It had been a while since I had a brunch date with my husband. He’s been dining all over the city with me for years, but we rarely venture out to Old Town, Alexandria for a culinary adventure. When the newly renovated Brabo restaurant invited us in to try their new menu, I knew it would be a perfect spot for a fun afternoon date.
Upon entering Brabo, located adjacent to the boutique Lorien Hotel & Spa, you are greeted by a beautiful bar with copper accents and a massive harbor painting that makes for a stunning backdrop. We could see ourselves posting up at the bar for a post-work cocktail in the nautical, upscale space.
Parched after our long sojourn from Washington to Virginia, I ordered a grapefruit mimosa and Gavin started with the specialty cocktail, a Manhattan mimosa. Both cocktails were both spot on, but we especially loved the unique combination of the Manhattan mimosa, made with vermouth, bourbon, bitters, champagne, and an orange peel.
We kicked off our date with an order of the charcuterie board. But, the kitchen surprised us with a plate of the freshest pastries we’ve sampled in ages. From the cheese danish to the chocolate croissant, each pastry came out warm and flaky, as if we were handpicking them at a bakery. It was a delightful and unexpected treat to begin our meal.
The charcuterie board was one of the most beautiful presentations of the meal. It was like a treasure chest–we uncovered a new treat with every layer. From the chicken sausage, to the pickled onions, to the various stinky cheeses and fruit, it was a masterpiece of unique, earthy flavors. Everything was thoughtfully curated and plated to perfection. We couldn’t finish the whole thing, but it would be great to share with a larger group.
We were most excited about the various savory waffles on the menu. As someone who prefers savory dishes, I usually steer clear of pancakes and waffles at brunch. But, knowing that Brabo’s menu is influenced by Belgian cuisine, we figured we couldn’t go wrong with a waffle. Three mini waffles came with each order, making it easy to share and sample different flavors—my favorite way to brunch.
The K-town (Korea town) waffles were unique in that the fried chicken was prepared Asian-style, rather than a traditional, deep-fried Southern version. One thin, but flavorful piece of chicken topped the savory waffles with crunchy cabbage and an orange glaze that reminded us of the sauce you get with spring rolls. They were the perfect balance of savory and sweet.
The scrambled eggs were heavenly, served with a shredded potato cake that was good, but nothing to write home about. The bacon, however, was cooked perfectly. This was a near perfect version of a classic American breakfast.
After a few more rounds of mimosas, we reluctantly peeled ourselves out of the luxe leather chairs and moseyed around King Street before heading back to D.C.
The Bitches say: A-. Bravo, Brabo. A great place to celebrate an occasion or catch up with parents in town. The upscale, but not stuffy space is home to some of the most comfortable chairs in the brunch game.