Brunch in Austin
By Rebecca Chastenet dé Gery, Fri., March 16, 2001
The Empanada Parlour707 E. Sixth (just off of I-35 at Waller Creek), 480-8902
Gospel brunch, Sundays, noon-3pm (music begins around 12:30)
Longtime fans of Ash Corea's delicious little meat-, vegetable-, and sweet-filled pockets rejoiced when she moved her popular Empanada Parlour into its new digs on Sixth Street. They sang out in a chorus of approval when she added a full lunch and dinner menu, not to mention the full bar downstairs. But on Sundays, guests at the historic, brick-walled dining room and wooden-decked patio overlooking the downtown Sheraton's waterfall leave the singing and rejoicing to the Imperial Golden Crown Harmonizers, a star-studded gospel group featuring Malcolm Welbourne and Sarah Brown, among others. There's much clapping and the occasional bit of dancing, though most bodies are too busy devouring the copious brunch buffet ($10 adults/$5 kids) to do much singing themselves. The brunch offerings vary a little bit from weekend to weekend, but you can almost always count on poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce, migas, black beans, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, pancakes, waffles, and biscuits and gravy. The Empanada Parlour's fiesty homemade Bloody Mary mix is not to be missed ($2 at brunch), and mimosas are also gentle on the wallet ($2 on Sundays).