-crisp outside that’s perfectly dressed with salt and pepper.
These were good on their own, decadent in that gravy and addicting when dipped in bechamel, which is possible if you get the West Philly omelet ($10).
The presentation lacks excitement, enough to where once you take a bite, you’re surprised to find meat properly seasoned among peppers and plenty of Swiss cheese. The bechamel is full of flavor with plenty of garlic and not too much flour — the latter of which frequently gives us flavorless sauce. The chopped meat could be more tender. Sure, we’ll accept such texture when slathered with cheese in a Philly cheesesteak, but sitting at home in a thin omelet, a gentler chew would be more appropriate.
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Other items on the brunch menu include breakfast tacos with potato, egg, cheddar and bacon ($12) and French toast with berry compote, whipped cream, powdered sugar and syrup ($10). It’s nice to find a reasonably priced brunch menu, with the most expensive item being a bacon cheeseburger for $14.
The few times I’ve walked into Alamo Club, something is different about design. The last time, a long booth lined the southern wall, with two-top tables down the way coupled with chairs. This time, big, four-person booths took over the space. So you can sit down at a closed-in space or take a high-top in the middle.
String lights also now blink their white glow along the ceiling that has a wonderful historic feel, and if you like the vibe, the bar program’s pretty good here. We continued our own brunch with the TX fresca, with El Tesoro tequila, grapefruit juice, lime, Cointreau and Mexican Fresca soda ($10). The spritzy cocktail is boozy enough to make you want to sit in here a little while longer while feeling like you might just walk out into Marfa when you leave.
Alamo Club, 1919 Greenville Ave. (Lowest Greenville). Brunch served 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.