Alert the masses, this is a new brunch post!!! When I started this blog I naively thought people would know this blog was not just dedicated to brunch, BUT I realize now, that new brunch spots are what my readers expect, so I shall oblige! A few weeks back I headed to Down House in the Heights for a Saturday brunch with my sister. Down House has been on every best of list you can think of and thus ended up on my “places to try list.” Once I heard that Joe Biden swung by there while in town a few months back, I knew I needed to bump Down House up to the top of my list. This particular Saturday also happened to be the official anniversary of Black Girls Who Brunch, so Down House Brunch just seemed fitting!
Location and Setup:
Down House is located in the Heights, an area that never feels like “Houston” to me. The restaurant itself has a house like feel with a large side patio. Once inside there is a semi private room to the left that probably works great for small dinners. The main dining room includes a bar in the back including high top tables where we set. Decor wise, Down House feels like you just walked into your Southern grandmother’s house. I loved it and made myself right at home.
There also is a cute thrift store across the street which seems to have all the best estate sale finds in one spot. There was a short wait for a table, so we stopped by the store while waiting for a text indicating that our table was ready. I ohhed and ahhed over the original Marvin Gaye records while my sister got her entire life over some vintage luggage that she could not live without.
Once seated we had to get a run down of the mimosa specials! For just $28 bucks you can purchase a large mimosa carafe for the table. Our waiter told us it amounted to about five glasses and he was right on the money. Even better, Down House uses pretty large champagne glasses so we are talking about five above average sized glasses of mimosas here folks. Also our waiter gave us a pretty nice amount of champagne with a splash of orange juice! He was the real MVP!
A good brunch menu has a balance of traditional breakfast and lunch items, plus a few hybrid options like chicken and waffles. Down House has just that with burgers and waffles, but I went for the “hybrid dish” chicken and waffles! This dish is on every brunch menu nowadays and to be quite honest most are pretty much the same. After ordering, I was eager to see how Down House would try to stand out! The first major difference is the use of the wheat waffle. I felt a tad bit healthier opting for a wheat waffle, but then was worried that the texture would be off with the use of wheat. That was the softest wheat waffle I have ever tasted. It had a crunchy outside while maintaining a soft interior… so perfection basically.
I was pleased with the waffle but as we know, that is only half the battle! As for the chicken… here is where Down House made me do a double take. I’ve had chicken and waffles at plenty much every brunch spot in Houston plus the originator Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in LA. The chicken is generally where you see restaurants try to differentiate their dish from the others. Down House excelled here. The chicken is topped with a spicy honey that had a syrup consistency and color. What this honey does though is create a sweet and salt taste at the same time.
Overall: I am actively updating my Best Brunch list and without a doubt Down House earned a spot. The mimosas and that chicken are the key elements that will keep me coming back. Also of note, Down House has a great staff that made us feel right at home!