Home means many things to me. It means a slobbery reunion from my family cockapoo, Chloe. It means the official start to any holiday. It means abundant wine drank in glasses decorated with seasonal charms. It means family. And of course, it means food.
On a recent visit home for the holidays, we decided to kick off the festivities with a brunch at Woodberry Kitchen, one of my Baltimore favorites. Woodberry Kitchen reminds me of my New York home, as it could easily be transplanted to anywhere in Brooklyn and would fit right in. The major difference is that the farm to table concept comes from growers of the Chesapeake instead of the Hudson. I am always happy to see the local food movement flourish in the burbs of my hometown in MD.
Housed in an old factory, coming here feels like you’ve taken a step back in time. The original mill houses still surround the expansive restaurant, most of which have now been converted into trendy apartments. Woodberry Kitchen is captivating from the moment you walk in.
Massive floor to ceiling windows lighten up the large brick rooms, accented with rustic wood furniture, gingham tablescapes, and shelves filled with firewood and homemade preserves sold on premises. This restaurant could not be more comfy or inviting for a long brunch affair, and we settled in quickly in one of the two main dining rooms.
Because we were celebrating my homecoming and my mom’s birthday, we started with seasonal cocktails (not that this requires an excuse!). I had difficulty deciding between their many infusions but ultimately settled on a WK Autumn Mimosa, made with Maryland apple cider, sparkling wine, and cinnamon tincture. This cocktail was the perfect amount of sweet and bubbly and I drank it dangerously fast.
I also couldn’t resist the house made maple latte, which was one of my favorites of 2014.
My dad had the original drink order of the group with a fresh bloody mary and french press coffee.
We were overwhelmed in a good way by the menu, which is different every time I visit Woodberry. My eyes were torn between fresh items from the bake shop, shared delights from the small plates and an impressive number of choices from the brunch entrees. We decided to go big.
I ordered the gold potato hash brown, not a dish I would normally select but the description sounded so amazing I couldn’t resist. Baked with roasted sweet peppers, cauliflower, shitakes, melted pumpkin, chicory, and fish pepper honey in a cast iron skilled, I can’t even begin to describe the explosion of flavors in each bite. This was a “wow” dish and I reluctantly passed over the second half to my mom so we could swap plates.
My mom ordered the kitchen omelette with Cottingham Farm spinach, red onion, P&L ham, Hawk’s Hill cheddar and skillet potatoes. Besides absolutely loving the fact that I knew where all my ingredients came from, this omelette was really something. It was perfectly cooked, not too heavy on the cheese, and the quality ham added something extra special.
My dad settled on the Albright Farm fried chicken and biscuit served with maple sausage gravy, spring onion, and black pepper. The chicken was deliciously crunchy and juicy all in one bite, and the heaping portion of sweet gravy with the buttery biscuit made for a very hearty plate.
My sister was looking for a plainer-jane option, so she settled on the Beau’s Breakfast with country bacon, maple sausage, skillet potatoes, scrambled eggs and rye toast. It was exactly what she’d hoped for in a simple yet delicious brunch.
Because all of that wasn’t enough, we also ordered the cast iron buttermilk pancake with Jonagold apples, pumpkin butter, and maple syrup for a dessert to share. I’m used to pancakes being as flat as..well, a pancake, and this resembled a pie in thickness, which made the portion even better for sharing. The large dollop of pumpkin butter curbed my sweet tooth and finished off a truly spectacular brunch.
The Bitches say: A+. Woodberry Kitchen has got it all (besides not being in NYC!). The stellar rustic chic ambiance, locally sourced ingredients, menu full of variety, and heavenly food secure our very top grade for this Baltimore brunch.
2010 Clipper Park Road #126
Woodberry Kitchen serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.