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Brunch Famous: Brunchin’ Outside the Loop

Who doesn’t look forward to brunching each and every weekend? Well, if you are like us your love for brunch is probably neck and neck to your love for happy hour! In our new series, Brunch Famous, we wanted to take our admiration one step further. This “best of” list highlights what’s great about some of our local brunch favorites. Whether it be a particular dish, cocktail, the ambiance, or even the way it makes you feel (because feelings are important)…all these spots are worthy of being “Brunch Famous” in one way or another:

Rio Ranch (Westchase)

I’m just gonna state it for the record, so we’re all clear. Rio Ranch has the BEST brunch buffet this side of the loop hands down. Where do I start? Made to order pancakes, French toast, and waffles, an omelet station, Alfredo potatoes that are so ridiculously good I would pay the full brunch price just for a plate of them, housemade biscuits, fresh fruit, grits, sticky buns, bacon, country sausage that is injected with something that makes people addicted to it, and let’s not forget the honey butter and strawberry butter that you get to smear on just about everything. And that is only the tip of the iceberg! I could go on and on, but I think you get the gist. The brunch buffet is way too good to pass up. Adults are $21, children 6-12 are $10, and kiddos 5 and under are free.

Fleming’s Steakhouse (The Woodlands)

Unless you happen to be visiting Austin for the weekend, The Woodlands is your best bet if you want to partake in Fleming’s Steakhouse Sonoma Sunday Brunch. Unfortunately, it is not available inside the loop, but fortunately, I have more than one reason this brunch is brunch famous worthy. I’ll start with the housemade burrata that when placed atop the toasted garlic crostini and finished off with a few charred grape tomatoes is one sure way to achieve perfection in a single bite. You can then choose to go with the 3-course Prix Fixe menu with main entrees options like their Blue Crab Omelet or go a la carte with the Prime Rib Hash or Sonoma County Pancakes that come ready to party with a generous dollop of lemon-ricotta and a side of wildflower honey and blueberry-maple syrup. And let’s not forget dessert and the craft cocktails, spirit-free options, and pure cane sodas that take this brunch from really good to “all that and a bag of chips.”

Avalon Diner (Stafford)

I’ve been going to Avalon Diner in Stafford near Sugar Land (there are two other locations in Houston) for a while now. Breakfast is available every day (and all day) but I only get to indulge on the weekends. You may have a little wait if you drop by during peak hours, but it’s well worth it. The uber 60’s diner decor and vibe are paired with always friendly (and fast) service. Order anything on the menu and you’ll be pleased, but here are a few of my faves: the Bagel Melt Sandwich (the mother of all breakfast sandwiches), the Philly Steak & Cheese Omelet, their Challah French Toast (with an option to add Bananas & Pecans), and their Migas (you can add chorizo just to give it an upgrade). It’s a fairly inexpensive place to dine, minus all the fluff, with great service and equally great food. That makes Avalon Diner brunch famous!

Shanna Jones

Shanna is the co-founder and editor of Urban Swank. She focuses on food and travel.

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