After a wacky Halloweekend, my friends and I were in need of a substantive brunch over which we could debrief and refuel. Unsure as to what time we’d be awake and lively enough to nosh, I decided we’d meet at Sally’s Middle Name, which was on my to-brunch-list, but doesn’t accept reservations.
We meandered over to H Street around 1 p.m. Upon entrance, we were instantly charmed by the restaurant’s sunny interior as we walked past wooden tables to a beautiful marbled bar, facing an open kitchen to wait for a table. Pots of succulents, well-loved cookbooks, and dainty teacups added to the homey vibes of the small space.
Because of its dedication to fresh, local ingredients, Sally’s Middle Name has a small brunch menu that changes regularly. You can find it written on the white subway tiled walls, but if you’re curious, peep the website before you go. Picky eaters may want to beware. That said, we appreciated the many gluten-free and dairy-free options.
As I mentioned, Sally’s Middle Name does not take reservations for brunch. We were a group of five, and the staff seemed to have a tough time approximating our wait time (it went from 45 minutes to 10 within about 15 minutes). We ended up having to wait about 25 minutes, which wasn’t too bad. Our waitress, who appeared to be the only person serving (and also served as the hostess), was very sweet and apologized profusely. That said, next time I’ll go with fewer friends, because once we were seated, the experience only improved.
I started with an aptly named cocktail, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. The cocktail was made with grapefruit, Prosecco, and tequila, and served in a beautiful coup glass. It was strong, but light. Megan and Maggie ordered iced coffee brewed with Counter Culture beans. They both decided it was very good. “I’m not sure if it was the 80-degree heat wave we were pushing through, but the coffee was freezing cold, strong but not bitter, and just really refreshing. I probably could have drank it black, which I never say,” said Megan. “I was tempted to ask for another, but it did take a little while to make.”
Langley ordered an equally refreshing peppermint iced tea. We all lamented that we’d like to see a slightly more expanded drink menu for brunch. The restaurant has a lengthy chalkboard list of fancy cocktails, but very few that were suitable for the daytime.
As we admired the kitschy mismatched china and floral napkins on our table setting, our first course suddenly appeared. We started off with the chocolate-filled pate a choux doughnuts. They were served warm; basically puffy balls of fried dough with a bit of molten chocolate oozing out.
For a main course, Maggie tried the Mole pork hash. The hash was insane with just the right mix of salt and smoke, on a bed of potatoes and topped with a perfectly poached egg. It was a great twist on a breakfast classic.
Kelly went with the frittata with blue cheese, caramelized onions, and tomato. The frittata was huge, and the blue cheese gave it an unexpected (albeit welcome) sharpness that you don’t usually get with egg dishes. I found myself sneaking multiple bites.
I couldn’t resist ordering the Thai rice porridge with pork. Topped with tons of herbs and chili on the side, the jook was rich and very filling. Each bite brought out a new, unique flavor which I enjoyed immensely.
Langley opted for a healthy Lacinato kale salad with mustard anchovy dressing, and pickled green beans. It was light, textured, and balanced out her side of home fries. We agreed that it was nice to have real, roasted baby red potatoes, not just repurposed wedge fries.
Megan tried two scrambled eggs with a side home fries. The eggs were perfect for a hangover and heavy on the butter and milk. The home fries were a nice sidekick for the eggs. Her meal was simple, but well-executed.
Despite our rocky start, Sally’s Middle Name was a total hit with us. We walked out full and happy. I’ll definitely go back to try their seasonal dinner menu for a casual date night.
The Bitches say: A. Sally’s Middle Name is sunny H Street farm-to-table spot with a frequently-changing, inventive New American menu. Try it for casual dates and very small groups of friends.
Sally’s Middle Name serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (202) 750-6529