Snooze: An AM Eatery has opened in Oak Lawn. People have already seen it in Addison, Fort Worth and up on Walnut Hill Lane, but now we have it closer to the city center — and that’s a good thing.
The breakfast joint is out of Denver, where a source (possibly this writer’s father) says the locations are always busy. And if that’s what we see at the Oak Lawn location, there should be no surprise.
Snooze has a formula down, as it should, considering its multiple locations in California, Texas, Colorado and Arizona, with four in DFW. Midcentury starbursts are on everything — glasses, plates, booths. Bright colors fill the room, and bold personalities come out of the wait staff.
The restaurant opened early for friends and family Jan. 19-21, serving free meals to put the staff to the test. Each day had a different beneficiary: the Turtle Creek Conservancy, C5 Youth Foundation of Texas and the Legacy Counseling Center. Not a bad move to get into a neighborhood’s good graces.
On the last day of friends-and-family, the place was full — the front door was open with people just beginning to spill out of it, though most squeezed in inside next to the coffee dispensers.
The packed house could be the reason food took seemingly forever to come out. But that’s the point of days like these, to work out the kinks. Surely Snooze will get that down, because full tables are something it should be used to.
Despite the wait for meals, the service was superb. Each server was dressed up, picking a theme or decade and frequently singing along with the solid playlist dominated by '80s music. Plates and glasses were cleared promptly, detailed questions were asked when ordering (Hot sauce? What kind?), and staff had enough knowledge about the menu to talk about it adequately.
As for that menu, it’s a big one. The tri-fold menu has an overwhelming amount of text on it, giving you options for egg dishes, sweet plates and more. The only downside, depending how you look at it, is that calories are listed next to the prices — no one brunching really needs that, right? (Being that the restaurant hails from Colorado, though, it’s not too surprising.)
Thankfully, Snooze knows how to make a standard breakfast plate, and it appropriately lists it as the very first item on the massive menu. The Snooze Classic ($9.95) gets you three cage-free eggs (cooked to your preference); a choice of ham, bacon, sausage, chorizo, pulled pork, chicken sausage or “soyrizo;” hash browns; and a choice of toast.
The list of meats is a testament to the menu’s great length. The chorizo is fine, though more like a regular sausage patty with a lot of seasoning. The bacon, however, is a must. Even if it doesn’t come with your meal, you’ll want to experience (and probably not share) tender belly bacon ($3.75 for an a-la-carte order).
There’s a breakfast pot pie ($10) that has all the necessary parts of a chicken pot pie: gravy and puff pastry. Instead of chicken, you have a sausage gravy, but one that still has plenty of rosemary and tastes like the pot pie gravy you love. Slopped over a pastry and topped with an egg, it’s not the cutest plate, but it’s pretty satisfying. And the stack of hash browns that comes with this and plenty of other dishes is well done.
There’s a whole section devoted to hollandaise. A smashed avocado version ($12.25) looks good, while the steak and eggs benny ($15.95) is probably going to be on our order list for next time.
There’s also a section named “Sweet Utopia” with pancakes and French toast. It’s a category you don’t want to miss.
There are pineapple upside-down pancakes ($8.25), sweet cannoli pancakes ($8.75) and mascarpone-stuffed brioche French toast ($10). This is a category where you might really just close your eyes to those caloric numbers if you’re going to enjoy yourself.
Can’t decide? A pancake flight ($10) will let you experience three of six pancake options. There’s also a pancake of the day ($8.50), which on the last preview day was the perfect chocolate chip pancake.
As for drinks, the coffee is that overly bitter diner coffee, the kind that makes you scrunch your face a bit at first sip, but you still keep guzzling (so says a strict black-coffee drinker). They meticulously source their own coffee.
There are plenty of cocktails, though none that really wowed us. The Bloody Mary options ($7-12) were a bit watered down, and none of the promised-to-be-spicy ones came out as hot as we expected.
Bubbly options include a sparkling orange juice and pomegranate liquor drink ($7.50) that’s easy to drink first thing in the morning.
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Snooze thankfully has a dedication to sustainability, so none of your drinks will come with straws. You can see these notes on the back of the menu to learn about how they’re recycling, composting and using reusable products.
The menu also includes a list of the restaurant's purveyors, which is always lovely to see.
Eat enough brunch or breakfast, and you know there are plenty of places that are just OK. Nothing’s wrong, but nothing’s great. Snooze is not that. It executes well, the environment is fun and it’s the perfect addition to one of Dallas' brunchiest neighborhoods.
Snooze: An A.M. Eatery, 3211 Oak Lawn Ave. (Oak Lawn). Open 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily.