brunch_11 Cane Rosso's breakfast panini and donuts photography by Kevin Marple


DEEP ELLUM

Cane Rosso
Brunch served Saturday only

Owner and Pizzaioli Jay Jerrier wasn’t content to turn out some of the more authentic and delicious Neapolitan pies in Dallas. No, he also had to create a killer brunch menu. Brunch? At a pizzeria? That skepticism will quickly be muffled by a blanket of Jimmy’s spicy sausage gravy. The same hot soppressata found on many of Cane Rosso’s pizzas is blended with braised pork, elevating the lowly breakfast hash into something special. Yawn-inducing eggs Benedict is made memorable by replacing the usual suspects—Canadian bacon, hollandaise, an English muffin—with crispy pancetta, Calabrian chile gravy, and fried polenta cakes. Even the benign-sounding coffee and donuts is anything but. Cane Rosso serves cute zeppoles—deep-fried dough balls made with ricotta—in a paper sack along with a chocolate dipping sauce. Best of all, the typically standing-room-only restaurant is much quieter on Saturday mornings, allowing for a quick start to the day. That is, at least for now.

VARIOUS LOCATIONS

Blue Mesa Grill
Brunch served Sunday only

All five branches of this home-grown chain host one of the more jammed Sunday brunches in town. It runs a customer-friendly six hours, from 9 am to 3 pm, and for those with an appetite, it represents a tremendous value. For $17.95 ($6.95 for kids ages 6 to 10), you get access to an enormous buffet that pairs breakfast items like eggs Benedict with Southwest dishes such as fajitas and blue-corn cheese enchiladas with red sauce. If you want meat, they have plenty of it: brisket, glazed ham, sausage, and bacon. If you want old-school casserole, they have King Ranch. But the signature is the black bean adobe pie—a sweet corn cake stuffed with smoky black beans and cheese and steamed like a tamale so it stays moist. Bypass the line at the omelet station for Tex-Mex egg options such as huevos rancheros and migas. Even with this bounty, it’s hard to resist Blue Mesa’s trademark chips. Bite-size portions of flan let you sample a taste even if you didn’t save room for dessert. Did we mention free mimosas and poinsettias (champagne with cranberry juice)?

brunch_12 (from left) Toulouse's Omelet Provencale and the cafe interior photography by Kevin Marple


KNOX

Toulouse Cafe and Bar
Brunch served Saturday and Sunday

In Ratatouille, the Pixar movie about a rat becoming a chef in Paris, the motto is anyone can cook. We beg to differ. That’s why we head to Toulouse to get a French fix. The red leather booths, soft yellow walls, and hardwood floors of the dining room are inviting. But we prefer to sit on the patio, which has some of the best people-watching in town. We critique the running form of the athletes on the Katy Trail, diverting our attention only when New Orleans-style beignets arrive. The pastries are covered in a generous shower of powdered sugar and cooled off with cappuccino sauce (crème anglaise flavored with espresso). As the runners work on their fitness, we dive into our entrées—short rib hash with sautéed spinach, caramelized onions, two poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce; and the Omelet Provencale with ratatouille vegetables, sautéed spinach, and creamy goat cheese. If you’re aiming for a healthier brunch, go for the Katy Trail Omelet, made with whipped egg whites and served with a side of fruit. Want to burn off some calories after your decadent brunch? Not a problem, just hop on the trail. And don’t worry about wearing your sweats to brunch. At Toulouse, being trés chic is passé.

brunch_13 (from left) The Grape's rainbow trout and fried chicken biscuit photography by Kevin Marple


LOWER GREENVILLE

The Grape
Brunch served Sunday only

Know this about brunch at The Grape: a reservation is not required, but you should make one anyway. The tiny dining room and patio fill up fast, and the last thing you want is to be turned away after you’ve already gotten a whiff of the aromas wafting out of chef/owner Brian Luscher’s kitchen. When Texas Monthly named The Grape’s classic cheeseburger—served only at Sunday brunch and Sunday and Monday dinner—the best burger in the state in 2009, the already-popular brunch spot got a big bump in business. Depending on your taste in burgers, those TexMo cats just might be right, but don’t put all your brunch eggs in the burger basket. The breakfast on a bun is everything breakfast should be—eggs, homemade sausage, and cheese on a huge pain au lait roll. The polenta cheese fritters are the perfect side for the table to share. And the spicy Bloody Mary—served with a Spanish olive, a chunk of sharp cheddar cheese, and a hunk of salami—could almost be a meal on its own.

DESIGN DISTRICT

Meddlesome Moth
Brunch served Sunday only

It’s known for its beer, but the Meddlesome Moth’s kitchen turns out a mean brunch. The dark interior with Dallas art and the stained-glass windows from Dallas’ original Hard Rock Cafe create the perfect setting to nurse a headache. (The Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters French press coffee also lifts your spirits.) The names of the brunch dishes are as well thought out as the ingredients. We especially enjoyed the Mother and Child Reunion, a fried chicken breast tenderloin topped with perfectly poached eggs on a bed of peppered grits and spicy jalapeño gravy. Once we satisfied the savory side of our palate, we turned our attention to our sweet tooth, opting for Neuske’s Badass Bacon Waffles with warm caramel apple compote and Brie fondue. The waffles have rendered Neuske’s bacon in the batter and are topped with three perfectly crispy strips. As we sat eating and drinking, we watched hipsters, church-goers, and yuppies file in and out of the restaurant. We timed it just right and stuck around until it was appropriate to have a beer. It seemed like the right thing to do.

PLANO

Whiskey Cake
Brunch served Saturday and Sunday

Here’s a restaurant located smack in the heart of the suburbs that any inner-city-dwelling hipster could love. At Plano’s Whiskey Cake, the eclectic look is industrial downtown loft meets Arts and Crafts movement, and the kitchen mentality is a laudable farm to fork. Oh, and the portions are huge. Take, for instance, the steak and egg burger. It’s a two-handed delicious mess with a brisket meat pressed patty, sunny-side-up egg, Muenster cheese, bacon, red chile aioli, and—deep breath—hollandaise. Rich, tangy, sweet, and peppery, it’s everything you want in a burger and breakfast squished between a soft, eggy bun. Chicken and waffles—having its moment on brunch menus across North Texas—features bacon in the waffle batter and smoked chile hollandaise poured over fried chicken and scrambled eggs. No less decadent, thick-cut brioche French toast is stuffed with mascarpone, apples, cranberries, and cinnamon, then topped with toasted almonds.
br>