It’s been a while since I’ve written a brunch post. But then again it’s been a while since I’ve gone to a noteworthy brunch. Recovering from the hangover of two Sundays of mediocre brunch (I’m looking at you Añejo and Majorca), El Big Bad in Downtown Houston really took the edge off and restored my faith in the restorative and therapeutic qualities of a fabulous brunch. It nailed the formula for the perfect brunch experience = outdoor patio + bomb drinks + creative egg dishes
El Big Bad has this whimsical fairy tale gone wrong theme in its décor. Think: three little pigs in Mexican ponchos, skeletal Little Red Riding Hood, and big bad wolves decorating the walls. It’s a huge space inside and a just as large space outside. Obvi, if you’re going to brunch you need to get seated on the patio upstairs. Located at the corner of Travis and Prairie, the patio has a great view of the haunted Rice Hotel and other century-old buildings in the historic district of Houston. It’s patio season and we’re more than ready to tan while we brunch.
Every good brunch requires a comprehensive drink menu. Known for their infused tequila collection, El Big Bad goes above and beyond in the drink category. They have a fat cocktail and margarita menu in addition to a list of approximately 40 homemade infused tequilas for custom margaritas. They have everything from hibiscus to texas pecan and cayenne to beets to vanilla. They’re divided into categories: sweet, savory, spicy and herbal. I tried a Blood Orange and a Hibiscus/Pineapple Marg. Drinks around the table also included the Green Apple, Guava and Coconut Margs. Love all around–although they could be stronger.
Anybody can make eggs benedict. Anybody can make an omelet. But it takes a certain type of chef to one up the standard breakfast staples with something unique, memorable and still contain an egg. El Big Bad does that and more. Basically everything we got was a game time decision. Everything looked good. No one could decide. We all ordered different things and everyone fell in love.
The brunch menu is phenomenal. We started off with the Molletes aka Mexican Pizza. It was toasted focaccia bread topped with black beans, pico de gallo, cheese and a fried egg. #loveatfirstsight I ordered the Enfrioladas which was a pile of corn tortillas topped with a black bean sauce, scrambled eggs, pico and queso fresco. Beautiful presentation and with fresh jalapeño it had the perfect level of spice.
Others at the table ordered Seafood Enpoblanas (corn tortilla layered with queso, gulf shrimp & blue crab, elotes, and crema poblana) and Carnitas Enchipotladas (corn tortilla layered with queso, carnitas, peanut chipotle salsa, pickled onion, and taqueria carrots). The winner of the brunch was probably the Breakfast Sandwich–made vegetarian. The plate consisted of a perfectly toasted brioche bun, roasted portabella mushrooms and tomato with scramble eggs, salsa verde, and pepperjack cheese. It was accompanied by some perfectly spiced French fries and kewpie mayo. Man just writing about those fires is making my mouth water…
I’m still thinking about those fries. And sunning myself in that warm, spacious patio. And trying a spicy margarita next time. So likeeeeee yeah. I pretty much love it. I love texmex more than more things I would care to admit. So this brunch won all of the stars in my book. I give it five out of five infused tequila margs and then ten out of ten slices of molletes pizza. It nailed the brunch formula and I can’t wait to go back.
Downtown parking sucks, but on Sundays you can park on the street for free.