23 May, 2016

The Dunlavy: Keeping it Real

"I wanna swiiiiing from the chandelier".  Seriously, every time I see a photo of The Dunlavy, Sia's lyrics go on auto-play in my brain.  Someone tell me they can relate!
The Dunlavy Houston

I'm on a brunch mission this summer, and every Sunday we're trying a different spot for brunch in Houston.  I had been dying to try The Dunlavy.  There aren't too many places (if any) you can eat in Houston surrounded by greenery, gorgeous chandeliers, and a covered patio that's not too hot, not too cold, but just right.  I had seen hundreds of photos of The Dunlavy's chandeliers and avocado toast and finally decided that Sunday was the day to try it out!  Not reading too many reviews, I had super high expectations.  Let me start with a disclaimer that while most restaurant reviews and posts on my blog will be positive, I still like to keep it real.  I'm not going to sugar coat anything, especially when it comes to grubbing in H-town.
The Dunlavy Houston
The Dunlavy Menu
The Dunlavy Houston
It was a Sunday morning, and while we wanted to have a cute brunch, I didn't feel like trying too hard.  I threw on this romper from TJ Max and kept it no makeup so I could possibly feel like hitting the gym that afternoon.
Floral romper
floral rompers
On to the important part: the food.

The Dunlavy has zero parking and is valet only, so bring $5 for the car.  Assuming that the line would be wrapped around the building, we got there around 10AM to beat the crowd, and it worked!  We waited in line for about 5-10 minutes and were inside with chandelier views in no time.

The menu had tons of delicious options.  I went for the avocado toast, my sister went for the salmon toast, and my boyfriend opted for a breakfast bowl.  I still don't know how to poach an egg myself, so I was super excited to have my avocado toast with a poached egg.  An extra $2, no biggie.  Oh, and coffees of course!  For the three of us, the total cost came out to about $44.
Brunch at The Dunlavy
The Dunlavy brunch Houston
We found a table outside (bye, chandeliers), and began sipping our coffee, ready to chow down.  Two minutes later we were told by an employee that she was saving the table to combine it with another, but there were no signs of the table being reserved or saved.  Plus, there were signs all over the restaurant telling us not to grab a table until we had a number.  We followed the rules, yo!  She decided we didn't need to move, but the whole thing was weird and confusing.  Red flag #1.

The food arrives, I snap a few photos, and I cut down the center of the egg to reveal the perfect poached yolk.  ...Nope, didn't happen.  It was almost as disappointing as when you break a chocolate chip cookie in half, anticipating it to be gooey, and it's hard as a rock.  Almost.  The egg was fully cooked, cold, and not poached.

For a crowd as big as The Dunlavy had, I couldn't understand how our food came out in about five minutes.  It seemed as if they were pre-cooking some of their most popular items to save time.  You're definitely paying for the ambiance here: the restaurant is one of the best looking I've seen in the city.

The manager approached us to check on the meal, and we shared our experience with her.  I'm never one to be a diva at a restaurant, and if you are, you kind of suck.  BUT: If a restaurant owner or manager asks your opinion, do them a favor and give them an honest, kind opinion!  It's why they ask!  Let them know what you enjoyed and what could have been better.  It will help them ensure that they keep customers moving forward and work out any kinks.

The manager was so kind and addressed the concerns.  She brought over some pastries, which I had been eyeing in line, and we devoured those in a minute.
Best brunch Houston
I'd give The Dunlavy another shot for lunch.  Their Kale Salad sounded tasty, so I may go back for that and another cookie!

Let me know your favorite places to brunch in Houston so I can check them out!



  1. Honest reviews are the best! Yes!!

    1. Agree 100%, Erica! When I'm looking up a restaurant I want to hear about real experiences! Hell, I want to read real experiences and opinions about everything! The market (blogging, reviews, etc.) is so over-saturated, and I think people can get caught up in keeping everything "excellent" and "amazing", but sometimes we just need some truth thrown into the mix. Thanks for reading!


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