There’s a lot to love about Old Town Alexandria. From the charming local shops to the pastel-hued homes, I’ve never had a dining experience in Old Town that I didn’t love. Brunch at Brabo was no exception. My friend Bekah accompanied me to this experience and we left with plenty of laughs, a full bellies and a promise to return for happy hour in the future.
The space is perfect for a large family or an intimate date. Loaded with comfortable chairs of all structures and comfortable levels, it makes for an acceptable spot for deep conversation after a filling meal.
Upon arrival we were greeted by Maria, one of the managers on staff. She led us to our table with a clear view of the courtyard, which made for stunning natural light. Thankfully, Brabo still had some of their seasonal cherry blossom plates on the menu. As we perused our options, their kitchen sent out cherry apple brandy beignets. The beignet itself was sensational, I could have devoured the apple pastry cream tucked inside by itself. However, it was the brûléed topping of brandy and sugar that made the dish unique. Given how donuts can take on a single texture, the crunchy coating made each bite more unique.
Drinks weren’t difficult to order. I wanted to stray away from the typical brunch cocktail, so I settled on the spa spritz while Bekah opted for the French 75. The house-made orgeat alone had me begging for the proportions to make at home.
Next came the crêpe, which honestly ended up being my favorite dish of the afternoon. Being of French descent, my mother taught me to make crêpes at a young age and I’ve since mastered the art of the delicate pastry. At Brabo, they combined theirs with a fig marmalade, caramelized honey and a generous amount of creme fraîche on top. Anything topped with honey has my vote and this was no different. I recently became a fan of fig and now I can’t stop putting it on everything. To combine three of my favorite food items to make a delicately sweet plate is a toast to the skillset of Chef Sebastien Rondier and his team.
You might be thinking what’s so special about a charcuterie plate. However, this one at Brabo is out of this world. Alongside a diverse array of meat and cheeses was a cured duck so thinly sliced and sinfully salty. I don’t normally partake in duck, but if it’s prepared this way I absolutely have to consume.
For our entrees, Bekah selected the jumbo lump crab omelet while I went for the Brabo Benedict. I cannot say this enough: it was nothing like I’d ever tasted. The crispy pork belly was a perfect variation on the traditional Canadian bacon. I never want to have English muffins serve as a base after trying the gruyere potato cakes. Fellow brunching Bitches, you must order this.
Bekah was a huge fan of her omelet as well. As promised, the crab was jumbo and she remarked how the eggs were especially fresh. Omelets are easy to botch and even more difficult to perfect. Thankfully at Brabo, they align with the latter.
The Bitches say: five Champagne flutes for Brabo. Brabo is a classic brasserie that really leans into familiar French elements to provide a complete spread to any diner looking to be introduced to the cuisine. Chef Rondier and his team have crafted an elegant yet refined menu that leaves diners feeling nothing short of satisfied.