For some people, brunch is simply a meal option that exists between breakfast and lunch. However, for others there is so much more to brunch than the time of day it occupies. It could be as simple as the kinds of foods normally served, a merger of sweet and savory dishes like hearty omelets, scones and sorted burritos. But as some culinary students might argue, brunch is also just another great excuse to gather with friends and family over a delicious meal and great conversation.
For those residents of Austin, brunch is a huge part of the food culture, where there are a slew of spots to while away part of your weekend. Here are just a few tasty options:
1. Moonshine Grill: Every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Moonshine Grill holds its weekly brunch buffet, a staple that has become a critically lauded component of this low-key American eatery. Patrons can sample some of Moonshine’s massive menu, including the backyard baked chicken, chicken and waffles with chipotle gravy, apple glazed baby back ribs, chicken fried steak and much more. Top your meal off with one of the restaurant’s signature mimosas, like cranberry or pomegranate.
2. Green Pastures: That’s a rather apt name for this restaurant located in South Austin. For 64 years, Green Pastures has occupied the same picturesque Victorian home, a location brimming with quaint beauty. Yet perhaps just as idyllic is the restaurant’s extensive brunch menu. Standouts include curried cocoa chicken, veal ribs with Dijon barbecue sauce, kale and avocado salad, chilled sweet potato hash, cheddar cornbread, linguica salad, chilled watermelon soup and, of course, the chocolate fountain.
3. Chez Zee: Located just a few miles off the Colorado River, Chez Zee is the kind of restaurant that touts itself as perfect for friendly gatherings and romantic rendezvous alike. That kind of dynamic is especially prevalent in Chez Zee’s sizable brunch menu. After beginning your meal with one of several beverages – like a frozen mojito or peach bellini, guests can choose from items like creme brulee french toast, bagel and lox, gingerbread pancakes, eggs benedict with beef tenderloin, an omelet with grilled ribeye and Spanish migas.
4. Epicerie Cafe & Grocery: Perhaps you’re the kind of diner who likes to run a few errands before enjoying a nice, long Sunday brunch. If that’s the case, then you can kill two birds with one stone by visiting Epicerie. This French–American-inspired eatery doubles as a gourmet grocery. So, once you’re done picking up some fresh baguettes or wheels of Camembert cheese, you can treat yourself to dishes like croque madamae – ham and fried egg served with Mornay sauce – shrimp and grits, eggs benedict and the scrapple, which features brioche toast, onion and a fried egg.
5. Blue Star Cafeteria: If the name of this Uptown restaurant invokes any connotations of childhood, that’s probably on purpose. Blue Star’s very interior emphasizes comfort and an air of casualness, albeit with a slightly modern architectural spin. That same kind of aesthetic permeates Blue Star’s entire brunch menu, served every Saturday and Sunday. Alongside some classic brunch offerings – patty melts, Florentine benedict, vanilla-battered French toast and quiche – there are also some interesting updates to older recipes, like a smoked trout salad, grilled pastrami sandwich and mesquite smoked turkey.