I spent last weekend at home in Maryland for a very overdue visit. In the blink of an eye, my mom’s Christmas decorations were replaced with tulips and pastels, and the burbs were thick with blossoms. It was a refreshing escape from the constant bustle that marks my life in New York and I reveled in my relaxation.
We had a great time, despite the weather being a bit too reminiscent of winter. When we woke up Sunday and saw sunshine, we pushed back our train and decided to extend our Sunday to enjoy it.
My parents subscribe to every local food magazine there is, always dog-earing articles about the hot new restaurants around (I get it from somewhere!). When they read about Baltimore Magazine’s brunch feature of Iron Rooster, they knew it was perfect for my visit.
Annapolis was buzzing from a boat show and the beautiful weather with restaurant crowds and yacht-ooglers spilling onto the cobblestone streets. We put our name in and killed our hour + wait by wandering around.
The wait was worth our perfect table, set on the second floor right at the window and overlooking the “bustle” of Annapolis outside. Sun streamed into the second floor, which I preferred to the busier first floor of the restaurant.
Our friendly waiter immediately took our drink orders, with lattes all around while we took some time dissecting the liquor menu.
My dad, a creature of habit, ordered the Iron Rooster Bacon Bloody Mary, adorned with a piece of bacon, pickled asparagus, and an Old Bay rim, which was very fitting for our Maryland location.
I opted for the Morning Glory, with fresh grapefruit, cucumber, Thatcher’s elderflower, and St. Germain. This was a really pleasant, refreshing breakfast cocktail and something I’d order again.
Paul ordered the Cock-a-Doodle-Doo, a vanilla bean infused bourbon drink with fresh squeezed orange juice, simply syrup, egg white and orange wheel. He thought was too sweet. I really liked it and I don’t like Bourbon, but it wasn’t his thing.
We also ordered a house made brown sugar pop tart to start because it’s something I don’t typically see on a brunch menu. It transported me to a time of middle school sleepovers..and I freaking loved it. Crispy on the outside, oozing with warm brown sugar filling on the inside, and topped with rapidly melting whipped cream, this was so worth it.
The brunch menu was expansive and it took us ages to make a decision. It was a good thing we all had cocktails to help us pass the time.
My dad ordered the buttermilk biscuits and house made country sausage gravy. The side of hash browns was a perfect addition for soaking up all the extra gravy. The portion was so large that we barely made a dent, despite eating to the point of discomfort.
I ordered the breakfast tacos served with scrambled eggs, pork belly, green chili salsa, pico de gallo and queso fresco. The pork belly and egg was masked by all the accouterments, but the tacos were still delicious despite them not screaming “breakfast”.
Paul ordered the buttermilk marinated fried chicken breast and cornmeal waffle served with black pepper pan gravy. The waffle was huge, which was on par with the other portions, and the fluffy consistency paired well with the crispy chicken. I liked that this dish was served with gravy instead of the traditional syrup; it was a nice Southern touch.
My mom, known for her sweet tooth, chose the french toast served with challah bread with apple and vanilla bean egg batter and topped with a generous dollop of maple bourbon butter. This was more like a dessert than a breakfast entree and didn’t disappoint!
My sister, clearly the only one with a guilty conscience this particular morning, ordered the yogurt parfait with house made granola. Normally I wouldn’t even feature something like this in a review, but isn’t it pretty? It was just what she wanted, and the mason jar it was served in almost made it taste better.
For the price point, Iron Rooster gives you an amazing bang for your buck. The portions are massive (half of us took doggy bags home) and the brunch is quality. There’s a vast menu that appeals to all types of brunchers and a strong cocktail list that could keep you there all day.
The Bitches say: A. The Annapolis waterfront may not be a buzzing metropolis, but Iron Rooster can compete with any famed big-city eatery I’ve tried. Offering a creative, delicious menu with reasonable prices, we recommend planning a morning solely around brunch here.
12 Market Space
Iron Rooster serves breakfast all day every day, Monday-Saturday 7 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.