Category Archives: Brunch

Ivy Kitchen Brunch

Regular readers know that I have my bubble.  That’s the reason that I have contributors that just happen to cover areas north of 635 on my behalf.  I’m ashamed of myself, but it’s true.

That said, I will travel to the great, white north for select things.  One of those things: Ivy Kitchen.  I finally made it in for their brunch this past weekend and wasn’t surprised in the least by the quality of the food and drink.

My friends and I decided to start with some brunch drinks–as all brunches should.  We went with the Michelada, the Recovery (vanilla vodka, OJ, Robust), Sangria, and a pitcher of the Vine Peach Mimosa for the table.  (Because what is brunch without a pitcher of something?)  All were perfectly delightful, and the Recovery was a unique choice to break free from the usual brunch options–slightly sweet, slightly boozy, all delicious.

Once sufficiently lubricated, we started perusing the menu and had a hell of a time deciding what to order.  Ivy Kitchen does a lot of different things, and surprisingly enough, seems to do them all well.  We all decided to order a bunch of things and simply share so we could try more, which ended up being the absolute best idea.

Our brunch choices were somewhat traditional–Cinnamon Crusted French Toast that’s made with crushed cereal and the Ivy Crab Cake Benedict.  I’m not often a fan of either (I’m weird about brunch food), but enjoyed both of them a little more than my meal companions appreciated.

Round two of food led us to some more savory options (and a shot or two of Patrón), including some of their new options, the Beef Short Ribs with Mustard BBQ sauce, Smoked Bacon Jalapeños, and Chopped Asian Salad.  The Smoked Bacon Jalapeños were large jalapeños hollowed out and stuffed with brisket and spicy cheese then wrapped in bacon.  These were SO DAMN HOT, but really delicious.  I kind of fell in love with their Chopped Asian Salad (what, I eat salads …)–it was incredibly fresh and the many ingredients just worked … even the random smoked almonds.

To cap off the meal, we went for another round of drinks and I opted for their new Mojito Infusion, because new is always better, right?  The orange infused rum paired well with the peach liqueur and citrus and was perfectly offset with the fresh mint.  One more, please …

Mojito
Mojito

IVY KITCHEN
www.theivykitchen.com
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5411 Beltline Road (Addison)
214.306.7444

Cedar Grove

New Cedar Springs hotspot, Cedar Grove, opened in the former DISH space back in June after transforming the space into a whimsical fabricated forest … that just happens to have a restaurant in it.  With food by Executive Chef Taylor Kearney and drinks by Beverage Director mixologist Trevor Landry, this bizarrely decorated restaurant was still a “wow”.

The drinks, we were warned, are all on the sweeter side as that is “what the clientele prefers”.  While I enjoy my cocktails spirit forward (if not drinking straight liquor on ice), so I had to prepare my palate accordingly.  Trevor let us try quite a few of their options and I didn’t have a single thing I didn’t enjoy, though I was glad to have someone to share with since my sweet tooth had been more than sated by the second drink.  (The entire drink menu was also very inexpensive with most drinks ringing in around $6.  They also offer punches for sharing!)

The drinks on the whole were playful (flavor or garnish … or both) and their unique offering (you know, the drink that everyone is going to Instagram?) is adult snow cones.  The Crushed Caipirinha Snowcone was sweet and enjoyable, but I preferred the Lemondrop Snowcone because … Sour Patch Kids.

If you’re not into sweet drinks, your brunch options on-menu are limited.  (I’d suggest ordering off-menu or asking for a dinner cocktail menu.  The Shrubbery (Old Forester, peach shrub, lemon, house made grenadine, Angostura Bitters) is quite refreshing yet spirit forward and very flavorful.

Along with scrumptiously sweet drinks, the food was surprisingly delicious.  The brunch selections we tried made for a great start to the day, especially the Chicken & Waffle Sliders.  Tiffany and I shared one and it was plenty since it’s quite rich thanks to the runny, fried egg.  I’d suggest ordering a few items to share since all of their options are quite good … why choose?  (No one should have to deal with a Sophie’s Choice-type decision at brunch.)

 

 

CEDAR GROVE
cedargrove-dallas.com
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4123 Cedar Springs Road (Dallas)
214.522.3474

Lazy Dog Restaurant – Brunch

Dallas does brunch well.  What makes a boozy brunch better?  Having your dog along for the ride.  Luckily for you, if you have a canine sidekick, I rounded up a list of pet-friendly patios in Dallas and beyond.  (Because sometimes we all need a seeing eye dog to get us to our Uber after a four mimosa brunch.)

Lazy Dog Restaurant is one of the most dog-friendly restaurants in DFW, complete with a menu meant just for Fido and plenty for (thirsty) homosapians, too.  In true local brunch fashion, Lazy Dog offers quite a few alcoholic brunch options including a housemade sangria sampler (white peach, raspberry moscato, and pomegranate red which can also be ordered by the glass and pitcher), a bloody mary, Peaches & Moonshine (Stillhouse Moonshine, peaches, cranberry juice, peach schnapps, ginger beer and mint), and more.

While they do have a dog-friendly menu, the menu for us humans is pretty damn incredible and even include gluten-free and family-style options.  The weekend brunch menu offers some really amazing options that were, quite frankly, surprisingly good.  I couldn’t say no to the Housemade Carnitas with Tater Tot Hash served with a roasted poblano pepper sauce that was perfectly light and savory.  The Sunny Side Up Pizza was, while a brunch cliche, was baked perfectly and the eggs were exquisitely runny.  They offer more traditional brunch options like (dog bone-shaped) pancakes and french toast, too … because brunch should have a sweet side.

While I’ve never had room for dessert after brunch (who wouldn’t finish pancakes and chilaquiles?!), we were treated to a couple of their dessert options–their Key Lime Cheesecake and Peach Crumble–both amazing bookends to our meal.

As mentioned, Lazy Dog offers a dog menu.  Though it’s not as extensive as I’d hope it would be, lacking even a simple dog bone, it was a nice treat for our furry brunch buddy who gobbled it up so fast that I couldn’t even get a decent picture.  Our waitress was very kind to cater the meal to her dietary needs, too, which was very helpful.

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Pop into Lazy Dog, with or without a dog, and experience their quality options for you and Fido.  Just don’t get too squeamish if you find a dog hair in your food—it happens when the dogs on the patio nearly outnumber their owners!


LAZY DOG RESTAURANT

www.lazydogrestaurants.com
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5100 Belt Line Rd Suite 500 (Village on the Parkway), Addison
(469) 754-1300

Thanks for providing the “talent”, Katherine Hollon!

Brunch at The Eberhard

If you are a twenty (or thirty)-something living in Dallas right now, you’ve heard of The Eberhard. (If you haven’t … it’s one of the more recently opened unst unst scene places on Knox/Henderson.) I guess they finally figured out that being the cool new kid on the block is fleeting, so it seems they’re stepping up their food game–starting with brunch.  (Because, Dallas.)

65-Foot Bar

The space itself is unique and versatile with two giant areas of living room-style seating and plenty of room, both inside and outside on their wraparound porch. The DJ booth, located up a spiral staircase, keeps the party going all night, and they offer a Mezzanine overlooking the rest of the space for private events … or “VIPs”. Oh … and the sixty-five-foot bar eliminates the wait time (relatively).

The Eberhard Mimosa

For their brunch, they have, of course, your go-to standard Mimosa. (#ProTip: If you go in before the end of May, they’re only $2!) They also have three signature sangrias to choose from along with signature brunch cocktails. Their Coco Colada (coconut vodka, Coco Real, and pineapple juice) is sweet and fresh. My personal favorite was the Eber’s King Julep (bourbon, honey ginger syrup, peach bitters and mint ), because … ’tis the season.

 

 

The cocktails are amazing, but they aren’t to be undercut by the brunch food menu. Their chef provides some brunch staples taken to the next level. The Eggs Benedicto and Buttermilk Biscuits & Gravy don’t just look amazing. The French Quarter Chicken & Waffles paired perfectly with my Eber’s King Julep.  They have an off-menu item that is a Breakfast BLT. Who doesn’t love banana nut bread? The Eberhard has taken a great American breakfast food and reinvented it. The Banana Nut French Toast served with Bourbon Brown Sugar Syrup and a fruit parfait.

 

While we all can begrudgingly agree that The Eberhard will continue to be a go-to place on weekend nights … it has now become what will be the new “it” place for brunch on Saturday and Sundays. Get in there before the end of May and take advantage of their $2 mimosas! You won’t be disappointed.


The Eberhard
www.theeberhard.com
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2107 N. Henderson Ave.

The Original Pancake House

Written by Anna Tomczyk

Most great nights out leave me surprisingly hungry, despite any late night burger runs. When Susie asked me to visit the newest location of The Original Pancake House in Irving for a Saturday brunch, I was a bit confused. (I mean, one would assume that a booze-less brunching normally wouldn’t be Susie approved. As it turns out, OPH truly sets themselves apart with high quality ingredients and top-notch hangover mitigating breakfast favorites.) Their menu offers a large selection of breakfast and lunch dishes and there’s something on the menu for everyone.

The staff at the Original Pancake House in Irving was eager to please and greeted me quickly. After being seated, I was given a full breakfast and lunch menu along with their specialty coffee menu. This particular location has a full service espresso and brew bar to serve up your favorite coffee beverages all day. PRO TIP: order a pick-me-up drink at the bar while you wait. Their brews are locally sourced and their espresso (a blend of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Brazilian coffee) is brewed in-state. I ordered a vanilla latte and it was perfectly balanced with a surprisingly savory finish.

Every great brunch place has to get the basics right, so I started out with the sugar-cured, thick-cut bacon and buttermilk pancakes with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. I can tend to be pretty picky about my bacon and it didn’t disappoint–it was perfectly crispy. Some places have a hard time freshly squeezing juices and managing to chill them the same day before serving, but not OPH. It came out chilled and very refreshing. And the best part of this plate, of course, is the pancakes! The owner of this location let me know it takes five days to make their famous pancakes and guaranteed they would not disappoint. I buttered my pancakes with their soft, whipped butter and smothered them next with in-house pancake syrup … and they were indeed delectable and just as fluffy and flavorful as I was promised.

Since I have a strong European ancestry and my hubby is 100% Polish, it’s comforting to see dishes such as the OPH potato pancakes and the Dutch Baby on the menu. For those who are unfamiliar with potato pancakes, they’re shredded potato, egg, onion, and flour all pan fried to golden brown resembling the more popular (but less delicious) hash brown. My mother-in-law makes traditional Polish-style potato pancakes and they are a homemade favorite for everyone in our family. Amazingly enough, OPH serves really fantastic potato pancakes with your choice of savory sour cream or sweet apple sauce–I’m convinced they would be mother-in-law approved. The Dutch Baby was just as amazing (if a bit more oddly named), and I was eager to try this signature sweet offering. This traditional German pancake has a slight lemon flavor without being overpowering. The flaky, golden baked treat is topped with whipped butter, lemon, and powdered sugar.

Dutch Baby (Picture courtesy of OPH)
Dutch Baby (Picture courtesy of OPH)

OPH offers quite a few other breakfast dishes–omelets, crepes, dutch pancakes, other egg specialties, and some really fantastic sandwiches and random other lunch items. The restaurant truly made me feel like a friend of the family and I was able to see the fun culture and pride that everyone from the servers to the owner to the head chef have for the food they make and the guests they serve.

This is the place to keep in mind to frequent with friends and family alike when you want to give your kitchen a rest but still enjoy made-from-scratch, hearty goodness.


The Original Pancake House

ophdfw.com
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LOCATIONS

***OPH invited me in for brunch.*** 

Midnight Madness at Ida Claire’s

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day, and like a good appreciator of all-things food, I don’t relegate my breakfast enjoyment to the morning hours.  After a good night out, I can’t think of anything more enticing than ending it with some breakfast favorites: pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon and whatever else you can throw at me. Gone are the days of waiting in the drive-through lane for what seems to be an eternity for a  dismal chicken biscuit and hello to “Midnight Brunch”.

Ida Claire’s is the new southern-inspired entry to Addison’s already buzzing restaurant scene. This eatery is the newest venture from the team that has graced us with Mexican Sugar, Whiskey Cake and other local DFW favorites. This place really helps to fill a void in Addison for non-chain, creative restaurants. Plus, their assortment of cocktails are a step up from most of their competitors.

I was excited to attend the appropriately scheduled preview (started at 11 pm) of “Midnight Brunch”, back in the end of September. (I know, I know … time for me to get back on the #SDDContributor wagon.)

Ida Claire’s has a charm all of its own: Think eccentric Southern great aunt meets 60s flower child.  Whoever put the décor together for this place deserve a pat on the back–the place overflows with southern, vintage character and has just the right amount of quirkiness. Wood tables, birdcages hanging from the ceiling, and bright patterns form a welcoming and eclectic environment. And just because, there is a  a kick-ass Airstream trailer on the patio decked out in various psychedelic prints. (In fact, the trailer can be reserved for private parties.)

Airstream Trailer

The menu offers a wide variety of Southern-influenced dishes that tend to be on the heavier, lesssss healthy side, but that’s what I am looking for late at night.  As the night went on, the plates kept coming and we kept eating …

Food highlights:

  • Sweet Potato Chip Duck Confit. Freshly fried sweet potato chips smothered in duck fat gravy, goat cheese fondue and topped with a sunny side-up duck egg. Trust me, this one was as good as it sounds.
  • Crawfish Corn Fritters served with a smoked mustard remoulade. These were crispy on the outside and buttery on the inside, just the way a proper fritter should be.
  • Brisket Egg Burger. Ida Claire’s spin on a classic burger topped with B&B pickles, pimento cheese, black pepper aioli. This burger was huge and is definitely big enough to share, if you’re feeling generous.
  • And of course, the quintessential Southern breakfast food – Chicken and Waffles. Ida Claire’s version was jazzed up with chicory maple syrup and hot sauce butter. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Crawfish Corn Fritters
Crawfish Corn Fritters

The drink menu is no less thought out than the food menu. Naturally, a good Southern restaurant wouldn’t be caught dead without Juleps and I opted first for the Tobacco Peach Julep. Here, Tennessee whiskey, mint, tobacco syrup and peach bitters mixed for a true taste of all things Southern. Maybe a tad bit heavy on the ice, but good overall. From there, I went for the Vieux Carre (rye, brandy, Benedictine, sweet Vermouth, angostura and Peychaud’s bitters); it wasn’t a drink for the weak of heart.  Throwing caution to the wind (no not Gone With the Wind), my wife opted to go with the Airmail, a refreshing and potent drink crafted from gold rum, lime, honey and sparkling rosé, which apparently now rivals the classic Moscow Mule as her current favorite cocktail.  Her nightcap, a Scarlet Letter  (Bonnie’s  bathtub gin, hibiscus tea, honey, grapefruit, lemon and seltzer), was as you would expect from the ingredients: sweet, sugary and fruity, but all in a good way.

I have been fortunate to attend a number of events (thanks to Susie) and this one is certainly one of the more memorable ones.  From the delicious food and drinks to the overall ambiance of the place, Ida Claire has a lot to offer.  I will definitely be heading back sometime soon.  While our food and drinks were on the house this time, the prices looked reasonable considering the quantity you get and the quality of the items.

Hats off to Ida Claire for providing Uber credit for transportation to and fro! Southern hospitality at its finest.

Midnight Brunch: 11 pm – 2 am Friday – Sunday


IDA CLAIRE

www.ida-claire.com
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5001 Belt Line Road, Dallas, TX 75254
(214) 377-8227

 

Public School 214 Brunch

I consider myself an adult … which means I have to carefully plan my Sunday Fundays–ensure plenty of heartburn medication is on-hand as bloody marys will happen, make sure your Uber app is properly functioning, and start early to ensure you aren’t out past 8pm.  This past Sunday, I rallied the troops and we began our day at Public School 214 to try out their brunch.  I’d heard about their “just about bottomless” options, so I had to test it out myself.

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We opted for the patio since everything else was ridiculously crowded.  I mean … I like my friends, so I wanted to be able to actually hear them.  (Crazy concept.)  The patio was PERFECT–perfect weather, plenty of room, and, best of all, we had Freddy.

We settled in and ordered our various bottomless options.  (You can get “just about unlimited” mimosas/beermosas or bloody marys/micheladas for $10)  I was the only one that went for the bloody mary option and ended up being the envy of the table because mine came with a chicken wing.  #Win(g)ing.  The drinks were nicely spiked and gave us all the kick we needed to start the day.  I have been slightly under the weather so Freddy made a hot toddy happen for me.  This drink, I kid you not, brought me back from the dead.

Since we knew we were consuming mass quantities of booze, we needed to get moving on food.  I’m going to tell you one thing that I’ve told you before … good + good = really good.  So, that with that logic, their Bacon Cheddar Tots served with Sriracha ketchup are really good.  (I had to include some math here … I was at school, after all.)  Needless to say, they went fast.  We also got the first of two orders of their Chorizo Mac & Cheese which is topped with Salt & Vinegar chips … I mean.  To finish off the warm-up, we passed the Mezza Plate (baba ghanoush, hummus, tapenade marinated feta, and crispy chickpeas).

Lunch had to happen at some point even though we were quite happy with the porky deliciousness on the table, so we checked out the brunch menu.  Since I can’t say no to chicken and waffles, I  went for the Fried Jidori Chicken & Green Chili Cornbread Waffles … and I made a damn good choice.  The chicken was crispy and the waffles weren’t underdone, which is my least favorite thing about breakfast. (I mean … cook your waffles and pancakes to a nice golden brown, people.  Learn from PS214.)  The other brunch entree at the table was the Smothered Breakfast Burrito (smashed browns, egg, chimichurri, provolone, and bacon).

The portion size at PS214 is pretty damn ridiculous.  (I don’t think any of us finished our entrees.)  So try to find someone who wants the same things as you … you know … on the brunch menu.

Everyone loved their meals.  (I really don’t think that was only because we were a couple of carafes each in.  Brunch at Public School 214 is available Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm.


PUBLIC SCHOOL 214
www.psontap.com
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3700 McKinney Ave (in the new West Village area east of McKinney)
(214)599-6234

The Cedars Social

With the announcement that The Cedars Social is under new ownership, I wanted to duck in to see what changes were happening at the craft cocktail den in The Cedars.  I was a fan of TCS when I worked in The Cedars but hadn’t heard too much about them recently.  Turns out, new owners Jeffrey Yarbrough and Chad Boyle seem to be keeping the essence of TCS intact–the decor is still as eclectic as ever, the food classic with a bit of a twist, and the cocktails … well, strong.

We started with a couple of their options from the seasonal cocktail menu–they offer seasonal options along with classics from both the pre-Prohibition era and some from the Prohibition era.  Their cocktails are made with high quality, fresh ingredients and some of the best liquor options around by incredibly skilled bartenders.  (I was glad to hear that the new owners were still partnering with original partner and bar manager, Michael Martensen.  He does good things.)  Our seasonal choices were the Berry Gin-erous (Seagrams, Blueberry mint syrup, lemon juice and ginger beer) and the Juliet & Romeo (Plymouth Gin, Lime Juice, Muddled Cucumbers, & Cane syrup, with Angostura bitters, and a mint leaf topped with rose water).

After getting warmed up with some drinks (as one does at brunch), we ordered their fresh fruit, truffle fries (duh), and deviled eggs.  I was bummed that they don’t offer their truffle grilled cheese anymore, but I figured the fries were a good substitute.  The Truffle Fries had a nice truffle essence without it being overpowering and they were perfectly crispy.  The Deviled Eggs were a good start to the meal thanks to their light filling.  While fruit is good for you and all (and TCS’ was quite delicious) … save it for home.

Our second round of drinks got a bit more adventurous.  I went for the I Do What I Want (that’s the real name of the cocktail) featuring Ketel One, aged balsamic, honey syrup, muddled strawberry, lemon juice, and egg white.  It was nicely mixed and the balsamic really gave it a punch and a bit of extra complexity.

As for the food, we ordered the Housemade Turkey Hash (herbs de Provence, scrambled eggs, and hollandaise sauce) and the Omelette Florentine (prosciutto, spinach, mushrooms, and goat cheese).  Both were accompainied by potatoes, and both were pretty damn good.  (I’d suggest getting the hollandaise on the side of the hash … I’m a big fan of self sauce-regulation.)

While I usually choose to spend my brunch calories on drinks, we were encouraged to get into some dessert action.  Once we heard that their cheesecakes are from Val’s Cheesecakes, we couldn’t not. And ice cream goes in a different stomach.  So yeah.

Since we were delightfully boozed up and stuffed, we decided that Sunday just wasn’t going to be a thing … at least not a productive one.  (Their drinks are pretty hefty, so try not to plan too much after a brunch at TCS other than a nap or more drinking.)  So we packed up our leftovers (of which there were plenty) and did our best to roll ourselves to the car.

Needless to say, after the reminder of the good things TCS does, I’ll be back before too long to hit them up for some of their dinner options–hello, Akashi Short Ribs, Kobe Meatballs, and Truffle Mac & Cheese.


THE CEDARS SOCIAL

www.thecedarssocial.com
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1326 S Lamar St, Dallas, TX 75215
(214) 928-7700

Open daily, 4-10pm
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday, 11am-3pm