We sure miss our regular weekend brunches.
After putting our Brunch of the Week feature on hiatus after the pandemic shut everything down, we’ve officially only had three restaurant brunches (on patios) in nearly 11 months.
Considering we enjoyed more than 100 in 2019, that’s quite the downsizing. (Then why is our waistline upsizing?)
Dining indoors still makes us uncomfortable, so until we get our vaccines we’re sticking to takeout and the occasional patio visit. So we were thrilled when the weather cooperated a couple of weekends ago and we got to do a multi-course tasting at the recently opened Royal 38 at the Union near Victory Park.
The restaurant/bar comes from the team behind HIDE, one of our favorite watering holes in Deep Ellum. While that spot remains closed due to COVID-19, it’s most welcome to have an alternative with an equally impressive cocktail menu.
And get this––we even enjoyed several of their non-alcoholic cocktails (pictured at top), which have the same amount of finesse and labor-intensive craft in their creation as their alcoholic counterparts. So if you’re partaking in Dry January, continuing it into February, or simply wish to drink for the sake of beautiful botanicals instead of boozy buzzes, you’re going to love these.
We started out with some of the best ribs we’ve ever had. Slathered in Thai chili sauce, they require multiple napkins and are probably best eaten in front of someone you’ve known a while. These are not first-date appropriate.
Between tearing meat off the bone, we switched over to stuffed French toast with fresh bananas and bananas foster syrup. These are so rich and decadent, it’s a good idea to share.
Then it was on to a platter of breakfast hash with cubes of short rib that eat more like steak than the typical shredded short rib you find at most restaurants. For the second time in one meal, we think this is one of the best-in-town dishes we’ve had in a long time, if not ever.
Then it was time for lunch dishes, which we limited to a simple but exceptional double cheeseburger with bacon, hot pickles, American cheese and special sauce. That was paired with a pillowy lobster roll (not shown), that was 100% delightful, but on the smaller side for the price.
You’ll also find a duo of Benedicts, including one with lobster, huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos and bowls, and a breakfast sandwich on the brunch menu, as well as a huge selection of lunch items.
Choose a day this weekend with beautiful weather and sit on the patio. Not only do we think it’s still safer than indoor dining, but the people-watching at the Union can’t be beat.
Even when they’re wearing masks.
Royal 38Photos by Steven Lindsey
2301 North Akard Street, Dallas