Katy is dominated by restaurant chains and Agave Rio attempts to stand out by being a chef-driven concept. Eric Aldis oversees the menu and his other current projects include Corner Table in River Oaks and Midtown Barbeque. Aldis graduated from Katy Taylor High School and his family currently resides in Katy as well. His specialties include contemporary American and South American-inspired cuisine.
With few upscale brunch options to choose from in Katy, Agave Rio has the potential to become the go-to spot. However, in order to realize its full potential, some improvements on the brunch buffet menu are needed.
There is a lot to be excited about at the beautiful Agave Rio facility. It’s from the same family that owns Agave Estates, a beautiful wedding and events venue in Katy, and the similarities are obvious. According to the hostess, Agave Rio was converted from the owner’s mother’s home, and it looks like a modern Spanish villa within a Southwestern-themed resort. The restaurant is enclosed within stone walls and Texas palm trees. Guests who pass through the wrought iron gates will likely be awed by the expansive outdoor patio space.
Patio dining in the summer can be uncomfortable because of the heat, but the owners have taken that into consideration by providing umbrellas and outdoor fans around every seating section. Pergolas also provide shade and break up the patio space into smaller areas.
In addition, the venue seems perfectly suited for Katy because it is kid-friendly and set up for family dining. There is a large playground and sandbox area near the back of the complex with plenty of patio tables surrounding it. Families can watch their children play while they dine.
Unfortunately if there is one area that is likely a work in progress, it is the Sunday brunch buffet. It is difficult to execute elevated cuisine in a buffet setting where feeding large numbers of guests is the focus. Even taking that into consideration, the buffet was lacking in flavor and quality.
The menu included the usual suspects: an omelet station, pancakes and French toast, bacon, sausage, mixed green salad, seasonal vegetables. The French toast and the Shipley Donut Bread Pudding were both tasty and interesting, but other than those two options, everything else was mediocre. The scrambled eggs, while fluffy, were just basic scrambled eggs. The cauliflower and broccoli had no seasoning at all. Pancakes seem to be made with plain batter, with nothing added to it for flavor. Hopefully the dinner menu is a better reflection of Aldis' culinary talent and more ambitious brunch fare is under development.
Servers at Agave Rio are enthusiastic and have great attitudes. Multiple employees team up to clear finished dishes and refill drinks. A brunch reservation is highly recommended as even with one there can be a brief wait.
Diners who enjoy patio dining in a beautiful setting will enjoy Agave Rio. If improvements can be made to the brunch buffet, it could be the preferred Sunday brunch destination in Katy for years to come.
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