I was ecstatic to brunch at Tupelo Honey in Arlington on a gorgeous Saturday morning with my brunching bestie, Kristi. A mere ten minutes into Virginia, this location is spacious, airy, and homey with a touch of southern charm. Tupelo Honey is a southern chain with a commitment to locally sourced ingredients and homemade everything. We were invited to brunch on the house by the lovely and hospitable Ryan.
Kristi arrived ten minutes late after dealing with an adorable, albeit highly misbehaved, golden retriever that morning. I was perfectly content–as the general manager, Ryan–had sent over a full-sized pineapple hollowed out and filled with booze. Because who wouldn’t be contented by such a gift? Given that I adore (read: am completely obsessed with) pineapples and all brunch cocktails, I was a happy camper. This drink was plenty for two people and was rather sugary. It was definitely easy to drink and would be a crowd pleaser. Let’s be honest: you would most likely order this for the Instagram—and folks, on that front, it did not disappoint.
We started off with the famous biscuits served with macerated blueberries and honey. These biscuits lived up to all their hype. They’re light and buttery and go perfectly with the blueberries and honey.
We ordered a couple appetizers as we were starving and everything on the menu looked phenomenal. Our sweet waitress recommended the fried green tomatoes and we also ordered the avocado toast points because we’re basic like that.
The avocado toast points were delicious and we devoured the whole dish. The bread was hearty yet light. The avocado was served chunky and drizzled in red chili honey. We would recommend this dish.
The tomatoes were served on top of goat cheese grits and red pepper coulis. The tomatoes were perfectly fried and super crunchy. Kristi had never had them before and she raved about them throughout the meal. Let us also note that this was a huge appetizer and perfect for sharing with hungry brunch-mates. We loved the kick of the coulis and thought it paired well with the tomatoes. I’m not a huge fan of grits–I don’t think they taste like anything–but these I found amongst one of the more tasty I’ve sampled. However we couldn’t really taste the goat cheese.
Next, we ordered our entrees and more brunch beverages. I ordered the Mega-Mimosa, which is ten ounces of Prosecco to one ounce of orange juice. That’s my kind of ratio! This was a huge and refreshing mimosa.
Kristi ordered the Queen Bloody Mary. While she loves them, she can never drink more than a couple sips. I’m proud to report that this girl almost finished the entire thing. This cocktail was the perfect amount of spicy—and we loved all of the toppings and garnishes.
Our entrees arrived and we were wowed yet again. The Shoo Mercy sweet potato pancakes won us over. This is a twist on the classic chicken n’ waffles dish. We enjoyed three sweet potato pancakes topped with bacon, boneless fried chicken, spiced pecans, and whipped butter. It also comes with fried eggs and grilled seasonal fruit. The pancakes weren’t overpowering with sweet potato in any way–they tasted like a savory pancake as opposed to a sweet dessert-like hotcake. They were incredible. The apple cider bacon was crispy and greasy. The fried chicken was juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. It was flavorful and paired perfectly with the rest of the dish. Kristi didn’t even touch her eggs or fruit–this dish is massive.
I ordered the crab Benedict with potato cracklins. This Benny was served on a biscuit, which I thoroughly enjoyed—given that, as mentioned, the biscuits are incredible. The Hollandaise sauce was hot and flavorful. The eggs were cooked perfectly. There could have been more crab meat, but I was still full from the dish.
Though we thought we couldn’t eat any more, we ordered dessert. The banana pudding layered pancakes were a show stopper. The homemade banana pudding was served warm on top of the sweet potato pancakes. The rum sauce drizzled on the Nilla Wafers was the perfect amount of sweet and savory. We loved this dish and wished we could have eaten more of it–there’s always next time.
The Bitches say: A. We loved everything from the southern vibes, to the massive drinks, and the delicious and comforting food. If there was ever a reason to leave D.C. for brunch, this is it.
Tupelo Honey serves brunch 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. (703) 253-8140