One of the main reasons that Mattito’s truly loves brunch is because the food and drink options are nearly endless. You’re able to order breakfast or lunch entrées, and while non-alcoholic thirst-quenchers are always available, diners are allowed—even encouraged!—to “have a drink” during daylight hours.
That said, the perfect pairing of a brunch beverage and a brunch meal can be tricky to pull off. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering which cocktail best compliments your favorite Tex Mex dish or which Tex Mex dish compliments your favorite cocktail, here are some suggestions:
Let’s start with a classic! For some folks, brunch just isn’t brunch without a mimosa. There’s something about the mixture of orange juice and champagne that perfectly blends the feeling of a casual, ordinary morning with the opulence of celebratory drinking. Plus, any kind of beverage automatically becomes a little bit fancy and a lot more fun when you drink it out of a champagne flute. If you have a mimosa, you don’t have to worry at all about day-drinking taboos, because the beverage you’re consuming is classy!
Orange juice is usually thought of as a breakfast food; if you’re a bit put-off by the notion of drinking orange juice with your lunch or dinner, you’re definitely not alone. So when a mimosa is your brunch beverage of choice, it might be best to stick with “breakfast” entrées. Huevos rancheros is a fine option, but you can also go full “Tex” (as opposed to Tex Mex) and order eggs benedict.
These cocktails often come to mind when people use the phrase “hair of the dog [that bit you]”; if someone’s hungover from drinking too much the night before, it’s not uncommon for them to reach for a Bloody Mary to ease their symptoms. Nowadays, the general consensus among doctors is that more alcohol really isn’t the best way to cure a hangover, but really, responsible drinkers should feel free to have a Bloody Mary anytime.
Bloody Marys have a rich taste all their own, so if you’re imbibing one, you’ll need to find an entrée that won’t completely overwhelm your palate. You could continue with the “fruit and veggie” theme of the drink (tomato juice and lemon juice in the drink itself, combined with the celery stick garnish) and order a salad; doing so might enable you to convince your dining companions (and yourself) that you’re trying to “be healthy.” Or, you could balance the savory, spicy, and salty flavors in your drink with something sweet by skipping straight to dessert: fruit cobbler, cookies, or tres leches cake!
A draft beer may be a far cry from a mimosa, but really, “draft” is the operative word, here. If you have a draft beer, you’re not cracking open a can or popping open a bottle. You’re drinking something hand-poured by a bartender, with that distinctive layer of froth at the top of the cup. When served in a tall glass or beer mug, you have a drink that’s both laid-back and festive—two descriptors that brunch itself often invokes.
If you’re genuinely fond of beer, you probably feel that it’s versatile enough to go with everything. However, if you tend to favor other beverages, a beer with “breakfast” may not sound appealing. So if you’re planning to have a beer, consider ordering something on the “lunchy” side of the brunch menu, like tamales, fajitas, or enchiladas.
Okay, let’s be honest: you probably won’t see a margarita on a brunch menu anywhere except a Tex Mex restaurant. But isn’t that what makes Tex Mex unique when compared to other types of cuisine? As we’ve mentioned before, you don’t often see people drinking margaritas in Italian restaurants or Thai cafés, and many brunch bistros are margarita-free zones, as well. When you’re brunching at a Tex Mex restaurant, having a margarita (either frozen or on the rocks) just feels right.
Because margaritas are quintessential Tex Mex beverages, they’ll pair fairly well with almost everything on the menu. People who are used to drinking margaritas in the evening (or late afternoon) may want to “play it safe” with a lunch entrée, like chimichangas or chicken flautas. However, if you love drinking a margarita while you chow down on nachos or chips and salsa, you can be adventurous and try your favorite drink with a plate of breakfast migas!
Now, obviously, the food and beverage combinations that we went over in this post are mere suggestions; feel free to go completely off the board and drink a mimosa with your flautas or a beer with your eggs benedict. Remember: the beauty of brunch is that it’s not breakfast and it’s not lunch—it’s a wonderful marriage of the two that offers a substantial amount of freedom in what you eat and drink. When you go out for brunch, one of the only true rules is that you’ve gotta enjoy yourself!