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The 10 Best Brunches

The 10 best brunch spots for Houston Restaurant Weeks: And why this foodie option's a bargain

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Lucille's watermelon salad with baby arugula, iced red onion, crushed pistachio and feta
Keep it seasonal at Lucille's with a watermelon salad. Lucille's/Facebook
Brennan's of Houston bananas foster
A classic Houston dessert: Brennan's bananas Foster. Brennan's of Houston
Prego Melanzana Parmigiana, Parmesan-crusted eggplant with mozzarella
Prego Melanzana Parmigiana, Parmesan-crusted eggplant with mozzarella Prego/Facebook
Ouisie's Table tres leeches cake August 2014
Finish a meal at Ouisie's Table with tres leeches cake. Ouisie's Table Restaurant, Bar and Gardens/Facebook
Rainbow Lodge dining room April 2013
Rainbow Lodge provides a bucolic setting for a relaxing meal. Rainbow Lodge/Facebook
Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen pancakes with eggs and bacon August 2013
Sylvia's signature pancakes are included on her brunch buffet. Photo courtesy of The Epicurean Publicist
Up Restaurant Lobster salad fresh atlantic poached lobster, pickeled cucumbers and carrots, sun dried tomatoes, preen olives, baby filled greens with dried miso flakes
This lobster salad is available at Up Restaurant for a $10 supplement. Up Restaurant/Facebook
Indika dahi wada chaat! Chilled lentil dumplings, cumin yogurt sauce, pickled okra & peanuts
Dahi wada chaat is one of the available chocies at Indika. Indika/Facebook
Del Frisco's Grille, March 2013, Pimento Cheese Fritters
Del Frisco's Grille Pimento Cheese Fritters. Yes, please. Photo courtesy of Del Frisco's Grille
Lucille's watermelon salad with baby arugula, iced red onion, crushed pistachio and feta
Brennan's of Houston bananas foster
Prego Melanzana Parmigiana, Parmesan-crusted eggplant with mozzarella
Ouisie's Table tres leeches cake August 2014
Rainbow Lodge dining room April 2013
Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen pancakes with eggs and bacon August 2013
Up Restaurant Lobster salad fresh atlantic poached lobster, pickeled cucumbers and carrots, sun dried tomatoes, preen olives, baby filled greens with dried miso flakes
Indika dahi wada chaat! Chilled lentil dumplings, cumin yogurt sauce, pickled okra & peanuts
Del Frisco's Grille, March 2013, Pimento Cheese Fritters

"Where should I go for Houston Restaurant Weeks?" It's a question I've heard a lot recently from readers and friends alike. With more than 200 participating restaurants, the choices can be difficult to sort through.

Thankfully, one solution to the problem is to narrow down the choices by choosing a Restaurant Weeks brunch menu. Only 35 restaurants offer one, but, they're all a pretty decent value at $25 for three-courses (includes a $4 donation to the Houston Food Bank). After all, most of these restaurants are serving a three-course dinner that costs $35, so you're kind of saving $10 by eating Sunday morning instead of Sunday night. 

To further aid your decisions, here's our guide to your 10 best options, presented alphabetically. 

Brasserie Max & Julie

If any two things define brunch as a meal that's distinct from both breakfast and lunch, it's creative egg dishes and alcoholic beverages. Who knows more about egg cookery and wine than the French?

 If any two things define brunch as a meal that's distinct from both breakfast and lunch, it's creative egg dishes and alcoholic beverages. 

At this Montrose staple, choose from quiche, a croque monsieur or madame or scrambled eggs for an entree and pair it with a glass (or bottle) of sparkling wine from Max & Julie's well-chosen, mostly French selections. Don't skip the profiteroles for dessert.   

Brennan's of Houston

This Houston institution has been a top brunch destination forever thanks to well-executed Creole classics and some of the city's best service. No need to reinvent the wheel when dining here. Start with the signature turtle soup or spend $3 for shrimp remoulade.

The four entree options include eggs Benedict and pecan-crusted catfish. For dessert, at least one person at every table should order bananas Foster just for the thrill of the table-side preparation (also, it's hard to go wrong with caramelized bananas).  

Del Frisco's Grille

The crowd-pleasing menu at Del Frisco's Grille helps explains why Houston's three Del Frisco's group restaurants are one of the biggest contributors to the Food Bank every year. Start with Philly cheesesteak egg rolls or pimento cheese fritters (served with ranch, of course).

The entrees have both sweet and savory choices like red velvet waffles and a shredded pork burrito. Dessert offers two ice cream choices or peanut butter and toffee mousse. 

Indika

Just as Pondicheri is known for being a great place for weekday breakfasts, Indika, chef Anita Jaisinghani's more upscale restaurant, is a perfect spot for a weekend repast. Start with a somosa or go vegetarian with a kale and asparagus pakora.

A whopping seven entree choices, including two vegetarian choices, consist of more traditional fare like a lamb kebab as well as more modern preparations like seafood biryani. For dessert, one could keep things light with a little fresh fruit, but the chocolate chili peanut butter cookie is probably too tempting to pass up.   

Lucille's

Head to the Museum District for chef Chris Williams's European-inspired twists on classic Southern fare. At least one person should start with chili biscuits — after all, that's the dish that made Williams's grandmother Lucille Bishop Smith famous.

Entree choices include two different riffs on the Benedict, as well as an omelet or a decadent-sounding croissant French toast. Pair that with a dessert of croissant bread pudding for a guaranteed food coma or try grandmother's potato cake for something a little lighter.  

Ouisie's Table

Skip the new-school comfort food spots in favor of this Houston classic. Go seasonal with a fresh tomato caprese salad or the soup of the day. Entree choices include corn meal pancakes with crispy bacon and wild boar sausage with two eggs. Dessert choices include coffee cheesecake and tres leches. 

Prego

This underrated Italian restaurant in Rice Village delivers a variety of options with both gluten free and vegetarian choices for every course.

Start with a salad or cream of mushroom soup. For an entree, choose from a parmesan-crusted chicken and waffle, homemade gnocchi, egg-topped crab cake or a frittata. Finish off with brioche bread pudding or keep it light with strawberry sorbet.   

Rainbow Lodge

Brunch should be tranquil and leisurely, which makes Rainbow Lodge's bucolic log cabin the perfect setting for a relaxed dining experience. Start with gazpacho, crab cakes or a classic Caesar salad. Entree choices include a buffalo Benedict that shows off the kitchen's skills with non-traditional meats. If that doesn't appeal, go classic with shrimp and grits or a vegetable frittata.

 Brunch should be tranquil and leisurely, which makes Rainbow Lodge's bucolic log cabin the perfect setting. 

For dessert, go with bread pudding or the Southern buttermilk pie jar.

Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen

As part of its first ever appearance in Houston Restaurant Weeks, Sylvia's is serving a Mexican breakfast buffet. The choices should appeal to almost everyone with tacos, enchiladas, pancakes made to order and two egg stations.

Three dessert choices as well as sides and salads round out the offerings. For $25, who can say no to that? 

Up Restaurant

Last, but certainly not least, brunch can provide an opportunity for friends to gather and celebrate. Thanks to its gorgeous dining room, few restaurants in Houston provide a better setting for an occasion than Up in Highland Village.

Six entree choices mean that everyone can find something to enjoy, except maybe the one friend who's trying out veganism for the summer. Family-style apps are perfect for sharing, although fighting over who gets the last bite of mac and cheese may introduce a little drama.

Personally, I'd spend the $10 to upgrade to prime rib, but the duck confit and short rib hash sound good, too. And there's a dessert buffet? Sold.

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