It was another hotter than hell Sunday. Earlier in the weekend, we had experienced an entire power outage on the 7th Street corridor of Shaw, lasting from Friday night to Saturday afternoon. But we made the best of it and grabbed late night cocktails at the Columbia Room punch garden. (And, we may or may not have looked up hotel room vacancies on the other side of town). We managed to survive and kept our plans of visiting with my soon-to-be mother-in-law for the day. On the agenda was brunch, followed by a wedding to-do list.
As I’m usually the one responsible for making the brunch plans, I was pleasantly surprised when Gavin came up with the idea to head to Mulebone on 14th Street, a Southern restaurant and unique vintage shopping experience I had been meaning to check off my list.
Despite the massive space, we were quoted a 15 minute wait. As we made our way to the bar to kill time, I noticed several large groups dining and celebrating what looked like baby showers and birthdays. The communal tables were massive and so I made a mental note this would be a great place for a large group.
We began with three mimosas in various flavors: orange, grapefruit, and pomegranate. Mulebone is also known for its seasonal punches, served in gorgeous glass bowls. My fiancé, Gavin, tried his luck with a Bloody Mary and noted that it was a lighter version of the otherwise hearty drink, which is perfect for someone who doesn’t love tomato juice.
We decided to dine indoors because it was way too humid to sit on the patio, but we quickly learned the air conditioning was broken (thanks to the aforementioned power outage), so brunch was taking place in a sauna on this blessed day, regardless. But, our server couldn’t have been more empathetic or accommodating, as we all lamented the heat. She promised to keep our cold drinks full.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a combination of hearty Southern food and healthy options on the menu. If a restaurant can nail both, that’s a gold star in my book.
We placed an order for the Sorghum-glazed pecan doughnuts. They were warm, hush puppy-esque sweet holes drizzled in sweet syrup–a decadent start to brunch.
Gavin won the brunch game that day. The H.E.C.B. was not only eye candy, but also a delicious and unique combination of a sweet potato biscuit, fried egg, Pimiento cheese, and Virginia country ham, doused in honey. It was messy, but it was worth it.
Also denoted as vegetarian, the Garden Frittata was my choice as I wanted to see if a Southern restaurant could dabble in health conscious fare. I’m happy to report that the frittata was tasty, well cooked and a perfect portion. I also happen to love when omelets come with mixed greens, so this dish hit the spot.
On the not so vegetarian side of the spectrum, Christina ordered the shrimp and grits. The dish came with spicy shrimp, Andouille sausage, charred okra, and Virginia Byrd Mill grits. While the spicy after taste wasn’t the best combination with the current heat wave, it was an authentic delivery of a true Southern staple.
Jeanne decided to keep it light with the yogurt, fruit, and granola, which Mulebone can prepare for vegans as well. Unexpectedly, the bowl came topped with pineapple, an allergy of Jeannes, but our server couldn’t have been more swift or apologetic in replacing the dish, sans tropical fruit.
Refueled but still sweaty, we browsed the vintage racks while finishing our last sips of mimosas, determined to find respite from the unwavering heat.
The Bitches say: B. A great spot for a group brunch with solid Southern food, a unique shopping experience, and friendly service.
2121 14th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
Mulebone serves brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10a.m. to 4p.m.