Barely Brunch At Mextopia
|Photos by Andrea Grimes and Man O' The Hour|
But Mextopia also has so much going for it. Namely ... a name. The Avila name. Diners are hard-pressed to find better Tex-Mex in this town than that served up at the Oak Lawn staple -- the restaurant Ricardo Avila defected from earlier this year to open Mextopia in competition with his parents, who still run the place on Maple Avenue. More drama for them, more delicious Tex-Mex for us.
MOTH and I figured that Mextopia could deliver if anyone could deliver when it comes to Mexi-brunch. And it certainly was nice to sit down amidst Mextopia's blue-lit disco-decor, with Phoenix spinning over the restaurant radio, and be promptly served a pile of chips and salsa. Chips and salsa, we realized, should come with every brunch, everywhere. Masking the heartburn from the previous night's tequila-whiskey throw-down with a tongue-lashing scoop of fresh salsa makes it almost like it's not maybe time to start thinking about going to meetings.
With only four brunch options, MOTH and I ordered up half the menu. He with the migas and me with the huevos motulenos. (The other two options: BLT-style torta and scrambled eggs con chorizo.) With two Bloody Marys, please and thank you. Once we had our table loaded up, however, we decided that Mextopia brunch is hardly utopian.
Unsurprisingly, the food helped Mextopia recover from the mediocre Marys. My huevos motulenos came smothered in a flavorful ranchera sauce with just the right amount of black beans sandwiched between a corn tortilla and a couple of fried eggs. Surprisingly, the colorful little pile of salad that serves as a space-holder and throwaway nibble on many Tex-Mex plates turned out to be a spicy little nosh between noms of my eggs.
|Mextopia's huevos motulenos.|
Obviously with such a limited menu, Mextopia isn't pushing its brunch -- though I don't see why not. A good patio, a great name and a talented chef could make the Lower Greenville location a go-to for those of us who hate to venture to the west side of Central Expressway before noon on weekends -- do it too much, and it just looks downright tacky. People talk. So please, Mextopia, hear our cry: Put the Bloody Marys on the all-day special, rev up those potatoes, and see what you can do about putting together a Mexican eggs Benedict or breakfast enchiladas. We have faith in you.