By Clare Myers
Like fashion trends, foodie fads come and go. One season, cupcakes are the “it” dessert; the next, it becomes petite macarons or artisan donuts. Paleo diets, pumpkin spice crazes and frozen yogurt are all part of our dynamic food scene. While I am not overenthusiastic about some of these (maple-bacon cake frosting, anyone?), there is one thing that has become immensely popular in recent years that I sincerely hope is here to stay: brunch.
Sunday brunch has always been an event of its own. But as of late, a meal once dominated by families after church or groups of ladies celebrating Mother’s Day has become the darling of the culinary world. Brunch has never been simply a meal, but now, it is an all-day affair. To some, brunching is a sport.
Dallas has a number of great brunch places. Most only serve the meal on Sundays, though, so when a group of friends and I found ourselves craving brunch last Saturday, we headed to Blue Mesa Grill in Addison. Rumor had it that their all-inclusive $19.95 brunch buffet was worth the trip.
We walked in to find the place fairly busy for late morning on a Saturday. We were seated immediately, and a waiter promptly came over to take us on a tour.
Our waiter walked us through the extensive buffet, explaining the various stations. A chef whipped up made-to-order omelets and Eggs Benedict behind one station that featured migas and chilaquiles alongside roasted potato hash and Belgian waffles.
The next stop was a taco bar with all manner of fillings and a selection of enchiladas. After that was a vegetarian section with grilled tilapia, black beans and corn. Last, there was a salad station with vegetable, pasta and fruit salads; tortilla and sweet potato chips; fresh-made guacamole and a few choices of salsa. I was overwhelmed.
Because unlimited drinks were included in our meal, we sipped on mimosas and “poinsettias,” a champagne and cranberry drink, to prepare ourselves for the difficult choices that lay before us. My poinsettia was weakly flavored and quickly watered down by the large amount of ice in the glass. The attentive waiter swiftly brought me a mimosa, which was much, much better.
When we thought we were ready for the buffet, I still could not make up my mind. Reconvening at the table, I discovered between the five of us, we had a bit of just about everything. Unsurprisingly, Blue Mesa seemed to do best at the Tex-Mex style items. The waffles and made-to-order eggs were solid but unremarkable, but the enchiladas and tacos were winners. One standout was the “adobe pie,” a savory dome similar to a tamale and stuffed with chicken, cheese and roasted peppers. I loved the chilaquiles, which packed a punch of heat and flavor, and the salty tortilla chips and spicy salsa were excellent even by my high standards.
And then we found out there was dessert.
Cinnamon-sugar churros and vanilla bean ice cream proved a perfect complement to the coffee, which had pleasant hints of cinnamon. But the real star here was the flan, in caramel, pumpkin and strawberry cheesecake flavors. All three were tasty, but the strawberry cheesecake flan was exceptional. The flan bites were small and rich, a delicious finish to the meal.
The most important part of brunch, however, has less to do with what is on the table and more to do with who is at it. No matter how delicious the food, the success of or failure of the meal depends on the company. That said, a leisurely few hours of brunching with friends at Blue Mesa were a few hours very well spent.
Nearest DART station: Bachman Station
Distance from UD: 10.2 miles
How to get there from UD: Take the Orange Line towards LBJ/Central or Parker Road station for one stop (Bachman). Take the 428 bus toward South Garland Transit Center for 27 stops (about 22 minutes). Get off at Northwest @ Boedeker and walk east on TX-12 Loop E toward Boedeker for 0.2 miles.