There is a place in Midtown that is particularly whimsical. There are no sports bars or frat boys in sight. Instead there are fairy lights, outdoor patios, thrift shops, boutiques, and live music playing nightly. Nestled in this unique block of Houston culture that hugs Main Street at the Ensemble/HCC Metro Rail stop, one finds Sparrow Bar + Cookshop. I’ve been wanted to go to Sparrow for a while, particularly, their brunch. But being “special” and all, their brunch is on Friday and Saturday, so a special occasion would have to be arranged in order to try out their delectable menu.
I was afforded the opportunity to go this past weekend with my mother. We show up at around 10:30 am–The Breakfast Klub line is wrapping around the corner with like 70 people in it, so in comparison the Sparrow parking lot is a bit sparse. We valet (it’s complementary) and walk inside to discover that we are the only people there. We have the rule of the roost and pick out a lovely table nestled against the window with a plush red bench on one side. By the time we leave, there are about 10 people there. Clearly they do their best work at night. Which I will say is a shame to everyone who missed their brunch, because it is delicious!
From the beakers of water and plant specimen wall décor, I believe Cookshop is meant to refer to some sort of chic scientist theme of the restaurant. The food is fairly experimental–for example we split the Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings which were glazed in a blue cheese, cream and honey sauce. Super creative. Super delicious. Might have been overpriced at $14 for four small dumplings. But certainly unique.
Sparrow prides itself on being “locally sourced and globally inspired” and I must commend it on its wide variety of vegetarian options. Both my mother and I were overwhelmed with the fabulous selection and ended up splitting the Sparrow Chopped Salad. It was a spring sprouted slaw with avocado, beets, radish, sunchoke, sprouts, chickpeas, topped with an egg and fried tofu. My mother ventured to say that the tofu was the best fried tofu she’d ever had. And given that she’s been a vegetarian since the 70s, she’s had her fair share of fried bean curd, so that statement is not dolled out lightly.
With the beautiful patio outside with fruit-laden pear trees, eclectic décor and plentiful vegetarian options. I will certainly be back to Sparrow.