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Going to the Alley Theater... any brunch/lunch suggestions?

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We're going to see a play at the Alley Theater in the afternoon on Saturday, so I'm trying to find a good place for brunch (buffet or not) or lunch before the show.

I've been to Benjy's in the Village before and liked it. We have guests form Dallas, and I think they would like it as well.

Other places being considered:
Mockingbird
Backstreet
Brennan's (not sure if they have a Sat bruch)
Monarch in Hotel Zaza
Churrasco's

I would welcome any opinions or other recs.

Is Birra Poretti worth going to? Its very close to the theater and would work well logistically.

Thanks!

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  1. We have been to Birraporetti's occasionally pre-theater, especially when in the company of children, and I'm always pleasantly surprised that it is very decent food and service with a touch of "out on the town elegance" and as you note, quite convenient.

    Max's Wine Dive has a Saturday brunch now. Backstreet has a great seasonal lunch menu and it might be cool enough for the patio which should impress your Dallas friends. It always does me, anyway! Take a look at the menu at Haven too, it's got great food and vibe.

    http://havenhouston.com/menus/menus.htm

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    Birraporetti's
    500 Louisiana St., Houston, TX 77002

    4 Replies
    1. re: Lambowner

      Thanks for the recs. Decided against Italian since my wife makes a killer carbonara, we make pizzas in our own brick oven, and I am still on a high from Osteria Antica (from over a year ago ! Love that place). Backstreet sounds enticing so I called and and made a reservation.

      Tried Haven during HRW and had a nice meal. It was however superseded by dinner at Stella Solla, which I highly recommend - get the bone marrow, and the salted caramel affogato for sure. Back on topic - we looked at the brunch menu for Stella Solla and it is also on our list of places to try for brunch ( going there for dinner this weekend so can't go there for brunch).

      A friend recommended Canopy. I checked out the menu, and that fried pork loin looks mighty good (... as do many fried things, to me). Any supporters?

      1. re: caliking

        Agreed that Haven doesn't hold a candle to Stella Sola. (You named two of my favorite things at Stella Sola -- the other being the roast suckling pig). We love brunch at Stella Sola, and it's definitely worth checking out some time.

        Not much advice regarding Backstreet -- to be honest, I went once for dinner about 18 months ago, and it was fine, but not good enough to make it back into the rotation yet. I do feel like others seem to have had more wow-ing experiences there than I did, so hopefully your mileage will vary.

        As to brunch options, our favorite place for brunch is Rainbow Lodge. I've only been to Canopy once, and it was a catered breakfast, so I don't have enough information to weigh in. (The food was well-done but very standard -- scrambled eggs, potatoes, and fruit.) But it's a nice space and I have heard good things about the brunch menu (particularly that pork loin).

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        Rainbow Lodge
        2011 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX 77008

        Stella Sola
        1001 Studewood, Houston, TX 77008

        1. re: caliking

          Sorry, just realized you were talking about Saturday, not Sunday. (This will teach me to read more carefully!) Rainbow Lodge only does brunch Sunday.

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          Rainbow Lodge
          2011 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX 77008

          1. re: mjust

            So we ended up going to Backstreet Cafe. We all enjoyed eating out on the patio, and were able to finish minutes before it started raining. Us=1, weather 0. :) Although. we were so happy it rained - Texas has been so parched this summer, the rain was much needed. A win-win situation.

            I will definitely go back for brunch at Backstreet. I had excellent crab cakes - soft almost creamy, very little filler/binder- with a red pepper sauce that I really liked. Their poached eggs were good, and the cocktails were nice as well ( I had a plum mojito, others enjoyed their drinks as well). A little on the pricey side, but worth it for a goos experience. When I go back, I will ask for a table in the window nook by the hostess station - a 2top and a 4 top in a bay window which looked like the perfect spot to enjoy brunch and read the paper on a weekend morning.