I’m not the biggest brunch guy. I feel like maybe later in life I’ll get there because I certainly love traditional brunch items, and day drinking seems like it might be fun in an alternate timeline where I don’t have so damn much to do.
But Medrano is a brunch fiend, and my editor Taylor Adams has handled the brunch beat for us for a while (including ending brunch service at a couple of places; we call her Mean Homer), and they were both available. So we headed for The Morning After, a Dallas Observer Brunch Event. I mean, if bright blue skies, 69 degrees, and the Dallas Farmers Market can’t make you happy, then Wellbutrin has few side effects and is covered by most insurance.
It was just a blast. My first thought was that so many of the participants had brought biscuits and gravy. Aren’t there other things to eat for brunch? And then I realized I was standing mere steps from several of the best biscuits and gravy plates in town, which helped me understand I was overthinking it. Happens sometimes. But like the nice people tell me every year when I enter my salsa in the State Fair of Texas, “Don’t feel bad when you don’t win.” A competitive field means it’s hard to be the best.
The best to me turned out to be Harlowe MXM, a place whose name reads like it would be better at monkfish liver foam or possibly bottle service than at biscuits and gravy. The biscuits were medium dense and a little salty, and the gravy was just superb. Medium viscous with piles and piles of spicy pork sausage. This was not an effort to please all palates — way too spicy for that. Good decision.
Another good entry in the biscuits and gravy derby was House of Blues’ brisket version. HoB is another place I made stupid assumptions about because it doesn’t seem like a place to eat. That was before I had their tacos at the Observer’s Tacolandia event a few months ago. Go eat at HoB. I don’t care how weird that sounds.
Yardbird was a big sponsor ahead of their opening in just over a month at Park District. I would have to spend the rest of the column explaining how a Southern place is mostly in Vegas and LA and yet is NOT the Yardbird from Hong Kong or how I know that both concepts are good. So just suffice it to say that we’re getting the Singapore one, not the Hong Kong one and you’re going to enjoy their Southern fare, not their yakitori. The lima bean and chicken dish they served Saturday was lovely, even if they did call it “chili,” which definitionally is never bean or chicken. But their lima bean and chicken stew was delicious. Medrano and Taylor highly approved of the fried Oreo with marshmallow fluff.
NOTE: If you want to see all of the glorious photos Alison McLean took of the event, check out our slideshow.
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Del Sur was there, and the eyeball test said it could have been the thing people were most excited about. Those people have good taste. I can’t decide if Del Sur or Taqueria Taxco made me happier, and I’m not gonna. It’s not exactly revelatory food writing to say, “Eat at both Del Sur and Taxco.”
Back to the day drinking: the VIP tickets came with, uh, ample drink coupons, and just the regular tickets had three apiece. In addition to delicious beer and spirits from Deep Ellum Brewing and Deep Ellum Distilling, several other places were whipping up brunch cocktails, including some excellent examples in the VIP area from Happiest Hour. It was a boozy event. Yes, I see it has “brunch” in the name.
These Observer food events are super fun and a good value, if I do say so myself.