brunch

Brunch at Micheladas


Riptide Oysters

I bet that you’ve never had oysters for brunch before. I’m also pretty sure that you don’t think a restaurant near The Austin Convention Center can be different from the many other chains that dot hotel-filled areas.

If the answer is yes to either of those questions, chances are that you haven’t been to Micheladas yet.


Shrimp Taco
The brunch menu is pretty standard for a Texan: migas, biscuits, breakfast tacos, chilaquiles, and more! We were excited to explore the full menu in addition to the brunch specialties. Who knew that you could find Riptide oysters on a downtown menu? Usually, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’re going to get stuck with Gulf oysters (not that it’s necessarily a bad thing) anytime you’re craving the shelled stuff at other local restaurants. 

Dom Estable
My partner, the ultra-carnivore, chose the Dom Estable. It was a filling dish of steak fajita enchiladas, rice, and borracho beans. He claims that he downed a ridiculous amount of mimosas to combat the spiciness of his dish, but I think the fact that mimosas were only $2 each was the real reason. Did I mention that they squeeze their own juice daily? The juice makes a huge difference in mimosas, and the prices on bloodies and beer made great alternatives for when I needed to try something else. We explored the frozen margaritas, which are only $3 during their happy hour, and they were tart!

Patio at Micheladas
 Apart from their sunlit, spacious dining rooms, Micheladas has both a street-level and rooftop patio. Not only does it make it a perfect spot for a large group, you can also bring your four-legged friends along. 

The bottom line: I just had a healthy, delicious shrimp taco with copious amounts of salsa. I am full. I am happy, and I had enough mimosas to work up a nice afternoon buzz. If you like Tex-Mex, then you’ll love Micheladas.





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Brunch at Russell’s Bistro

Poached Egg at Russell’s Bistro
 Russel’s Bistro is nestled just shy of 38th Street, near the original Kerbey Lane Cafe. We were on our way to Kerbey, but the massive line (and rather annoying drum circle at the shop next door) made us stop to see just what Russell’s had to offer. 

When I learned that they give you complimentary mimosas and coffee while you wait for a seat, my mind was made up.

House Breakfast $10 at Russell’s Bistro
 The menu was overwhelmingly focused on eggs, but that’s pretty standard for most brunch spots. The mimosas, cheaper than the advertised price if you don’t spring for the Prima Perla Prosecco, were lukewarm and dismal. The wait between each one on their otherwise enjoyable patio became unbearable. At one point I had to leave my seat to seek service.

Crab Cake Benedict $15 at Russell’s Bistro
 Dishes run from $9 all the way up to $17. The crab cake benedict was disappointing. The potatoes were fine, the poached eggs were good, but the crab cake was all cake and no crab.

My partner enjoyed the complimentary fruit served with our meal, and even the coffee. We thought the ambiance, particularly the patio, was pleasant, but I don’t think the food dazzled us. If they upped their game on the mimosas (such as serving them cold and fizzy), and if service had been even a little attentive… I’d have loved it.

Brunch at Russian House

Fish Delicacies at Russian House
Nestled between Eddie V’s and Rivals Steakhouse downtown you’ll find one of Austin’s newest bars with a surprisingly decadent menu. Forget bar food, this is authentic Russian, comrades!

Cocktail with Champagne, Vodka, & Berries

The breakfast drinks were $5 a piece, with the full menu offered (food AND drink-wise!). Have you seen the list of crazy vodka infusions that they do? You can have insane mixtures late at night or with brunch at Russian House! I strongly recommend having a designated driver if you feel compelled to start that early.

Decorations at Russian House

The entrance to Russian House features a taxidermied bear, Russian soldier costumes for you to wear in photos, and more Soviet kitsch than you can shake a sickle at. The adorable patio has hand painted strawberries on the ceiling, and in the back there’s a beaded curtain leading to an even cuter dining room. The middle is a vacant dance floor (unless you’re there at night).

The blinis (shown above) run about $3.50 and up, and come stuffed with various meats, cheeses, and even caviar. My partner went with the ham and cheese version.

Mashed Potatoes

The mashed potatoes were cheap as well, and very different from other mashed potatoes. They were somehow more dense and chewy.

The Virgin Mary?

The fish delicacy appetizer is about $15 and is more fish than one  person can handle. Two of the fish types were hot smoked, and one was cold smoked. The quality was good.


Sour Cream
They thew in a side of bread and sour cream that tasted more like creme fraiche, which I absolutely loved. My only complaint was that I wished they served more dill… and that the waitresses weren’t sort of dressed up like maids. That part was a bit weird for me.

Overall, I like Russian house. It’s weird, it’s kitsch, and the prices are completely fair. Go at night, go if you feel like clubbing, go for Sunday brunch, or even just go for lunch. They somehow manage to do it all without failing at any particular part of it.





Brunch at Takoba

I know it’s not French, but my partner’s queso fundido  seemed to stretch in the shape of The Eiffel Tower. Did I mention we recently had brunch at Takoba?


Mimosas were $1.50 per glass, and $7 for a pitcher. I saw extra large micheladas for $6, bloody marys for $5, and a string of people stuck with a 20 minute wait to get tables. 

It didn’t bother us, we just killed time at the bar. 



This wasn’t my first time at Takoba. I previously had the ceviche, and was promptly reminded by my partner that I hated it. I figured I’d give it a second chance, perhaps I was just in a bad mood last time around? 

Nope. Still hated it. I can’t quite place why, but it’s not my favorite. The salad was small, but decent for the price.


A lot of the brunch menu focused on eggs, but clearly we preferred exploring the other items.  My partner chose the menudo, which he always gets, and loved it. 

The takeaway? Brunch has cheap mimosas (win!), menudo (carnivorous people’s win!), and less than stellar healthy options (not so much win?). I’d gladly go back, sit on the patio, and enjoy the fall weather with a pitcher or two, while my partner, in his love for their soup, had a bowl or three. 

By the way, we could’ve stopped at the queso fundido. That dish was filling!


Brunch at Hillside Farmacy

I admit to being less than dazzled by Hillside Farmacy the first time I ate there, but a follow-up visit about a month later really won me over. Fresh seafood? Yes, please.


The cost of a cocktail is a bit on the pricey side, and the same goes for mimosas. If you have to have a drink with your breakfast (I know I do!) I think the carafe is the most affordable way to go. The orange juice is super pulpy, which I view as a mega-plus.


The croque monsieur (shown above) was a big hit with my partner. He had a pretty bad experience with a grilled cheese-like sandwich, the “dough well done,” on our first visit so I’d steer clear of that one. 


The smoked salmon was a hit with both of us, except for the cole slaw, which is a matter of personal preference. I HATE COLE SLAW!


As pretty as those boiled shrimp look, they weren’t really worth it. Don’t get me wrong, they taste fine. I just can’t justify what you get for the cost on that one. It’s extremely plain, but maybe you’ll be into it; who knows?


As adorable as the food and space are at this hip, little gem… I must confess that the seating is extremely uncomfortable and tables are painfully small. 

Pro-tip: They have half-off all oysters every Monday!

All in all, do I like Hillside? I love it! Grab that citrusy delicious crab salad and a carafe, and go have brunch!

Brunch at Sagra

Sagra is best known for their half-off pizza happy hour (5-6:30), but we decided to stop in for Sunday brunch. I think it’s safe to say that it’s now one of my partner’s favorite brunch spots in town.

They started us off with a massive basket of delicious breads. In search of slightly healthy fare, I decided to order smoked fish (shown above).


Most of the menu was egg-centric, but some truly Italian dishes were also offered. Wood-fired pizza for breakfast? They have it.

Same goes for carbonara.


The biggest draw to Sagra for brunch would have to be the $1 mimosas and bellinis. 

If you’re looking for a nice meal in a cozy house off the beaten path of downtown Austin, go to Sagra.


Blogger Happy Hour at Hugo’s

Hugo’s graciously hosted a happy hour for food bloggers to come in and sample their offerings. I’ve been to dinner and brunch there previously, so I knew what I was in for.


We started with the shrimp cocktail shooter, which had just the right amount of spice, and moved onto shrimp and grits.


There weren’t many vegetarian items, but the Mexican street corn wraps proved to be a rabbit-safe option. I loved that the fact that they were wrapped up in lettuce!


The next course that came around was Hugo’s famous “duck cigars,” which paired duck confit with balsamic blackberry ancho jam.


By the time the chorizo spiced pork ribeye came out, everyone was stuffed. I made room for the green onion mashed potatoes anyway despite the fact that I knew dessert was coming.


The cuatro leches boasted 4 types of milk, and the chocolate bread pudding won our table over as the crowd favorite.


Overall, Hugo’s is fairly priced Southwestern food with pretty good daily drink specials from 4-7. They have an enormous patio, free garage parking, and some the most mind-blowingly inventive house-infused tequilas around.




Brunch at Blue Dahlia Bistro

Blue Dahlia Bistro is an east side gem with delicious offerings perfect for a weekend brunch.


Their famously delicious tartines (open-faced sandwiches) are truly divine. I had the salmon which was accented with lemon and dill, a very Swedish-like dish.


My partner had the meat and cheese plate, which alone would have been almost enough food for the both of us.


My favorite part of Blue Dahlia is the ambiance. I feel like I’m in a European cafe! The cheap mimosas on weekends, and weekday happy hours with $4 tartines, inexpensive beer, and wine as low as $3 a glass are close runner-ups.

If you’ve never been, go!

Brunch At Papi Tino’s


Papi Tino’s has got to be the cutest place I’ve ever been. I see no reason to eat inside, so I recommend making sure the weather is good (it’s Austin, what are the odds that it won’t be?) and enjoying the patio.

It’s a little ka-ching, but not ka-ching-ka-ching. I guess that’s how I describe something that’s on the upper end of affordable Mexican food. The guacamole is great, ceviche is good, but the chilaquiles were disappointing. Mellie described them as, “Nachos?”



I tried the $7 bloody mary, and though it wasn’t bad I think the mimosas are the real way to go here. I really love this place, and can’t wait to go back. I’ve been one other time, and the margaritas are truly to die for.

Brunch At Garrido’s

We popped in for Austin Restaurant Week at Garrido’s and they did not disappoint.
A mimosa was included, and the following rounds were just $3.

For the first course I had guacamole, my partner ordered the chicken quesadilla. The portions were small, but at $16 (total for the special) and with enormous follow-up entrees,
I really couldn’t complain.


I enjoyed the smoked salmon despite the freakish amount of cream cheese (luckily on the side), and my partner had huevos rancheros.

By the time dessert rolled around, we were hoping for wheelchairs to magically appear and carry us out, but I soldiered on through delicious creme brulee (one of these days I have got to figure out how to find the letters with accents). I don’t think that my partner was
thrilled with the French toast, which he described as “too egg-y,”
and I’ve got to side with him on it being a bit lackluster.

All in all, Garrido’s is a gorgeous space with a beautiful balcony, excellent service,
and a killer Austin Restaurant Week brunch menu.