The Bitches’ 2011 Best Brunch Bites

It’s a wonder we even remember what we ate last weekend for brunch, much less the rest of the year, as 2011 was such a whirlwind. We Bitches may have taken the term “work hard, play hard” to a new level. When we weren’t working, brunching or Bitching, we were probably partying, to be honest. (And would you have us any other way?)

But, for you, dear readers, we did our best to jog our memory to remember our favorite bites and sips from the last twelve months. In our second “look-back-at-2011″ post (check out the Best & Worst list here), we give you the Best Bites we found at brunches around Washington, D.C. this year.

Best mimosa: Oyamel or Ris. Maybe we’ve drank too many mimosas so we’re starting to get bored (impossible!), but the flavored mimosas at Oyamel and Ris really stand out. Whether it’s a pina colada or spicy chili mimosa at Oyamel, or seasonal flavors like vanilla apricot or spiced pear at Ris, these beverages were certainly unforgettable.

Ris_Mimosas

Best Bloody Mary: Logan Tavern. While we hated most everything about our brunch at Logan Tavern (the food and service were awful), their Bloody Mary options, encompassing a full-page menu and allowing you to add on practically anything from olives to shrimp, can’t be beat. Head there if you’re planning a solely liquid brunch.

Best coffee: Open City & Big Bear Café. The coffee at Open City and sister-café Tryst (where Cori Sue gets the chaipuccino and Becca gets an Americano) is amazing—and it has to be, as the restaurant has the worst wait for brunch in the city. Meanwhile, Big Bear Café is the quintessential D.C. hipster coffee house, and it boasts an impressive array of delicious caffeinated beverages.

policy-fruit

Best fruit plate: Policy. You regularly hear us Bitch about the old honeydew and mushy grapes found in most fruit plates at brunch. This isn’t the case at Policy, which serves a spectacular array of fresh pineapple, berries, cherries and more alongside a sweet lemon yogurt dipping sauce.

Best pancakes: Bourbon. Jack Johnson would sing about the banana pancakes at Bourbon, which are made with caramelized bananas, cinnamon, walnuts, and topped with whipped cream and maple syrup.

Best Benedict: Crème. This U-Street hole-in-the-wall serves up a Louisiana Benedict, made with shrimp, Andouille sausage, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and Tabasco hollandaise. It packed a punch (perhaps a heartburn-inducing punch), but it was a memorable dish, and set the bar for Southern-style Benedicts.

Best breakfast pizza: Comet Ping Pong. The funky restaurant has an impressive pizza menu, and the breakfast ones are fantastic. The Sweet Spot, made with Longinisa Sausage, apple slices, potato, and served with a side of Maple Syrup, was Becca’s favorite.

MR_FrenchToast

Best French toast: Medium Rare. The chef takes the ends of Medium Rare’s infamous French bread and soaks them overnight in their cinnamon-egg-cream concoction, and then they flash fry, rather than bake it, so that it is moist, fluffy and sweet on the inside and crisp on the outside. Amazing.

Best cinnamon roll: Cork. The ooey-gooey pair of rolls that arrived in a cast iron dish at U Street wine bar Cork were grade-A. Perfect for sharing with your brunch date, and not too sweet as to exacerbate one’s hangover headache.

policy-bread

Best bread basket: Policy. Brunch at Policy begins with a complimentary bread basket filled with miniature portions of the Laotian Pastry chef Deth Khaiaphone’s best treats, including cranberry scones, blueberry muffins, chickpea quinoa muffins, and a chocolate bacon muffin. They were all unique and delicious—fluffy and moist, each with its own unique flavor.

Best hush puppies: America Eats Tavern. For all-American cuisine, we trust Jose Andres’ pop-up, and this holds true for this Southern staple made solely of cornmeal. They were comforting and just sweet enough, and arrived with a side of sweet corn butter, but you can also order them with a side of caviar.

Cajun_Beignets

Best beignets: Cajun Experience. Becca and her N’Orleans expert friend, Fontaine, described the beignets as piping hot and delicious—opt for the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate-filled variety. They’re as good as the ones at Café du Monde.

Best huevos rancheros: Oyamel. The egg on this dish is perfectly poached then fried, arriving in a heavenly fluffy fried coating atop avocado slices, poblano chiles and a corn tortilla and topped with a tomato and Serrano chili ranchero sauce. Delicioso!

Best frittata: Lincoln. Lincoln’s menu rotates seasonally, but, this summer, Cori Sue had the baked egg frittata with shrimp, asparagus and tomato aioli, served with a side of home fries. It was beautiful presented, and perfectly baked, loaded with shrimp and fresh, in-season asparagus.

Rustico_Donuts

Best doughnuts: Rustico. How can you not order Mama Mannino’s doughnuts? They arrived still warm, tasting of gorgeous ricotta, and doused in powdered sugar. They were small doughnut puffs, but so tasty for their size.

Best noodle dish: The Source. Everything at The Source was spectacular—and they nearly won best benny for their miniature crab version. However, the noodle dishes really shine, so head there for Saturday dim sum and be sure to order the Shanghai noodles and Chow Feung, which both come with thick Asian noodles of which we couldn’t get enough.

Virtue_DeviledEggs2

Best deviled eggs: Virtue Feed & Grain. Those deviled eggs—amazing. They come three to a plate, nearly toppling over from all the filling.

Best balls: Sticky Rice. Maybe we just like saying “We had balls for brunch,” but, the sticky balls, filled with crab, rice, vegetables, fried in tempura batter and topped with sweet eel sauce and scallions sold us on Japanese cuisine for brunch. They are greasy orgasmic deliciousness.

StickyRice_StickyBallsVeg

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Comments

  • City Girl says:

    Ris is one of my faves, but now, I’m adding Cork, American Eats, Bourbon and Medium Rare to my brunch list! *mouth watering from all the carb-y goodness*

  • John says:

    Policy ranks high, for many reasons. Have you tried the applewood smoked bacon? Or the short rib hash? Bottomless Bloodys and Mimosas?

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