We go to brunch every week — not because we love mimosas or carving time out of the weekend for another egg dish, but because we consider it a service as we carve a path through the increasing number of joints serving brunch.
We went to different ones in 2018, we’ll go to new places in 2020. This list would be the best 11 brunch meals if I could include a phenomenal plate I had in Santa Fe last September, a recommendation by chef Stephan Pyles. But these meals in Dallas are the real deal — memorable through the end of the year and longer.
ShakshukaBeverley’s Bistro and Bar
There’s plenty worth writing about at Beverley’s, but this small skillet of baked eggs among tomatoes and peppers and topped with feta and herbs is simply lovely ($13). A solid red sauce can make you sit back in your chair, close your eyes and take in the herbaceous flavors of this rich creation. This has that, along with bright peppers that take care of eggs that are perfectly cradled in this delightful presentation.
3215 N. Fitzhugh Ave. (FitzKaty)
Red ChiliCBD Provisions
We’re going alpha-order here, so don’t think this whole list is going to be dishes served in miniature skillets; but this serving of red chili from CBD is perfect for one ($16). This bowl of grass-fed beef and seasonings, topped with an egg, is fabulous on a cold day, but welcomed with any weather. An order comes with a heck of a large serving of cornbread: It’s good enough on its own, but crumbled on top of that perfectly fatty bowl, you won’t even want to share a bite with others at your table.
1530 Main St. (downtown)
Wagyu Beef and EggsCity Hall Bistro
This restaurant in the historic Adolphus has a wonderful take on the steak-and-eggs classic ($22). The wagyu beef is served similar to a pot roast style, which falls apart at the slightest touch of the fork. Even better, it's topped with Choron sauce, a kind of tomato hollandaise that adds some needed moisture back to the beef while providing a rich, fatty flavor of its own. The eggs are served however you prefer and come alongside the true hero of City Hall Bistro’s brunch: the papas bravas.
1321 Commerce St. (downtown)
Smoked Salmon BagelCommissary
When the Commissary opened in its blue-tiled building, many of us living downtown rejoiced. No, it wasn’t cheap, but it was convenient and consistently executed meals with quality. (And we can walk to it!) And when tasting the smoked salmon bagel, I regretted time wasted trying other ones in town ($11). They put smoked salmon on a smaller poppyseed bagel with plenty of caper schmear, dill, arugula and tomato. It comes out as a true sandwich, not one of those open ones you have to construct, trying to keep capers on top of the cream cheese. It’s messy: Some tomato may fall out, poppyseeds definitely go everywhere, but each bite has a bright freshness to it that makes this particular bagel sandwich cravable.
1217 Main St. (downtown)
Spicy Bacon Ciabatta Breakfast SandwichCrickles and Co.
I can’t believe it took me so long to come to Crickles and Co. when it’s been here since 2008. When I had this spicy bacon ciabatta last spring, it was the first breakfast sandwich I had experienced in ages that did such a dish justice ($6.75). The ciabatta is perfectly soft and comes in the correct proportion to the rest of the sandwich. The egg is cooked enough to have structure but not too much that it doesn’t have the perfect spill of yolk from the center. Thick bacon, sharp cheddar cheese and house-made tomato jam complete it. But Crickles also adds a jalapeño aioli, making every bite start a bit sweet, followed by savory goodness and finishing up with a quick spice.
4000 Cedar Springs Road (Oak Lawn)
Ol’ Dirty Biscuit SandwichGood Friend Package
Any place that has a multi-item section for house-made beer biscuit sandwiches deserves recognition. But Good Friend Package gets on this list because it has a simple-sounding biscuit sandwich with sausage, American cheese and sausage gravy that’s huge and everything I’ve ever wanted ($8). It’s just dynamite. It’s also tremendous in size, and I probably should be respectable enough to share it with someone, but it’s good enough not to. Just handle the guilt later.
1155 Peavy Road (East Dallas)
Ham and Cheese WaffleHomewood
Now, Homewood doesn’t need any hype from me, but what people do need to know about is Choron sauce. It comes on the ham and cheese waffle, a savory take on this breakfast standard ($17). We see the price tag has increased by $2 since we were last there, but I stand by this waffle that has this velvety tomato sauce. The waffle has a proper balance of salt and is the perfect vehicle for the savory Choron that just gently leans a bit sweet. The whole thing is topped with dill and chives, and because just a touch of umami can’t hurt anything, it’s finished with a light dusting of nutritional yeast.
4002 Oak Lawn Ave. (Oak Lawn)
Breakfast Chile RellenoJosé
It’s hard enough to find a good chile relleno in town, but José's breakfast version is so good, you won’t worry about finding a regular one ($14). One might think they'll cut into this Oaxaca cheese-filled poblano pepper to find chorizo, but instead we found Luscher’s breakfast sausage with potato hash. It’s the perfect savory breakfast we still crave every week.
4931 W. Lovers Lane (Northwest Dallas)
Pimento Cheese BurgerKnife
This burger made me fall in love with pimento cheese again ($14). It’s a smaller burger on a perfectly fresh white bun that gives way to a super-cheesy, well-cooked beef. (Of course the beef is better than most: It’s Knife). The made-in-house pimento cheese is what you’ll want on every burger after you have this one.
5300 E. Mockingbird Lane (Glencoe)
Croque Tartine ParisienneR.M. 12:20
I recommend this place when most people ask for a good brunch spot, and a lot of that is because of this sandwich ($12). It’s a knife-and-fork type of ham-and-cheese sandwich, as it’s topped with an egg and a béchamel-like sauce. You knife crunches through the crisp, cheese-laden toast that offers a swell of flavor and just enough salt throughout. A pile of herbs above it all makes you feel a bit better about the well-earned indulgence.
9850 Walnut Hill Lane (Lake Highlands)
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.