When the weekend rolls around, there's only one thing revelers look forward to more than a night on the town: brunch the next day. Where should one look to indulge in a mimosa or three? Few Dallas neighborhoods offer a better range of options than Lower Greenville.
The recently rejuvenated area is hardly recognizable compared with just a few years ago. Independent restaurateurs took over previously vacant storefronts, bringing in fresh concepts, while beloved stalwarts weathered the district's slump to keep Lower Greenville's roots alive.
Unsurprisingly, renewed popularity has brought a healthy flow of traffic into the area. Parking pro tips: Be patient, keep your eyes open and don't forget to check lots behind the strips of businesses. Rest assured, it's worth braving the traffic when heading to these five Lower Greenville brunch spots. Your stomach will thank you.
504 Bar and Grill
Selling point: Sports watching
It's one thing to seek out great brunch food, but it's another to dine at the expense of missing the big weekend games. At 504 Bar and Grill, you don't have to sacrifice one or the other. A newer addition to Lower Greenville, the hybrid sports bar and Creole restaurant boasts 15 TVs with sight access from nearly every seat in the place, including the patio. It's not ideal for large groups, however; the best spots to sit are at the bar. We recommend eating something Southern-inspired, such as crab cake Florentine.
Selling point: Quality
Taste and quality are priorities here, which shouldn't come as a surprise since renowned local chef Brian Luscher is at the helm of this neighborhood staple. Looking for something sweet? Try the blueberry cornmeal griddle cakes, which come with to-die-for homemade honey butter, or the Belgian waffle piled high with pecans, strawberries and whipped cream. The savory route includes dishes like fried chicken biscuit and the haystack, a tower of potatoes, grilled tomatoes, eggs, cheese and avocado. Forget counting calories and prepare to lick the plate clean.
Selling point: Cocktail program
Go for the food, stay for another round. Inspired by old-school soda fountains, the restaurant's shtick is house-made sodas, created with original syrups that are mixed with soda water from a tap. Make it a highball by adding a couple of ounces of booze to the sparkling beverage; the result is refreshing and sweet. Locally acclaimed bartender Máté Hartai recently debuted concoctions including the Brunch Bird (tequila, sugar and champagne) and Blue Hawaiian (rum, Cointreau, pineapple, homemade coconut cream and citrus), both of which are served from a metal siphon. That effects the texture of the drink, says Hartai. Remedy offers breakfast items every day until 4 p.m., so you can get your fix during the week, too.
The Libertine Bar
Selling point: Price
It can be tough to brunch on a budget, but this beloved pub is one place diners can get their money's worth. Most brunch plates cost $10, leaving plenty of change for drinks. And the Libertine isn't skimping on the food. Dishes such as steak and eggs and the chicken biscuit come with a side (jalapeño-and-bacon cheddar grits, anyone?). Biscuits and gravy, which comes with two eggs and either bacon or sausage, is another great deal. Take your champagne with orange juice (mimosa), peach juice (Bellini), cranberry juice (poinsettia) or black currant liqueur (kir royale) for just $2.50 per glass.
Clark Food and Wine Co.
Selling point: Menu creativity
Ever tried peanut butter-and-jelly French toast or a breakfast enchilada? Neither had we until visiting this lesser-known spot at the lowest end of Greenville Avenue. It's in the former Billiard Bar space, and the owners classed up the joint with a sleek, minimalist interior and wood accents. But it's the menu that really pops. Even the vegan brunch dish, with asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, peppers and tofu, was a hit. Clark Food and Wine is a must for anyone with the taste for a spicy Bloody Mary. Made with house-pickled jalapeños and fresh horseradish, it's sure to shock (and satisfy) on the first sip.
You're already parked, so it's a good time to explore what else the area around Greenville Avenue has to offer. Besides you have carbs to burn. There are a lot of options for a trek through the neighborhood, from artisan chocolate to French bread, pawn shop treasures to trendy threads, but here are five can't-miss, post-brunch destinations.
This shop sells recycled (that's a fancy way of saying "used") clothes for men and women, but it has more in common with Anthropolgie and Urban Outfitters than it does with thrift shops. The focus is style, not second-hand. The collection runs a gamut: vintage to contemporary, basics to designer, and denim to cocktail attire.
This apparel and accessories shop is the answer to the question, "Where is everyone getting those shirts?" It's known for local, sarcastic and silly images and sayings, including "Dallas: It's What Everyone in Dallas is Talking About" and "Texas State Fair: Where Diets Go to Die," which are printed on-site onto T-shirts, tanks, hoodies, coasters, notebooks and more. There's a claw machine that dispenses koozies instead of toys. Insert some money and maneuver the claw toward the beverage cooler that catches your eye. Like with regular claw machines, you might not get the one you want, but with Bullzerk's selection of slogans, every one is a winner.
This music store has been on Lower Greenville for almost a decade, selling CDs and records long before the so-called vinyl resurgence. (It was open years before that in a space on the edge of Deep Ellum.) The shelves are stocked with local music and alternative and indie releases. With members of the Polyphonic Spree in charge, you know the selection's going to be good. Sometimes local and touring musicians -- including last October, the original lineup of Alice Cooper's band -- perform on the stage at the back of the store.
Steel City Pops
After-meal visits to this frozen pop shop have become such a tradition that some stores along Greenville have signs asking customers to finish eating before coming inside. Steel City's menu is divided into fruity and creamy with more than a dozen options, including pineapple-jalapeño, sweet tea, hibiscus, coffee, peanut butter and coconut. Chocolate and vanilla are available for purists. There are a few seats inside or pop out onto the sidewalk patio for some people-watching.
Tucked behind the main drag, this food truck park and bar has several spots where you can lose a few hours. Take a seat on the patio's vintage furniture near one of the overhead heaters, bask in the sun's warmth in the yard near the three parked food trucks, or head inside to the bar itself. Once you choose a view, pick a drink. Besides beer and wine, there are signature cocktails, including the frozen, vodka-based Trash Can Punch, and a seasonal menu, which currently includes hot toddies and spiked hot chocolate, coffee and chai.