When co-founder and HBIC Becca was in town, we knew it was a good time to catch up and celebrate her recent engagement. Luckily, we were gunning to try Succotash’s new Penn Quarter location.
Cori Sue had made us all envious with her meal at the National Harbor location. Like at its sister restaurant, Chef Edward Lee is serving up unique Southern dishes with a side of charm.
When you walk in, the space takes your breath away. A converted old bank on the National Registry of Historic Places, the restaurant boasts ornate molding, leaf chandeliers, and a massive skylight that floods the restaurant with sun, making our little photographer hearts swoon.
We sat on the mezzanine level—a great aerial view for people watching—and noticed the mix of cozy booths, private spaces, and large long tables for groups. The mezzanine level is also home to a private room with a large bar that pays homage to the National Harbor restaurant.
Becca and Steph ordered Bloody Marys that came out in gorgeous vintage glasses. The brunch cocktail is available with either bourbon or vodka, but they both selected vodka. The spiced rim added a nice kick to a perfectly mixed concoction. Annie kept it simple and opted for a mimosa which was perfectly effervescent and fresh.
Easily one of our favorite dishes of our brunch were the smoked chicken wings. We typically save our finger-licking wing consumption for Sunday football, but these were well worth the mess. Plus, Succotash came out with a plate of hot towels to clean our hands!
These wings are made with a spiced rub, instead of a sauce, so they are crispy and pack layers of flavor that you otherwise don’t get. They were topped with a unique celery slaw and white BBQ sauce that we practically licked off the bowl.
Another crowd favorite was the fried green tomato salad. The thin, crispy fried green tomatoes were buried under a light bed of arugula, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese topped with buttermilk dressing. We liked the contrast of the warm, fried tomato and the light, crispy salad.
To add a little sugar to our meal (we were at a Southern brunch after all) we started with the sweet potato and Krispy Kreme bread pudding. The doughnuts in this dish were fresh from the DuPont Circle doughnut shop. The whipped cream, fresh oranges, and lemon zest paired with doughnuts and sweet potatoes was an interesting combination and not one we particularly cared for.
The “Ambrosia” fruit salad, full of yogurt, cornbread crumbles, mint, dates, and toasted coconut was a light starter. To be honest, we were more intrigued by other dishes on the table so this bowl got short shrift. Despite it being a perfectly pleasant parfait, it didn’t wow us and we’d recommend focusing on other appetizers.
Nursing a special hangover of her own, Steph opted for the Hangover Special, a skillet full of fried eggs, pulled pork, warm potato salad, red-eye gravy, and buttermilk biscuits. We enjoyed the heat of the pulled pork which was paired with the more mellow eggs and potato salad. For a Southern eatery, we had high expectations for the buttermilk biscuit — unfortunately it was dry. Still this was a super filling dish that will satisfy a hungry stomach and lived up to its name.
We were obsessed with the warm potato salad. It was heavy on the roasted garlic (which Annie considers an aphrodisiac) and filled us up with its creamy goodness. Whether you get it in the Hangover Special or order it as a side (and we did both), this Southern staple is not to be missed.
The fried chicken and waffles are a Southern staple that should not be left off when ordering. Succotash’s version was a bit smaller than expected, with legs and thighs covered in bourbon maple syrup, pickled okra, and aged manchego. The waffle underneath was small and slightly dry. It left us wanting more syrup or sauce.
Channeling her inner basic Bitch, Annie chose the avocado toast BLT. We loved the Sally Lunn bread, which is similar to a sweet brioche for how easily it cut, and the soft, buttery flavor. The bacon, smashed avocado, tomatoes, sliced radishes, and poached egg were lovely toppings, all adding up to an aesthetically pleasing dish (and a moist one to boot!).
For dessert we couldn’t say no to the sticky pecan buns, served in a skillet. Admittedly we were all full at this point, but the bun provided a perfect sweet ending to the meal.
The Bitches Say: A-. Succotash’s downtown location is a stunning space with charm and history. The Southern-inspired menu has notable twists with a dash of home-cooking.
Succotash serves brunch Saturdays 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.