Boom shakalaka and welcome to Houston Restaurant Weeks! The best month of the year for food lovers in Houston. Brunch Klub started off the month strong and took a visit to MKT Bar for brunch.
Side note: Is it M-K-T Bar? Like em-jay-tee? Or Market Bar? Regrets on not asking someone. Good thing this is a blog and not a podcast or TV show or something where I’d be expected to speak eloquently (or at least coherently). Anyways…
MKT Bar is located downtown inside Phoenecia. If you’re never been to Phoenecia you’re missing out. It’s this incredible international grocery store that’s filled with authentic finds like Bulgarian feta cheese, Turkish Delight, fresh made pita (the bags are still warm when you choose them!) and a million canned items in languages that I can’t even recognize. The flagship Phoenecia store is on Westhiemer outside Beltway 8, but a smaller version is located downtown and is an excellent spot for lunch if you’re working in the city. The store has an fantastic deli, salad bar and gyro station. I’m a big fan of stopping by during lunch and grabbing a pita sandwich (across from the gyro station with zero line) and taking my olive, spinach, tomato-filled heaven pocket out to Discovery Green for some people watching and fresh air. Bonus it costs just $4.75. Obviously I’m already sold on the grocery store and have been meaning to check out the MKT Bar for a while.
Not only is there free street parking downtown on Sundays, BUT I was BEYOND excited to find out that they have a garage with…wait for it…FREE PARKING. Plenty of spaces and easy to get to the store from the garage. MAJOR KEY.
Entering the restaurant it was a tad busy around 11:30am, but we didn’t have an issue finding a table so we sat ourselves. The brunch menu was out of control—had a hard time deciding between the Veg Out Pizza and the Piperade with Eggs. Went with the Veg Out Pizza. NO REGRETS. It was ahhhhmazing. It was thin crust topped with roasted Brussles Sprouts, carrots, asparagus, goat cheese and pesto. Absolutely incredible. Plus, there was live music so the restaurant vibe was quite delightful.
Natalie got the Chicken and Waffles and we both ordered the Fruit Bouquet—fresh berries, pistachio shell, and mango mousse—for dessert. Don’t forget, those two courses only cost $20! Just another reason why we’re falling in love with Houston Restaurant Week even more.
Unfortunately, the service was not so great. Our server was quite frazzled, and was literally running around the restaurant. She apparently normally works in the bakery and was just filling in for someone for the brunch crowd—and lawd it showed. We had to ask for water twice. When she brought it, she only brought one glass. She forgot my tea. She needed multiple reminders for the desserts. Then the Apple Baklava dessert that we had ordered ran out. She actually brought us our bill and we PAID before the dessert even came. We saw multiple tables get seated AFTER us and then LEAVE before us. The dessert finally came after an hour and a half, and it was beautifully presented and tasted fantastic, but the whole ordeal was a bit draining and tainted the experience.
Would recommend the brunch to a friend because the food was fantastic, but with the caveat, it might take your 2+ hours to get served.