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Where to get your brunch on for Houston Restaurant Weeks: Five opulent, don't-miss deals

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The Grove, interior
The Grove Photo by Julie Soefer/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
News_RDG + Bar Annie_The Terrace_outdoor patio
The Terrace balcony at RDG + Bar Annie Courtesy of RDG + Bar Annie
News, Branch Water Tavern, dining room
Branch Water Tavern Photo by Julie Soefer/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Haven, patio, crowd, sign
The Grove, interior
News_RDG + Bar Annie_The Terrace_outdoor patio
News, Branch Water Tavern, dining room

Opulence: Brunch has it. The meal also known as "breakfast's slutty sister" just has that certain something (gravy?) that makes it better than the two meals it replaces on lazy weekend mornings (and afternoons).

So while there are 75 restaurants offering two or occasionally three courses for $20 at lunch during Houston Restaurant Weeks, it's worth it to seek out the handful of establishments that are offering a brunch menu for the same price.

If you've never visited these brunch champions before, now's the time to find out what you've been missing.

Branch Water Tavern

The three courses for lunch and brunch make Branch Water an even better value, but while the lunch menu is nothing to sniff at, brunch adds a slew of new options. In addition to the appetizer and dessert offerings from lunch (I can't recommend the chicken-fried oysters or the famous sticky toffee pudding enough), brunch guests can choose between breakfast faves like biscuits and gravy and eggs benedict and lunchier options like the Kobe burger and chicken pot pie. 

RDG + Bar Annie

How did I forget to include the RDG patio when I compiled the HRW restaurants with the best view? Probably because it's typically reserved for brunches, when early birds can watch an oddly serene Post Oak Boulevard slowly come alive while tasting three courses of chef/owner Robert Del Grande's southwestern favorites, like marinated poblano chile or Mexican-style scrambled eggs with guajillo chile.

Haven

While Haven favorites like wild head-on shrimp and the peach, goat cheese and arugula salad don't need a brunch update, it's nice that the menu mixes in some morning touches, like a brioche French toast option, the indulgent eggs boudreaux and the addition of migas on the lion of beef entree.

Say it with me: Yum.

Tony Mandola's

If you've never had brunch at Tony Mandola's, you've never had brunch. Period, end of story.

The Houston Restaurant Weeks menu hasn't been released yet, but whether it includes the Frangelico French toast (think hazelnut syrup and bacon), the seafood crepes drowning in hollandaise or the "this is breakfast?" Southern fried chicken meal, you know it's going to be over-the-top rich and delicious. 

The Grove

If brunch is just the start of a day out, enjoy it at The Grove, where views of artful Discovery Green will inspire and tastes like French toast donuts and local ricotta pancakes will make you want to order a Bloody Mary (they have several) and stay a while.

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