Eggs Benedict was invented by Lemuel Benedict a New York stockbroker who wandered into the Waldorf Hotel looking for a breakfast to cure his hangover. Or, does chef Charles Ranhofer of Delmonico’s get the credit circa 1860? The origin of the elegant brunch favorite is uncertain, but the sunny, rich combination of English muffins, poached eggs, ham and hollandaise is a classic that just keeps improving. Get your knife and fork ready for the breakfast of champions!
Down Home Delectable
Inventive Texas chefs have taken the traditional eggs Benedict to new levels. Some restaurants have a whole section of their menus dedicated to different Benedicts to choose from. Others, like Del Frisco’s Grille, just serve one masterpiece to rival all others.
The Grille Benedict starts with perfectly crumbly 2-inch thick scallion cheddar biscuits made from scratch. These are downright addicting. A mountain of smoky French ham is piled on top. The ham is crowned with two extra large poached eggs that magically resemble boiled eggs, and rich, expertly prepared chipotle hollandaise, which kicks with chile spice. Sommelier Taylor Mundy recommends a dry sparkling brut rosé with this dish, and she is spot on. The perfect brunch. Note: There is also a Crabcake Benedict on the brunch menu for you seafood lovers.
At sleek Second Bar + Kitchen in Austin, you can choose from three different Benedicts on the Sunday brunch menu including a rib-sticking Texas Benedict with pulled pork shoulder and poached eggs over jalapeño corn biscuits with chorizo gravy.
But executive chef David Bull hasn’t left out the vegetarians. In fact, there is everything you can dream up on one version, sans the pig. On the SBK Benedict, he starts with hash brown potato cakes, which are savory and crisp. He tops them with layers of fresh sliced tomato and gingerly cooked (healthful!) kale. Poached eggs make the next layer and then the Benedicts are covered in a snowy mound of Brie cheese Mornay sauce. It’s so rich, cheesy and delicious; you’ll never miss the meat.
Pig Out Brunch
Weekend brunch is big at the Boiler House in San Antonio, especially in the springtime when guests flock to the wine garden patio. This is where to go in the Pearl Brewery complex when you want a hearty brunch. The Cowboy Up Grilled Cheese Benny is the signature and it’s the whole hog: a triple-decker sandwich with Brie, bacon, poached eggs and house-candied jalapeño pork sausage.
However, we prefer the simpler but equally terrific Bacon Benedict. This is the perfect size for one person—who wants to share, anyway? It starts with grilled levain, dense sourdough-type bread that has an alluring smoky flavor from the grill. The bread is generously paved with thick, smoked Nueske’s bacon, poached eggs and classic hollandaise, and served with roasted new potatoes. Here, bacon makes everything better!