White Rock Alehouse and Brewery has a lovely environment by the lake where you can relax with friends and have some pretty decent beer. They also serve brunch — but the beer may prove more enticing.
The brunch menu dominates half of the back of the everyday menu, highlighting meals that sound good enough on paper. The best part of our recent visit was definitely the Merry Mary ($10) with vodka, Zing Zang, Clamato juice, chipotle puree, Worcestershire, bitters, celery and citrus zest. It’s what a Bloody Mary should be — but with the deals on decent Bloody Mary drinks around town, 10 bucks feels steep. And if you really like them, your bill is going to hurt your wallet a bit.
On the food side, the first item is the crab kegs and eggs ($12). These crab kegs come off the regular menu: large tater tots stuffed with crab. The plate is topped with a fried egg, asparagus and hollandaise. The crab itself was on the fishy side, and the hollandaise was cold and firming up on top of the plate — neither of which made this meal something to get excited about.
There was more hope for the chicken and waffle skewers ($12), but you may only like them if you’ve always wanted a doughnut instead of a waffle. The menu describes it as spicy fried chicken — it is fried but is definitely not spicy. The batter also doesn’t stand a chance of staying on the meat as soon as you touch it.
The waffles are tasty. They seem like the kind of waffle that should be sitting in a window of a boutique coffee store — sweet and flavorful enough to eat on their own, with a complement of coffee that leans on the bitter side.
The breakfast sandwich was the worst disappointment. It could be because those always come with high expectations. It’s possible to make this one of the best meals. So many places fail, though, and White Rock brewery's is in that same boat.
The Sunrise Sammich ($10) promises a sausage patty, egg and cheddar cheese in a croissant. On the side sits a mediocre fruit salad. You know the kind: It seems like it’s been sitting out awhile and everything somehow tastes faintly of melon.
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The sandwich itself was bad enough that our waitress witnessed us talking about it and ended up taking it off the tab. The sausage tasted more like an unseasoned mound of ground beef. The croissant seemed like it was from one of those six-packs that’s been sitting out a little long at a grocery store.
The most baffling thing was the presence of yolk everywhere when the plate came out. This wasn’t a sandwich to pick up, not because of fear that it wouldn’t fit in your mouth, but because the bottom had become caked with yolk that seemed more like yellow goo.
Overall, White Rock Alehouse's brunch needs a lot of work before it becomes East Dallas next brunch hot spot. However, don’t forget that the beer is good. At least stop in for that.
White Rock Alehouse and Brewery, 7331 Gaston Ave. (White Rock)