Brunch! That beautiful tradition of carbs and meats and caffeine and booze. And yes, we talk about it quite often. Had enough yet? Of course not! Because guess what? There's another weekend coming up at the end of this very week! And if weekends are just good for one thing, it's sleeping in. But if they're good for two things, that other thing is BRUNCH. Sometimes you need a little rolodex of brunch options when your circumstances or desires are more specific. In that case, keep the following brunches in mind. Pass go and pass the syrup.
Best fancy brunch: Fearing's Let's start the awards off classy-like. Pretend you don't get hammered every Saturday night and need to wear pajamas and your largest sunnies to gather sustenance on Sunday morning. Just pretend. If you manage to run a comb through, slip on something worthy of being seen at the Ritz, and assemble a few friends, you'll be rewarded with fancy brunch at Fearing's, featuring a mix of chef Fearing's twists on traditional brunch foods (like eggs and enchiladas) and killer lunch entrees (Dr Pepper-braised short ribs). Best bets? Cos' chili on jalapeño cheese biscuits will sop up whatever you did last night. Pro tip: Fearing's has a vegetarian menu available per request. Request it. It's one of the more uniquely delicious ones you'll find in town.
Best boozy brunch: Boulevardier Because hair of the dog is best served with a French accent, Boulevardier can get your Saturday or Sunday off right. They have a full English breakfast for goodness' sake. Oh, and legs and eggs featuring duck confit. Le quack for the win. But the cocktails at this Bishop Arts bistro are always spot-on and will surely be just what you need. Of course there's a bloody (Mary or her spicy Latina cousin Maria), but consider the Corpse Reviver #2 if you're feeling particularly corpse-like: You'll taste Plymouth gin, orange liqueur, Cocchi Americano, lemon and absinthe. Just let it cool off before you take a sip (they light it on fire a bit).
Best beefy brunch: SMOKE Did the work week leave you depleted of protein? Brave the weekend wait on the south side of the game board at SMOKE, Tim Byres' house of meat and awesome in Oak Cliff. The pulled whole hog eggs benedict gets quite a bit of attention, but I'm a big fan of the smoked brisket cornbread hash. Also note some of the best pancakes you'll taste anywhere can be found on SMOKE's brunch menu. They're clouds of blueberry-studded buttermilk heaven topped with vanilla poached apricots and cream. And bonus points for blueberries; they're a superfood! Another bonus: SMOKE's Double Barrel Bloody Mary is no joke. There's plenty of lycopene in it too, so go ahead and rationalize all you want.
Best what-the-hell-just-happened?! brunch: Sunday School at ZaZa Maybe you don't go out at night. Perhaps you're an early-to-bed type who likes their kicks in the morning. There's a brunch for you too, friend. Skip ahead two months to Sunday School at ZaZa. This brunch has a reputation. Maybe that's why it only happens once a quarter: because any more would be just too much cray. Plenty of Champagne, a DJ spinning, family-style foods like enormous frittatas and giant pancakes -- and legend tells us table dancing. Can I get a hallelujah? Well, maybe. This elusive brunch is announced via email (if you've ever attended Sunday School before) and on Facebook. Once you know, secure your spot quickly -- they'll go fast. The next one is happening in the next couple of months, I'm told.
Best entertaining brunch: DISH Drag Brunch If you love your cray but don't like to wait, slide on over to DISH's Drag Brunch, which happens slightly more often, and certainly more predictably. DISH serves a really delicious brunch every Sunday, but once a month they pull out all the stops with special drag performances, plenty of $5 mimosas and a live DJ. Snag a seat for one of those and $30 will get you three courses and more glitter, spandex, hairspray and sequins than you can shake a Bloody Mary at. There just happens to be a DISH Drag Brunch coming up this very Sunday with seats left at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Get on that.
Best bloody brunch: Anvil Pub Anvil is into over-delivering when it comes to its bloody mary. One quick Google Images search should give you a clue. You saw right. There's bacon cheeseburger sticking out of this thing, y'all. At Anvil they call their brunch "Fuckbrunch," which seems odd since they're apparently super into it. Maybe it's a brunch for fornicators. Who knows. All I know is once you see this thing you can't fucking forget it. And not to be outdone, the mimosa and screwdriver at Fuckbrunch are also fucking out of control, topped with things like cinnamon rolls, breakfast sandwiches and onion rings. Like a boss. Or a heart attack. Probably both. If you don't die at the end of this brunch, you've already won.
Best bring-your-parents brunch: The Grape If you're like me, you're still trying to score a few points with your parents, even if you don't realize it at the time. Solve this dilemma with brunch at The Grape, where you can rack up a delicious, reasonably priced meal, nurse your hangover if necessary and satisfy your parental units all at once. Featuring grilled tomatoes, eggs, muenster, avocado and sriracha, the haystack is a favorite. And do we even need to mention that burger? Of course we do. If you haven't had this burger, do so immediately. Well, this Sunday anyway. It's only available at brunch.
Best brunch with kids: La Duni Kitchen and Coffee Studio Imagine this: It's Sunday morning and your offspring have let you sleep in to an incredible 9 a.m. 50 points! In celebration, you dress them up in their most adorable clothes and toss them in the mini-V, ready to take on the day. You head to brunch. Brunch with kids needs to be casual, of course. It requires little to no wait, a decent overall noise level just in case, and something for them to eat. The solution? It's a tough one. Especially when you don't want to feel like you're compromising too much. Good news: La Duni at NorthPark takes reservations now. They'll even text you when your table's ready, so you can let your tykes roam a bit should you have to wait a bit. The modern Latin restaurant has an excellent brunch menu full of La Duni's signature baked goods plus traditional Latin dishes like chilaquiles and breakfast tacos. The coffee menu is indulgent, too, because good coffee is necessary whenever kids are involved. Sit outside and watch yours happily scamper around the courtyard.
Best brunch in the 'burbs: Coffee House Café Coffee House Café is where I go when I have to go north of 635 for whatever reason. But any excuse will do, honestly. From the seriously responsible and high-quality coffee program to a killer brunch menu featuring my favorite -- the challah French toast breakfast sandwich, this place has brunch nailed. Scoring major bonus points with the gluten-challenged, the menu offers gluten-free pancakes. And did I mention the coffee? It's excellent. On weekends the wait will tell you that, in a land of many mediocre brunch options, this place stands head and shoulders above the rest -- for those who know.
Best non traditional brunch: Dim Sum Brunch at Chino Chinatown Craving a little sum-thing different? Cross the bridge to Trinity Groves and get you some dim sum brunch at The Taste's Uno Immanivong's Chino Chinatown. But don't expect the Richardson-esque, Chinatown-style dim sum. Chino is a Latin-Asian fusion place, so its brunch offerings are just as outside-the-box as the rest of its menu. Sure, there are the expected carts pushing steamed buns and dumplings, but you can also get your hands on their insanely popular duck fat fried rice and my favorite, the fajita steak drunken noodles. Thirsty? The creative cocktails at Chino never disappoint, thanks to Adrian Verdin's influence.
Best Southern brunch: Sissy's Southern Kitchen Fun fact: Chicken and dumplings makes for surprisingly fabulous brunch eating. And Chef Lisa Garza makes quite possibly the best and most beautiful rendition in town. Comfort in a bowl. But there are more than a few stunners on Sissy's brunch menu, like fried chicken and waffles dripping with syrup. And a brûléed half grapefruit is unforgettable, with a crunchy sugar crust atop the bright red fruit. The setting is nothing to sneeze at either. From the restaurant's beautiful bar to its sunny porch, the views at Sissy's say dreamy Southern perfection. Hold tight to your biscuits.
Best for ladies who brunch: Parigi If you like dressing to the nines for brunch -- because who knows, you might snag a selfie with Jerry Jones, check out small but mighty Parigi. A little piece of Paris on Oak Lawn Avenue, Parigi has a well-earned reputation for quality. Chef Janice Provost, in her trademark hot pink chef's coat, pioneered the local ingredient trend in Dallas (before anyone was really paying much attention to that type of thing). Her menu proves again and again that Lemley's tomatoes and Vital Farms' eggs really do make brunch better. On a nice day, sit on Parigi's lovely patio for a truly Parisian experience.
The weekend's coming, folks. Get out there and put an egg on it. I like mine fried over medium. Game on.
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.