Bitches in training start early. Even as a two-year-old, you need to be able to distinguish between good grits and bad grits, and point your baby nose up in disgust, if necessary.
Last Saturday, I brunched with two Bitches in training, my goddaughter Miss Mina and her BFF, Eleanor, who were born a week apart. You know, in 2012.
The two of them sat at the table, facing one another, trying their eggs and grits at Water & Wall in Arlington. Miss Mina was happy with hers, but Eleanor turned her nose up and started throwing those eggs about. A quick delivery of juice boxes from the chef placated her fuming.
Meanwhile the rest of us (read: the adult Bitches) sat around the table with our Bloody Marys, thoroughly enjoying everything. The entire staff, from host to servers to chef, were all dudes, and they handled our loud table like pros, going out of their way to make sure both ladies and babies were happy.
The restaurant is beautiful—there are big lanterns hanging from the ceiling, minimalist art, everything is taupe and black—and we felt only slightly guilty (OK, not guilty at all) for bringing Baby Bitches into such a gorgeous space. I bet it’s very sleek in the evening for cocktails.
It’s a relatively new restaurant, and I hope it survives, because it was incredibly hard to find. The signage outside is so inconspicuous that I’m sure loads of people wander by without realizing that a great spot lies inside.
As soon as we sat down, we ordered coffee and searched the menu for carbs. We need bread, stat! The menu lacked appetizers substantial enough to soak up my hangover, so the server brought us a plate of crostinis, which were toasted and covered in butter.
The coffee came in tall, shiny French presses. But they spit out coffee grinds, which was rather unfortunate. I stared at the grounds floating around in my coffee cup and decided that a Bloody Mary was in order, instead.
Word spread and soon everyone at the table (well, besides the 18-month-olds and the pregnant Bitch) were ordering Marys. Their options were spicy, very spicy, or Bloody Murder (extra spicy with whiskey for the extremely brave).
There’s sparkling stuff, too, like a lemonade cocktail, an apple cider mimosa, or a cucumber bellini, all of which sounded very creative but not substantial enough for our brunch thirst that morning.
Bloody Marys it is. And while they came in tiny glasses, that was enough for me. My Mary (which I ordered the least spicy of the lot) still had quite the kick. It was the best Mary I’ve had in recent memory. It was garnished with a lime slice and a celery stick.
Like the cocktail list, the brunch menu is super creative. You won’t see the typical Benny or French toast here. The chef has clearly made an effort to put his own twist on each brunch dish.
There was even a special, a hash, which the server explained to our wide eyes. It arrived in a big bowl with a fried egg on top of juicy, sweet short rib and sliced potatoes. Absolutely divine.
The menu curveball was the Kimchi and eggs. The eggs, which are placed in a nice pile on the side of the dish, were cooked with cubes of Spam. Yes, Spam. Only a place like Water & Wall can make Spam a gourmet brunch food.
The caramelized Kimchi was set on a gorgeous orange sauce and Chinese sausage. When mixed with the eggs, it was a truly unique taste. On the side, a lovely dish of jasmine rice to fill us up.
The breakfast sandwich arrived on a thick, thick bun. Inside was sliced pork coppa, Gruyere cheese, a massive Piquillo pepper slice, and a big fried egg. It was crispy and salty, a nice flavor with the bun. On the side, a bit of mesclun salad.
I was tempted to go for the steak and eggs, but I finally decided I needed scrambled eggs, and I needed them truffled. Besides, who can resist truffled-anything when it’s on a menu? The eggs came in a tall mound and yes, they were extremely truffly. Almost a bit too much.
But they were the best part of this dish, as the potato hash on the side was a bit hard to break through and seemed odd on the plate. On top, two very greasy strips of Applewood smoked bacon. There were a few pieces of mesclun greens on the side, too. I stuck with the eggs.
For dessert we ordered the pumpkin pancakes, which were buttermilk, and so thick and fluffy. They definitely had a very strong pumpkin taste. On top of the stack was a cube of melting butter, and the obligatory round of potato hash and bacon were on the side. The Virginia Maple Syrup made the dish delicious.
The adults were placated and happy with their brunch. But what about those Bitches in training? The chef made tiny plates of eggs and grits for the little ones—and didn’t even charge us a cent.
The stone ground grits were well received by both Miss Mina and Elanor. And the eggs, well, you know how Eleanor felt about those eggs.
After the Baby Bitch brunch was done and spills were cleaned up, the girls took to their phones, obvi. Some baby tweets and InstaGs had to be sent.
The Bitches say: B+ A few kinks here to work out, but a very creative brunch with true potential. Those Marys should be bottomless.
Water & Wall
3811 Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA 22203
Water & Wall serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.