Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Grape in Dallas makes list of Top 10 Mother’s Day brunches in the country
It's home to Best Burger in Texas touted for Sunday brunch.
The Grape is first on the list, followed by nine other notables around the country such as A Voce Columbus in New York, Bluehour in Portland, Ore., Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, and Michael's in Santa Monica.
Of The Grape, the writeup says: "totally unpretentious and casual, this European-style bistro is the kind of place we'd all like to have in our neighborhood," and acknowledges the restaurant's Texan roots "with dishes like the jalapeno-cheese biscuit with fried chicken and cheddar."
Owners Brian and Courtney Luscher have no idea how their brunch got on the list, but Brian says they take it very seriously.
"The brunch we do is not your typical 'get them in, get them out' deal," he says. "We make our own breakfast sausage, we make all our own bacon, we smoke and cure and slice our ham, and we do all our own baking."
Their brunch situation changed significantly in July 2009 when Texas Monthly named them the Best Burger in Texas, because at that time, it was only during the brunch that the burger was served.
"We used to do 80 to 100 people for brunch, and sell maybe a dozen burgers," Luscher says. "We went from that to 260 to 280 people, every Sunday. It consumed us. It was a tsunami. I think somebody started crying. It overwhelmed us. We were just trying to hang on to this bronco. Each Sunday we came in, we'd say, 'We're going to lick this thing.' It took us about six months to catch up to it. After a year, we felt like we got it to where, it's the lion tamer, like Siegfried and Roy, the second you let your guard down."
And while all they sold initially were burgers, that slowly changed.
"Over the last year, people began ordering more of the brunch items -- they'd come in for the burger and have brunch, and then see that the brunch looked awesome as well," he says.
They pretty much sell out every Sunday, so reservations are advised. For Mother's Day, they'll do their regular menu, and they still have a couple of openings -– "early and late," Luscher says.
Their menu includes oxtail hash with banana peppers -- "slow-braised for many nights" -- with poached eggs; blueberry cornmeal griddle cakes; fried chicken biscuit -- crispy fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese, honey butter on a jalapeno-cheese biscuit, and napa slaw; and fried polenta cheese fritters.
"When brunch blew up, we knew that everybody was going to be coming in here with a skeptical eye, and we wanted to win them over," Luscher says.
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