31 July 2013

Let's Talk Brunch

If you know me in real life, you know that brunch is one of my favorite activities.

I mean who doesn't love dressing up, eating amazing food by the water and accidentally getting completely shitfaced after drinking too many mimosas? (Don't lie, you've been there).

After answering an ask.fm question about the best places to have brunch in Annapolis and getting a lot of input from my followers on Twitter, I decided to make it my mission to find the absolute best brunch places and menu items in the area. I asked Annapolis native and brunch connoisseur Mr. Maryland to help me out. (Also, shoutout to his parents for their input. Thanks!) Keep reading to see our favorite places to brunch on the weekend, as well as my followers' favorites.

The Annapolitan's Favorites
(Follow me at @AnnapolisProbs on Twitter)

Boatyard Bar & Grill
Overview: Boatyard is known as the sailors' bar in Annapolis, but weekend mornings draw a more diverse crowd because who doesn't love brunch? If it's a nice day and there is seating available, you can sit outside on the front porch, which overlooks the streets of Eastport. Boatyard Bar & Grill definitely has a family-oriented atmosphere, but you can always find a few Eastport locals drinking beer at the bar at 10 a.m.
Dress: Casual
Best thing to order: My personal favorites are the Bloody Marys, Boatyard Combination and Pepperjack Grits.

Overview: Eggcellence seems to be where everyone goes after church on Sunday, so expect a long wait if you're planning to brunch there around 10 a.m. Trust me, though--the wait is well worth it. Expect the best service and the best food here.
Dress: A step up from casual (think church clothes)
Best thing to order: If you're in the mood for something sweet, order the Waffles or Trio of Blintzes. If you want classic breakfast food, go for the American Breakfast. And if you're a true Marylander, you must try the Crab Hash or the Marylander.

Main Ingredient
Overview: The Main Ingredient is a catering company that also offers a small restaurant/cafe setting located just off Bay Ridge Road. It is well-known for brunch, and with good reason. The mix-and-match style menu that even includes a create your own waffle option is sure to please.
Dress: A step up from casual
Best thing to order: The mimosas are made with fresh squeezed orange juice, and they're huge. On Sunday, mimosas and bloody marys are $4; on any other day, they're $6.

Mr. Maryland's Favorites
(Follow him at @AnnapolisPrep on Twitter)

Chart House
Overview: When it comes to brunch in Annapolis, Chart House is the standard. On the water in the harbor of downtown Annapolis, Chart House offers on of the most elegant views of the historic city. Sit and watch the sailboats go by while dining on some of the finer foods Annapolis has to offer. Make sure to make reservations in advance, and leave plenty of time to find parking downtown. Chart House may not be the best restaurant in the historic district or in Eastport, but you can't beat the location and the brunch.
Dress: Sunday's best
Best thing to order: You can't go wrong with the Maryland Benedict. Crab Cakes and Hollandaise Sauce can't be beat. If you're looking for something on the light side, try the Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad. The salad bar is also out of this world.

Carrol's Creek
Overview: Carrol’s Creek offers a great view of the Annapolis Harbor and its activities.  It offers a large buffet with everything from traditional breakfast fare to roast beef, chicken and vegetables. The desserts are a terrific way to end the meal if you have room after eating through the main course.
Dress: Sunday casual
Best thing to order: It’s hard to pick one.

Paul's Homewood Cafe
Overview: Paul’s is a classic Greek restaurant tucked away on West Street. Although it has been in the same location since 1949, the interior is modern and friendly. Brunch items feature everything from southern pecan fried chicken and waffles to eggs benedict with either a soft crab or crab cakes, and all the classic breakfast items you expect. The prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is pleasant.
Dress: Sunday casual
Best thing to order: Greek Omelet and the various eggs benedict dishes.

Miss Shirley's
Overview: Miss Shirley’s is fairly new to Annapolis, but it has been a fixture in Baltimore for a number of years. The menu is uniquely southern and includes crab and Old Bay dishes for the locals. You will not go hungry at Miss Shirley’s. The fried green tomatoes, applewood-smoked bacon, savory grits with diced bacon and roasted corn, and coconut cream-stuffed french toast are among the unusual combinations make this food shine. Service was originally slow but has improved.
Dress: Casual
Best thing to order: Everything

Grump's Cafe
Overview: Grump's is a quirky place located in a small strip center in the Hillsmere area of Bay Ridge. Waiters and waitresses wear pajama bottoms and t-shirts. As you enter, you are given a toy or plastic animal with a number on it. You order your food with your number, pick up your beverage and sit down with your toy on the table. Pretty soon, your food arrives. The nice thing about brunch is you can also order lunch, so if you want a hamburger at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning, you can get one here.
Dress: Casual
Best thing to order: Waffles, burgers and my favorite is the stuffed avocado salad.

Overview: Regina’s German restaurant has been hidden in West Annapolis for 28 years and frequented by the locals. It provides the usual breakfast fare, plus it can be accompanied by real German sausages. Everyone is friendly and the food is plentiful. If you arrive after 8:30 a.m., you’ll probably need to wait for a table.  
Dress: Casual
Best thing to order: My personal favorite is the California Benedict with avocado and real bacon instead of Canadian bacon. The omelets are good as well.

Your Favorites
I got a lot of feedback from my Twitter followers about your favorite brunch places. They are as follows:

Severn Inn
Best thing to order: Everything
*Submitted anonymously via ask.fm

Factors Row
Best thing to order: $16 bottomless bloody marys and mimosas
*Submitted by @clutchmoves27

Middleton Tavern
*Submitted by @marylandlove

Kent Manor Inn
(across the pond on Kent Island)
Best thing to order: Everything (it's a buffet, and it comes with a bloody mary or mimosa)
*Submitted by @cjwainscott

Chick & Ruth's
Best thing to order: Anything (I particularly like the bagel sandwiches)
*Submitted by @winstonsocialpr

Ok, sorry but I can't write about food anymore. I'm getting hungry. How do food critics do it!?
[Photos: Pinterest, weheartit.com, severninn.com, opentable.com, themainingredient.com, missshirleys.com, peoplepets.com]