Say what you want about Uptown — and many of our commenters do, sometimes using variations of the words "douche bag" — but there are some long-standing neighborhood stops you can walk to that still provide a decent meal.
State and Allen Kitchen and Bar is one of those places. You won’t look back days later and think about the astounding flavors you experienced, but you will feel like you had the opportunity to share a meal with friends that was worth every penny.
For those of us who may have been living in Uptown 10 years ago, this was State and Allen Lounge, a fairly simple restaurant in the same location of the intersection, taking up just half as much space as it does now. It has always been a good destination for the State Thomas residents to get a meal while taking their dogs with them.
This dog-friendly patio is now nearly twice the size in the kitchen-and-bar version of State and Allen, where you can get an affordable and decent brunch.
That’s really the case for the brunch cocktails. Get a brunch mimosa for $3 or a bloody mary for $3.50. The bloody mary won’t blow your mind, but the simple mix has plenty of flavor that’s not at all offensive for the price.
There’s a healthy list of options, including a bloody mary bar (starting at $6), a mimosa bar ($5), and various tequila and vodka drinks. The coffee options have some different takes, such as the adult chocolate milk ($8) with cold brew, cacao liqueur and cream.
On the food side, brunch makes up a good-sized list among the rest of the meals on the two-sided menu.
The S&A eggs and bacon ($9.25) is your go-to for a simple breakfast with two eggs, bacon, purple potato “bacon’d” hash and toast. The eggs are mostly cooked properly (especially if you’re one who doesn’t prefer the seemingly impossible over-medium egg).
That hash is pretty tasty, too, upholding the integrity that the breakfast hash should: a little fried, some fat and a welcomed brightness of chopped pepper.
The chicken and waffles ($12.25) are less thrilling than the potatoes. The chicken breast is fine: thin and juicy with a flavorful batter. It sits next to four waffle slices that are lackluster. You do get a couple of eggs with this to make it a little better.
The giant ($12.75) is a plate worth ordering — even though no one really feels awesome saying its name when ordering. The plate comes with two eggs, bacon, that purple potato hash, biscuits and gravy.
The biscuits are soft and slightly dense, delicate enough to be a bread, sturdy enough to uphold the gravy. The gravy itself may not wow you, but it is far better than most places serving that egregious white concoction that’s allegedly gravy.
Since this is a place worth returning to, we’re already looking at the poached and prosciutto ($13.75) for next time, with two poached eggs, scallion latkes, grilled asparagus, crispy potatoes, homemade crumpets and hollandaise.
For the sweets lovers, the banana bread pudding French toast ($11.75) sounds promising, with candied walnuts, whipped cream, strawberries and Foster sauce.
The large dining space — the interior opens up to the patio — was fairly quiet mid-morning. As we approached noon, we finally saw a typical brunch crowd. Throughout the whole meal, one can watch some consistently cute dogs being walked by owners through State Thomas. Not a bad scene for a decent meal.
State and Allen Kitchen and Bar, 2400 Allen St. (Uptown). Brunch served 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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