Almost everyone in Fort Worth has a favorite brunch place. Fancy brunch, meet-the-in-laws brunch, drunk brunch, biscuits-and-gravy brunch –– Fort Worth has no shortage of places where you can get a late-ish breakfast/early lunch, with or without booze. But options are scarcer in the rest of the 817. Many of us default to simply driving west, especially if we want a mimosa with our meal. The Egg Bar Brunch & Bar, new to the Arlington Highlands, aims to be a waystation in the eastward-facing part of Tarrant County for those who want a treat after Sunday services, a place to mop up their hangovers, or a spot in which to day drink (but only until about 2:30 p.m.).
Egg Bar, 457 E I-20, Ste 121, Arlington. 682-347-4048. 7am-3pm Sun, 8am-2:30pm Mon-Thu, 7am-3pm Fri-Sat. All major credit cards accepted
The Egg Bar looks a little bit like an ivy-covered hippie bistro and a little bit like an eatery off the Vegas strip, where swirls of neon light everything. The menu pays homage to a variety of cuisines and food preferences. A fairly traditional-looking Hawaiian Loco Moco (a white rice base, with a hamburger patty topped with brown gravy and an over-easy egg) shares the bill of fare with Southern comfort staples like biscuits and chunky sausage gravy, some veggie options, a bagel and lox, the de rigueur avocado toast, and more.
While the Loco Moco made me yearn for that one morning I had the real deal at Ken’s House of Pancakes in Hilo on the Big Island, the Hardy Boy skillet sounded slightly healthier. A sweet-and-savory chicken sausage proved an oddly pleasant combo, especially when folded in with caramelized mushrooms and lightly sauteed spinach, all mixed with about three potatoes’ worth of home fries. The whole mess was topped with a couple of fried eggs, which were just oozy enough to cover the field of potatoes in the skillet. Accompaniments include either grits or fruit –– neither of which was really necessary, because the skillet was plenty filling.
The Bacado omelet was absolutely perfect as ordered: A nice mix of tomato, spinach, baby Swiss cheese, and bacon came folded into the one of the loveliest, fluffiest omelets my table of three had ever seen. The kitchen’s got the omelet game down: The breakfast staple was completely cooked in the middle with just a touch of caramel-y brown on the outside. The breakfast plates come with a choice of home fries, grits and toast, or berries. And as a nice touch, the fruit bowl was full of fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries –– not a piece of melon in sight.
As good as the first two plates were, the Sweets & More proved a bit uneven. The combo was a little bit of everything, much like you’d find at any other breakfast restaurant. Two pieces of bacon: average but well-cooked. The two pieces of sausage were unusually spicy. Not sage-y spicy, more like chorizo packed into two circular patties, and the runny egg yolks didn’t do much to dampen the heat. We probably could have asked for gravy, but that was an afterthought.
The meal was redeemed by the luscious, fluffy brioche French toast, which was fork tender, slightly sweet, and smothered in butter and cinnamon syrup. If you’re not a French toast person, a couple of pancakes or a Belgian waffle are other options.
Because we hit the Egg Bar on the early side of brunch time, we didn’t sample any of many sandwich or salad options. However, the mimosa was spot on: Fresh-squeezed or nearly fresh-squeezed juice and bubbly goodness don’t care if you start drinking at 7 a.m. Much of the menu walks the line between IHOP and genuine greasy spoon territory –– how many versions of a protein over a biscuit smothered in gravy are really needed at one restaurant? Apparently, the answer is six. But if you bring in a vegan, a Paleo Crossfitter, your gluten-free kid, and an omnivore, they’ll all walk away from Egg Bar happy and full.
Hardy Boy skillet $11
Sweets & More $12
Bacado omelet $11