The problem with there being so few weekends and so many restaurants is that it’s hard to get to all of the places I want to try, and many get pushed down so far on my list that I forget about them. When I put together the Bottomless Brunch Drinks List, I was reminded of several places that have been on my to do list for far too long. Ben’s Next Door is one of those places, but it was well worth the wait.
I love Ben’s Chili Bowl – the autographed pictures in cheap frames, the old tables and chairs that are always wobbly, the lack of frills, the eclectic crowd, greasy smell and feel, everything. Ben’s Next Door goes with a more upscale look and feel, but maintains an old DC history vibe with historical and political photos, paintings, and portraits on the walls – only in fancier frames than you’d find in its sister restaurant. And while it’s upscale, it still feels comfortable and cozy, which fits well with a menu that includes so much comfort food.
The brunch menu includes some great southern classics like shrimp and grits, brunch basics like Belgium waffles, and items with a Ben’s twist like the Ben’s omelet — an omelet with Ben’s original half-smoke sausage, chili and cheese. I got the Next Door Breakfast — eggs, grits, and bacon — and was happily satisfied by the time I cleaned my plate. I know, I should have gotten that signature omelet, but I just wasn’t craving chili that morning. Next time! The friend I went with got the fried chicken with waffles, and insisted that the fried chicken was some of the best he’s ever had…coming from someone who grew up in Alabama, that is definitely saying something. To top it all of, we enjoyed several delicious mimosas that were part of their $15 bottomless mimosa deal.
I definitely want to go back with a larger group so I can try more of the dishes, and the dinner and dessert menu both look delicious so I may need to take advantage of their evening hours as well soon. The pecan pie has been calling my name for the last week…and there is only one way to determine if it’s as good as my mom’s!