The open-faced fried-egg sandwich is a welcome sight at Shooter McGee’s for Sunday brunch.
Photo by Hope Nelson
By now, it’s no secret: Alexandrians love a good Sunday brunch. Whether it’s eggs benedict, French toast, a hearty sandwich, or a good mimosa, a quick look around proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that brunch is a popular activity citywide. Here are three spots to add to your list of tried-and-trues.
Shooter McGee’s, 5239 Duke St.
Shooter McGee’s opens at 10 a.m. on Sundays for brunch, and by 10:15 the parking lot in front of the restaurant is filling up nicely. This is, of course, an excellent harbinger of things to come. At that early hour, the bar area is gaining popularity with football fans staking a claim to the afternoon games, and the dining room is well-attended with diners wanting to break their fast.
The restaurant is a sibling to Ramparts and TJ Stone’s, but it has a personality all its own. The ambience is cozy and laid-back; the service is friendly and cheerful; and the food is a delight. For a hearty entrée, give the breakfast burrito a try: A tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, onion, ham, and Andouille sausage, it’s sure to give you the strength you need to carry you through till dinner. You also can’t go wrong with the fried egg sandwich, an open-faced number on an English muffin that’s much heartier than it seems on the menu.
To wet your whistle, look no further than the bloody Mary bar, stocked with hot sauces and pickled vegetables galore. Add some Old Bay and you’re in for a treat.
Chadwicks, 203 Strand St.
I’m sorry to disappoint, but the secret’s out on Chadwicks. If you come much later than opening time (which on the weekends is 10 a.m.), you’ll likely encounter a bit of a wait. But the food and ambience are worth it.
This is another spot where the bar is hopping shortly after the doors open, with a mix of football fans and folks eager to get started on brunch eschewing a dining-room table in exchange for faster food. And that food lineup is certainly diverse: Diners who prefer the lunch side of brunch will be perfectly at ease with Chadwicks’ weekend menu. Burgers (beef, turkey, or veggie), salads, sandwiches, and even pastas are in ample supply, quite at home alongside the brunch favorites.
If you’re looking for lunch, consider one of Chadwicks’ crab cake sandwiches or the restaurant’s bangers and mash. For a meal more along the breakfast lines, you can’t go wrong with huevos rancheros or eggs Idaho. Paired with one of Chadwicks’ popular mimosas, it’s a meal fit for a Sunday morning.
Taqueria el Poblano, 2400 Mount Vernon Ave.
A Del Ray mainstay for years, Taqueria el Poblano offers one of the best brunches in town hands-down. Its Sunday brunch is always a festive affair offering something for everyone — and if you can eat outside on a mild day, so much the better.
Order a tequila sunrise — or, fine, a margarita — while you peruse the menu, and be sure not to miss the Specials board in the entryway. It often boasts some of the best options each week. If you see the words “Huevos Divorciados,” order it without delay. This dish, whose name translates to “divorced eggs,” is akin to huevos rancheros, but in this version the fried eggs are separated from one another by rice and beans and given different toppings — a red sauce for one, a green sauce for the other.
Another entrée that’s sure to become a favorite is the Poblano’s omelet, an omelet boasting Mexican cheese and topped with a poblano chili sauce and pico de gallo. For the ultimate in decadence, finish the meal with some Mexican rice pudding.
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at email@example.com.