Brunch may be an excuse for many to drink alcohol in the morning, but it can also serve as an opportunity to indulge just a little bit more in the meal than a typical breakfast. At least, that’s what I liked to think as I sat on the misted patio of The Grape Restaurant recently.
Everyone knows the amazement that the cheeseburger here introduces, so it was time to look at some other options. This brunch menu gives plenty of items that venture off from the typical brunch meals, making for descriptions of actually fine cuisine. So when I ended up choosing the Belgian waffle that sounded quite typical, I wasn’t sure what I was thinking. My regret soon left me after it arrived.
For the longest time, Crossroads Diner had my taste buds for the best waffle in Dallas. Soon after my fork dug in between strawberries, and pecans through whipped cream and finally into the griddled batter, my choice would have to change. The strawberries and pecans were fine, perfectly sliced and generously tossed onto the meal—already out showing many waffle presentations. Paired with the whipped cream alone, they could have made a meal. Normally, whipped cream won’t be missed if it’s brushed off the top of the waffle, but this fresh fluffiness would go to such waste on the side of the plate.
The waffle batter was more complex than others, with a true sweetness that probably could have gone without syrup. This is by no means an adventurous menu item; but it’s definitely a standard one with a fine execution. One fault, however, is that the waffle was cold. It wasn’t chilled, but it had no sign of having been warm in even the 10 minutes prior to being placed on the table.
There are plenty of places that serve adequate bacon; many of these are slices of apple-wood bacon. So it was an odd surprise when the bacon on the side of this waffle surpassed so many others. The taste was fairly typical, but the slices were incredibly thin and crunched to perfection.
On the other side of the menu is the breakfast on a bun. Two eggs are cooked over medium and paired with sausage and American cheese on pain au lait bun. A cup of fruit and a side of hot sauce are served with the glorified egg sandwich. Perhaps sandwich isn’t the best label as a fork and knife is necessary to consume this. The sausage is good, nothing thrilling, and the bread is impressively hearty and slightly sweet—almost too much so for the meal inside of it. If ordering again, I’ll be switching out the cheese. The American, while a fine choice for a burger, takes this meal down a notch, holding it back from being something of an interesting taste and bringing it closer to an Egg McMuffin (on superb bread, of course).
If the brunch party’s large enough, the cinnamon pull-aparts look like a good choice to start (or end) the meal. The fried polenta cheese fritters serve as another acceptable start or companion, especially if you plan on indulging on the waffle. Topped with sour cream, cotija cheese and sriracha, these golden rectangles seem more adventurous, but not exciting after finishing the first one.
The Grape is great beyond brunch, of course. If church keeps you away from the one day this restaurant offers the brunch menu, go on any night. The cozy, intimate interior of the restaurant provides the perfect space for a fine bistro meal of mussels and pommes frites.
The Grape Restaurant
Location: 2808 Greenville Ave. in Dallas; 214-828-1981
Hours: Happy hour: 4:30 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Dinner: 5:30 p.m. nightly. Brunch: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Ambiance: Intimate dining on the inside easily transcends to the patio of small tables
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Beer and wine served