Frequently going to new restaurants can take the excitement out of the experience. But have a place on your list where you know a good chef has taken over, and that excitement reignites.
That’s the case for José, where Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman is running the kitchen.
This Guadalajaran-inspired restaurant sitting on West Lovers Lane near Inwood Road has a large dining room with plenty of natural light flowing through it. A large patio sits outside where you can feel comfortable drinking margaritas for a few hours on a Sunday.
While you can get a perfectly decent margarita here, for brunch you can get a spicy bloody maria ($10) made with tequila and lined with a wildwood-salted rim.
The size of the brunch menu is manageable — no overreaching here with ambition to serve everything. The items fit well with the restaurant’s goal of serving contemporary Mexican-inspired cuisine.
While chilaquiles is seemingly on every place’s brunch menu, the plate here ($16) is worth your time, money and space in your belly.
Shredded chicken paired with refried black beans, crispy tortilla chips, onions, cotija cheese, sunny-side-up eggs and green tomatillo salsa is done right here. Even for those of us who aren’t a fan of this dish, it’s worth ordering repeatedly here. (Come to think of it, maybe we didn’t dislike chilaquiles; maybe we just didn’t like bad chilaquiles.)
There’s a hangover soup ($12) that changes weekly. A recent visit featured a pozole that was some of the best we've had in Dallas.
The molletes de chorizo y aguacate ($14) is a big plate worth sharing of avocado toast with chorizo, refried black beans, Oaxaca cheese and pico de gallo. You could look at it as though it’s toast or an open-faced sandwich.
Whichever way you see it, it’s a thick toast with plenty of flavor.
There’s one sweet-focused dish on this menu, a Mexican French toast ($12), which is an egg-battered Mexican pastry with goat’s milk caramel, pastry cream and seasonal fruit.
What has us really eager to make our way back to this part of Dallas is the breakfast chile relleno. It’s hard enough to find a good chile relleno in town, but this breakfast version is so good, you won’t want to share a bite of it.
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You might be thinking you’ll cut into this Oaxaca cheese-filled poblano pepper to find chorizo, but instead you’ll find Luscher’s breakfast sausage with potato hash. It’s the perfect savory breakfast we’re now craving every morning.
There’s something special going on at José. AQ Pittman is surely one of the best chefs in town today, and it shows in what she’s doing at this restaurant right now.
Brunch isn’t an afterthought here either, but an intentional menu designed to offer sustenance in a space that lends itself to good community with friends. Dallas, get yourself to José for brunch ASAP.
José, 4931 W. Lovers Lane (Northwest Dallas). Brunch served 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.