Two restaurants near opposite edges of Highland Park conjure the spirit of New York’s all-day cafes, Eastern European lunch counters, and Jewish delis. Latkes, smoked fish, and bagels are all on the menu.
Beverley’s: Plush booths, a full house of regulars, and lots of teal, green, and white. Servers wear white shirts and snazzy aprons. The feel is closer to bistro than deli, but it’s a very comfortable place.
Sadelle’s: This dining room has a similar color palette (shades of teal, dark wood, and salmon pink) but a very different feel. It’s gorgeous, airy, and sunlit, with high ceilings. Servers wear lab coat-like jackets, just as they do at Russ & Daughters Cafe in New York.
Beverley’s: Heavy on the Aperol.
Sadelle’s: Heavy on the prosecco—and garnished with an olive.
Beverley’s: So thin and small, they’re nearly potato chips. But they’re topped with crème fraîche, chives, pickled shallots, and dollops of caviar.
Sadelle’s: The latkes here are thick patties with indented middles, like gigantic, super-crunchy tater tots. They come with sour cream dip, applesauce, and a little slick of grease.
The smoked salmon bagel
Beverley’s: Big and fluffy bagels sourced from Empire Baking Co. Everything seasoning is on the top only. If you order a smoked salmon bagel, it arrives preassembled, topped with plenty of dill and with a side salad of cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and capers.
Sadelle’s: Although they purport to make “the best bagels in America” in house, these bagels suffer from an especially tough crust and soft insides that don’t rebound if you poke them. We debated several possible causes. Did they spend too long proofing, or were they reheated? A fish tower means the chance to build your own bagel sandwich. Accoutrements come on the tower: house cured or smoked salmon, cucumbers, tomatoes, capers, and either dill or chives, depending on which salmon you chose.
The eggy dish
Beverley’s: A tall, hearty sausage-and-egg breakfast sandwich on a burger bun. Arugula makes it feel fresh.
Sadelle’s: A glorious omelet of fluffy, super-creamy eggs topped with house salmon, crème fraîche, and a showering of chives. Dreamily great—and at $25, it needs to be.
The surprise twist dish
Beverley’s: Some of the dinner menu’s highlights are available at brunch, too, including the crispy, outstanding schnitzel, with a nice side salad and a charred lemon ready for squeezing. The restaurant’s legendary double cheeseburger is also around.
Sadelle’s: Are these Dallas’ most expensive breakfast tacos? At $9 a pop, they use great flour tortillas (from La Norteña) but the fillings get peculiar. The Best Friend is an Italian-ish sausage and pepper taco. Skip the harshly acidic, unpleasant lime salsa.
The VIP treatment
Beverley’s: We ate our smoked whitefish dip so enthusiastically, our server brought another tray of toast. (It comes with trout roe on top.) The point being, everyone’s a VIP at Beverley’s.
Sadelle’s: Printed at the top of our receipt was the all-caps phrase “VIP TABLE — DALLAS MORNING NEWS CRITIC.” (Fact check: this is not the Dallas Morning News.) This recognition, presumably, was why the hosts ushered us past a line of waiting guests who had not been recognized as food writers.
They’re both gorgeous, comfortable spots, but other parts of the experience diverge from there. Are you feeling like an indulgent omelet this weekend, or are you hankering for fish dip and schnitzel? Do you like your bagels fully dressed and fluffy, or assemble-yourself and a little bit odd? Do you have $9 to spend on a single taco? Are you a VIP?
Answer those questions, and your brunch choice will be made.
This story originally appeared in the April issue of D Magazine with the headline, “Battle of the Bistro Brunches.” Write to [email protected].