Debbie and I decided to head downtown after church this morning and try the new brunch at the Basin Burger House. It was our first visit to this relatively new, locally-owned restaurant.
We arrived around 11:15 and the small parking lot was already full. Fortunately, there's plenty of parking on the street and in the city-owed lot next door. The restaurant was also almost full, but we were seated immediately in a booth on the east end of the building. We were immediately impressed with the openness of the space and the natural light that illumines it. I recommend requesting a seat in that area if you go for brunch; the other end of the building looks a bit darker.
The brunch menu isn't extensive, but it offers a wide variety of entrées (see below). Debbie chose the Texas Benedict and I opted for the Pork Hash. Our food arrived quickly - perhaps too quickly. While the Yukon potatoes were almost too hot to eat, and the eggs were cooked to perfection, the hash on my dish and the shredded brisket on hers were on the lukewarm side, and the grated cheddar/white cheese sprinkled over the dishes wasn't melted.
The food was good, but not breathtaking. We felt that the brisket and the hash both were a little on the dry side, and I would like to see a bit more imagination applied to the hash. I believe that some grilled onions and traffic-light bell pepper mixed in with the pork - and perhaps some cilantro or basil - would enhance the dish. (The menu refers to bacon, but I couldn't detect any. I didn't think that was a drawback, however.)
One of the high points of the meal was the coffee. I don't know what brand they serve, but I'd go back just for another cup (and it was a very large, steaming cup). I'm going out on a limb here, but it was the best coffee I've had in Midland outside of our home.
Basin Burger doesn't appear to suffer from the same employee shortage that plagues practically every other restaurant in West Texas. The servers were plentiful, attentive, and helpful. Coupled with the very pleasant surroundings (and the outdoor dining looks interesting once the weather cooperates), this is a great addition to downtown.
Midland needs more of these one-off restaurants, with their own homegrown flavor and atmosphere. When I think of the best eateries in town, they're all locally-owned: Cancun Grill, Venezia's, Garlic Press, Luigi's, Manny's Italian Village. The national chains are important additions, but they're not what defines a city. While Basin Burger may still have some tweaking to do with their brunch menu, it's already a great addition to our dining choices. We'll go back.