: Baby Barnaby’s Cafe, 602 Fairview, 713-522-4229
What $13 gets you: Breakfast with the cool kids
I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, just as it was turning from industrial pit to arts mecca. Baby Barnaby’s Cafe is the one place in Houston that reminds me of the old Williamsburg.
Set in a small, dumpy, out-of-the-way building where the streets are narrow and parking is damn-near impossible, the breakfast-only version of the popular Barnaby’s chain is the best by far. And it’s no secret, either, so expect interminably long lines on weekends. It doesn’t help that the place fits just 35 people, but that’s part of the charm.
At Baby Barnaby’s Cafe, $13 will get you get a bottomless cup of good, strong coffee ($2), a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice ($2.50) and pretty much any dish you want. French toast and buttermilk pancakes are each $4, huevos rancheros are $5 and steak and eggs are $6.50.
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I got the green eggs, which includes eggs scrambled with spinach, artichoke hearts and jack cheese, with chicken apple sausage, home fries and toast all for $6.50. The potatoes were bland and the sausage tasted too much like hot dog to be enjoyed at 8:30 a.m., but the eggs were rich, creamy and altogether heartwarming.
The wait’s worth it, and not just because the food is good, which it mostly is. Go to Baby Barnaby’s because of the young, hip, pretty customers it attracts. Eavesdrop on their conversations about art, music, philosophy and politics and suddenly Houston itself seems a pretty cool place to live.
Bonus point: Now serving pumpkin pancakes. –Todd Spivak