How do you distinguish between an average brunch spot and one that you visit quite frequently, and as a matter of fact, is typically the first mentioned on a Saturday morning when you ask yourself, "Hmmm...what am I in the mood for?" For me it boils down to the basics. You know...the staples of breakfast; those items that are a must have and make breakfast complete. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy crème brulee French toast, eggs Benedict, and biscuits & gravy, but it's really all about the eggs (or omelets) and the pancakes. If you nail those; you are half way there.
Union Kitchen, which has two locations in the Houston area, has a pretty good handle on the basics. In addition, they are fair competition when it comes to the "not so ordinary" too; like their Lobster Omelet or their Tejas Benedict which starts with a Cilantro and Cotija Cheese Masa Cake, then layered with Poached Eggs, Chipotle Hollandaise, and Chorizo Potato Hash. Truth be told, my first visit to Union Kitchen was not impressive. Being that pancakes separate the players on the bench from the starters, being served cold pancakes is a sure fire way to get you kicked out of the game for a season or two. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. However, this is the exact reason why you should always give restaurants a second chance.
Now on to my Tried & True...
Before digging into the menu, you are served these wonderful mini muffins with an even more wonderful honey butter for your eating pleasure. I usually order a few rounds of these! The brunch menu is great and I've tasted at least half of the items on the menu. However, my typical selections are the Peggy's Lobster Omelet (stuffed with Sautéed Lobster and White Cheddar and topped with huge slices of Avocado and a gallop of Dill Crème Fraîche), the Buttermilk Pancake Entrée (seven Pancakes topped with Berries and Texas Pecans), and Paul's Favorite Breakfast Sandwich (Texas Toast layered with Bacon, Ham, Grilled Tomato, Scrambled Eggs, Cheddar Cheese and Chipotle Mayonnaise). That's a mouthful right? Now say it fast four times...lol! I think they must have found out that I am in deep awe with their pancakes because the last few times I visited, my stack has grown to a whopping 7 pancakes! I remember it being half this portion on a previous visit, but who's counting. Hey, you won't find any complaints coming from my table, but this is definitely a portion better suited for sharing. With that said, we are in Texas!
If you are looking for a place that can deliver on the basics and throw in a hidden surprise every now and then, Union Kitchen is a place you may want to check out. They were so popular at their first location in Bellaire they opened up their second location in Memorial. Customers were actually driving from West Houston to dine at the Bellaire location so the owners felt it was only right to bring the love to my side of town and I am glad they did. Owner Paul Miller and Executive Chef de Cuisine Juan Arellano are frequent visitors to our local farmers markets and focus on incorporating those ingredients in their dishes. What Union Kitchen has been able to do with their menu is very exciting. Combined with great service, this seems to go right in line with their slogan, "Global Cuisine with Southern Hospitality".>
Union Kitchen serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and they feature a "build your own" Bloody Mary bar.
Locations: 12538 Memorial Drive Houston, TX 77024 & 4057 Bellaire Blvd. Houston, TX 77025
~ Shanna "Urban Girl" Jones