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Sunday brunch is booming in cities across America. Brunch is much more than a meal. For many, it’s a destination. A gathering that is as much about community as it is about cuisine. The week moves by so fast, there is hardly time for breakfast, let alone quality time with friends and loved ones. We need time to recharge and reconnect. It’s possible that brunch has taken on a new meaning today. But no matter your take on that vague middle ground between breakfast and lunch, you can’t bash brunch until you try it for yourself. Thankfully, more and more local restaurants are cooking up some Saturday and Sunday brunches that are delicious and unique to the Coastal Bend.
Brad Lomax, owner of Water Street Oyster Bar, is one of the original pioneers of brunch in the Coastal Bend. In 1983, when Lomax first opened the doors to his new seafood restaurant, he wanted to replicate the Gulf Coast seafood feel of New Orleans. Sunday brunch is a stable of the New Orleans dining scene. By the late 1980s, Water Street Oyster Bar was running a regular brunch downtown.
Brunch was new to Corpus Christi at the time and not as popular as it is today. Some of the items on that first menu didn’t make the cut, such as a blackened red fish and egg dish, and another classic New Orleans dish called the Hang Town Fry – a combination of fried oysters and eggs.
“We tried to put a little bit of Texas spin on some items, but our most popular items and the staple of our brunch menu are our Eggs Benedict dishes,” said Richard Lomax, Director of Operations at Water Street Restaurants. “Some are just old fashioned, some mix in blue crab or fish.”
They have traditionally only offered Sunday brunch but are considering expanding it to Saturdays as well. It really has been popular with people letting out of church downtown on Sundays. It’s become a tradition for many to enjoy Water Street’s Texas Gulf Coast spin on the New Orleans inspired dishes. “One very popular item for us is our blueberry muffins that we make every Sunday,” says Lomax.
Today, brunch is booming in the Coastal Bend. The walls that once divided breakfast and lunch are crumbling faster than a biscotti. Emerging from the dust is a plethora of brunch items available nearly any day of the week. Since the arrival of Hester’s and The Post to the Lamar Park shopping center, nearby residents can brunch all weekend long.
At 4am on Sunday morning, an hour or so after the doors are locked on Saturday night, Chef Robert Flores of The Post at Lamar Park begins the process of making everything from scratch for their Sunday brunch.
“We are totally flipping the kitchen. We are going from a six-day menu, to a one day, five-hour menu. And that’s it,” said Flores.
“When we were developing the concept for The Post, it was never an option to not do brunch,” says owner Susan Gonzales. “Brunch is not just a meal, it’s an idea and a mindset. It’s a destination for friends and a family gathering. Brunch defines people’s Sundays. It’s a time to gather and both end the week and begin the week on the right foot. With good food, Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas.”
On some Sundays, the line outside The Post is already wrapped around the building before the doors even open. According to Gonzales, brunch is not a time for restaurant staff to take it easy.
“It takes 110% from the whole staff. Brunch has its own rhythm, different from any other day of the week,” said Gonzales.
Corpus Christi isn’t the only place brunch is making its mark. Karey Butterworth, owner and chef of Glow Restaurant in Rockport, puts as much effort (if not more) into her Sunday brunch menu. People gather together to celebrate and rekindle bonds with friends and family.
“The food we serve for brunch is in the Glow tradition of fresh and local, using Gulf Coast seafood and honoring some of the local traditions, naming dishes after historic figures or streets in Rockport and Fulton,” said Butterworth.
The recent porch addition offers guests the perfect place to sip on the King Ranch bubbly, which is Glow’s take on the traditional mimosa with lavender syrup. Most of the time, people are celebrating special occasions and taking pictures by the water.
“People are celebrating life, and you want food that will live up to those moments and meet customer’s expectations,” says Butterworth.
Food brings family, friends, and the community together. But there’s something different about a solid Sunday brunch. It’s unrushed, it’s a time to reflect on the week, look forward to the week to come. It’s laughing with your loved ones over a perfectly poached egg and bubbling mimosa.
On April 24, 2016 The Bend is hosting Brunch on the Bay, an event that is bringing six of the top restaurants to serve up the ultimate brunch experience. This family-oriented experience will show off the quality and uniqueness that our dining scene has to offer. Sample some of the best dishes around right along the Corpus Christi Bay. Music, drinks, competitions, and activities will leave the entire family with fun times and full tummies.
Brunching is trending, and here in the Coastal Bend, we have lots to eat!
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/905002139620441/
The Post: Barbacoa Tacos – Braised beef, pickled onions, cilantro and fried avocado on corn tortillas served with Big Red.
Shoreline Sandwich Co.: Beignets with Blackberry Curd – Freshly made beignets covered in powered sugar with a sweet tart blackberry curd.
Glow: Shrimp and Grits – Grilled Texas Shrimp and cracked pepper grits with bacon, Asparagus and parmesan.
Omni Glass Pavilion: Banana’s Foster French Toast – Homemade banana bread French toast style topped with bananas, warm caramel, and powdered sugar.
Hester’s: Quiche and Breakfast Panini – Monterrey Quiche: Canadian Bacon, green chilies, Monterrey Jack, green onions.
WaterStreet Seafood Co: Eggs Benedict
Feb By Bread: Rosemary and Currant Scones