Dear Readers, you have read an endless amount of times in this column that brunch is perhaps the most important meal of the week. It’s been a second since your girls from Dishin’ It have gone out to brunch, so when we heard that a new modern, chic, Parisian-inspired eatery opened up in North McAllen, well, you know we had to scramble up some "free" time and make it a priority to go.
Maison Stivalet Bakery Cafe, or house of Stivalet, has only been open for a few weeks, but during this short time, it has gained quite a following. We were pleasantly surprised to see such a good number of people sitting and chatting over coffee, others enjoying one of the Café's many dishes and some just popping in to order a tray full of macarons on a Saturday morning. Maison Stivalet is definitely satisfying the appetite of North "McAllenites" who craved an inviting atmosphere, with a nonchalant elegance, to sit in and relax while immersed in conversation with welcomed company, knowing that their double shots of espresso and Madeleines were just minutes from arriving.
Found in the same plaza as other McAllen “classics” like Quips & Quotes and El Divino, Maison Stivalet has completely transformed a once lonesome, potential lease into a place where, if only for a few hours, you can pretend that freshly baked bread does not have any calories. Enter Maison Stivalet and the various hues of blues will ease you right into one of their three sitting areas (traditional dining tables, cafe tables and couches). Their chandeliers and pops of Tiffany blue add just the right amount of lavishness so that you don’t feel out of place if you walk in wearing your gym outfits (even though you bypassed your work out, which was totally not us).
At the end of the elongated restaurant, and behind the soft couches (Are we in a 21st century, Parisian Central Perk?), you will find yourself face to face with their pastry bar, whose cabinets hold goodies like Madeleines, (all sorts of) croissants and tarts, Pecan Financiers, cookies and, of course, Macarons. Take your pick at classic flavors like chocolate and vanilla or try their seasonal specials like lavender, mango/pineapple/habanero, or the crowd favorite, Mole.
Oh boy! We jumped right into dessert and almost forgot brunch! On Saturdays, patrons can enjoy 1 of 3 brunch options (Eggs Benedict, Steak & Eggs and a 3-Egg Omelette), along with the rest of the menu that features items like Beef Tartare, Nicoise Salad, French Onion Soup, Oxtail Ragu. We set our eyes and hunger on the Southwest Panini (Madrasala Chicken with chipotle Gouda, avocado, pineapple-mango jam, chipotle mayonnaise), a 3-Egg Omelette (with your choice of 3 fillings) and the French classic, Croque Madame (Tavern Ham, Gruyere, Bechamel sauce, topped with a fried egg). Believe us, dear readers, there was no crumb left behind. Our meals were complemented by Mimosas with freshly squeezed grapefruit and orange juice, as well as some complimentary cucumber water and orange/berry/ginger water.
Maison Stivalet’s full brunch Sunday menu includes French Toast (3 slices, powdered sugar, berries, homemade whip), Chicken & Waffles (fried chicken-regular or Nashville hot-waffles with pecan brandy sauce) and Chicken Florentine or Chicken Salsa Ranchera Crepes. If your not feeling like a mimosa, they have a healthy craft beer menu, fresh fruit spritzers and Kalimoxto (Spanish inspired cocktail made of red wine and Coca-Cola).
Maison Stivalet Bakery Cafe is located at 5101 North 10th Street, McAllen, TX. Their hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; Monday closed. For more information, you can reach them at (956) 800-4192 or follow them on their social media platforms @MaisonStivalet.
Gaby Jones and Trisha Watts work hand-in-hand with the service industry. Jones is in charge of craft and imported beer for L&F Distributors-South Texas and Watts is a freelance writer specializing in the marketing of the service industry. Each week they will have a new adventure and provide an opinion on multiple locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.