Summer has seen an incredible run of new restaurant openings, which also means diners have a host of new brunch options to try.
Why suffer the aggravation of watching the 0-2 Texans at home or in a sports bar when you can meet friends for a bite and track fantasy stats on your phone instead? Besides, brunch means booze, and that makes the loses a little easier to handle.
As always, no one is suggesting that brunch institutions like Hugo's or Brennan's are unworthy of your time. Instead, this roundup provides a few new options to consider. Our newcomers include one of downtown's hottest new arrivals, a new concept from a Woodlands-based restaurant and a recently opened Greek restaurant that's generating lots of buzz.
Bovine & Barley
The downtown craft beer spot has recently introduced brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. The menu includes decadent fair like the "Croisaffle," which consists of bologna and cheddar cheese stuffed into a croissant that's then pressed into a waffle and topped with queso and strawberry pico.
Similarly, B&B's French toast is pecan crusted, stuffed with cream cheese and strawberry filling and served with a side of candied jalapeno bacon. Wash it down with a michelada, Bloody Mary or a sparkling wine cocktail.
Brick & Mortar Kitchen
One need not be searching for a deal on a new living room set to enjoy this restaurant that's adjacent to the Gallery Furniture on the Grand Parkway. The "Texas-Southern refined" menu manifests itself in classics like barbecue shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles and a variation on the honey butter chicken biscuit that features fried chicken livers and a foie gras butter biscuit.
Vegetarians have not been neglected thanks to tomato pie and a dish that combines fresh melon with Pure Luck Farms feta cheese and chile peppers. Pastry chef Efrain Roman's pastries are also worth saving room for.
Tony Vallone's casual Italian restaurant in Tanglewood is admittedly not new, but its brunch menu is. Ciao Bello seeks to build off the momentum of its participation in Houston Restaurant Weeks with a menu it's touting as "an even better deal" than what it offered during HRW.
Choose two courses for $19 including corn pansotti or a meatball to start and classic eggs Benedict or chicken cannelloni as a main. Dessert is a $6 supplement, but the additional expense is offset by half price wines by the glass and $10 margherita and pepperoni pizzas.
Fielding's Local Kitchen + Bar
This restaurant in The Woodlands builds off sister concept Fielding Wood Grill's reputation as a brunch hotspot by incorporating that restaurant's signature Bloody Mary and mimosa flights.
On the menu, the locally-sourced, Mediterranean-style dishes get obligatory brunch supplements like eggs Benedict, but also some more intriguing fare like breakfast pizza and blue crab salad served with a Vietnamese rice pancake.
This restaurant in Rice Village is winning raves from diners who are seeking out chef William Wright's creative blend of Greek and Texan foods. At brunch, the menus features a Greek Benedict of poached eggs, feta corn bread, Cypriot sausage and aygolemono hollandaise and semolina pancakes with grape molasses and concord bay leaf grape syrup, almonds, Greek yogurt and whipped cream.
Co-owner Evan Turner has added wine cocktails to the mix like the Nemean Lion with secret ingredient Greek liqueur and Mavrodaphne (sweet red wine) and the Trojan Horse with lemon juice, pomegranate syrup and sparkling wine. Catch it Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm.
While the Mexican coastal cantina in the former EJ's space can be absolutely packed on Friday and Saturday nights, it is considerably more relaxed at brunch. Broiled oysters, ceviche and the addicitive white queso are all shareable starters. Mains include migas, shrimp and grits and tres leches pancakes.
The craft beer selection meets the standard set by sister concepts Cottonwood and Liberty Station, but it's hard to resist choosing from one of the two michelada options or a Bloody Mary.
At $45, the brunch menu at this upscale Galleria-area seafood is a definite splurge, but it delivers a lot of value. The market features buffet-style servings of jumbo shrimp, oysters, charcuterie and two kinds of ceviches. On the patio, chef Omar Pereney will be serving from a giant paella pan as well as black fideo pasta.
Finish off with made to order items that include eggs Benedict, snapper-filled tamales and cochinita pibil. Don't worry about drinks: bottomless mimosas and sangria is included. Available Sunday from 11 am until 3:30 pm.
For those who want to follow the games, consider this new gastropub in the Gateway Memorial City development that sports 17 TVs. Pour Society mostly sticks to its lunch menu at brunch, but it does offer five additional dishes for those who must have eggs.
Choices include a riff on English breakfast with andouille sausage and Yorkshire pudding and a chilaquiles frittata. Of course, the restaurant's 40 craft beer taps and full cocktail menu are available.