I’ve mentioned before that I go to church, am a Christian in the actively participating sense, and that there aren’t a lot of young people in churches nowadays. But lucky for me, there is an active group of young adults (in the “we have graduated from college and aren’t yet middle aged yet” sense of young adult) at my church that make it so much more fun and engaging to participate in what others may see as a stodgy institution. We attend services together, explore our faith, do service like Habitat for Humanity, baking cookies for the homebound elderly, and every month we go to brunch. Because we are all in our 20s and 30s, and who in the DC area in that age group doesn’t love brunch? Not the kind of people you’d want to hang out with.
The tough part of planning brunch for a geographically diverse group of people is finding new places…or at least finding enough places in a variety of areas that are easily accessible and potentially have parking on a Sunday. Our original restaurant plan fell through because they didn’t start taking reservations until 1:30, and if we were meeting for a 12:30 brunch, that’s just too much time. So we started looking at other options, and I suggested Tupelo Honey.
I’d been there for happy hours a couple times though never for brunch, but a quick scan of their menu made me feel like it wasn’t crazy expensive, and had a variety of options. So I pulled the trigger and made reservations for 6 with a note that said “there may be slightly more or less – people haven’t RSVPd yet”, assuming they’d give us a table for 6 and we could squish in another chair, or else leave spaces empty as necessary.
Nope – turns out the restaurant REALLY felt me on this one, and gave us a booth that would easily sit five by itself, but could add up to another three along the side open to the restaurant. This meant that when we had seven people show up, we were still quite comfortable with elbow room and everything. Heck – we might have been able to fit a couple more if it came to it. The point is, they read my note, and really came through with the right situation for us.
Not only that, but the food was delicious. A friend ordered fried green tomatoes (pictured above), and because I’m trying to be more adventurous and not a baby who only eats beige things, I tried part of one. It was ok, but the taste confirmed that I’m still not on board with tomatoes (it’s a texture thing), but the goat cheese grits that came with – YUM!
One of my favorite things about Tupelo Honey has been that instead of just plopping down bread on the table, everyone gets a biscuit. And when part of your brunch-order decision-making process is based on “Do I order this thing that looks good, or this thing that also looks good, but comes with a biscuit”, you can order whatever you want, and STILL have a biscuit. They’re served warm wit butter, jam and honey, and I just about devoured mine. You can tell, because I had to pause partway through when I remembered I hadn’t taken a picture yet!
And then they brought out the main courses. *drool* Basically, it’s a lot of food (three of us needed boxes to take some home in), and it’s all very tasty. One of my friends mentioned that we would NEED to revisit this as a brunch location because there were so many yummy things on the menu, and she was right. I had the Shoo Mercy Pancake, which includes both fried chicken AND bacon. On top of an enormous pancake. A pancake so big that I wasn’t able to finish it and took about 1/4 home for later. Everyone else was raving about their food, so definitely a winner all around.
As mentioned earlier, they have an amazing happy hour with $5 sangria, $3 beers, and small plates for $6 – excellent for sharing (I’ve had everything on the small plates menu now, and it’s all good). And based on all these good experiences, I think it’s worth me giving them a try for dinner sometime. Maybe I’ll bring the boy, because he loves himself some grits. If you’re in the South, check to see if there’s a location near you, because shockingly…this is a chain! But it doesn’t matter, because it doesn’t feel like it.
Final review: Did I enjoy myself? Definitely. Would I go back? Heck yeah!
Details: Tupelo Honey, 1616 N. Troy Street, Arlington VA; reservations online
[…] mentioned before that my young adults group at church likes to do brunch (and happy hour). And we are serious about it – every month, we choose a restaurant, and […]