This past Memorial Day weekend, Brett and I decided to head down to Eastern Market to walk around the area and check out the Top Chef Tour Challenge. We met up with our friends Kim and Brian, as well as their newborn baby Micah. After seeing some lesser-known contestants battle it out (Spike was stuck in LA while Carla competed the day before), we decided it was time for brunch.
With an ever-increasing number of restaurants now available on Barracks Row, it was just a matter of choosing which one to have brunch at. The Chesapeake Room won out over the others based on the menu, and more importantly, the fact that we could be seated outside right away with enough room for a stroller.
We sat down and had a hard time deciding what to get since many of the choices seemed so unique and enticing. I was torn between the spring frittata, seafood omelet, and the Eggs Chesapeake. I ultimately decided on the , which appeared to be their specialty and was by far the most distinctive dish.
Instead of a traditional Eggs Benedict, this entrée consisted of two poached eggs sitting atop fried green tomatoes with a layer of Maryland blue crab and a spiced tomato jam in between. There was no hollandaise with this Benedict, but I actually preferred that since I usually ask for it on the side anyway.
The dish came with mushroom home fries as a side, which I thought were amazing. They were essentially roasted potatoes mixed with sautéed mushrooms and cheese. The egg dish itself was delicious, and I savored each bite of it as all of the components really fit together.
Brett ordered the shrimp and grits, although The Chesapeake Room’s version had its own interpretation of the classic dish. The grits were served in coquette form while the shrimp was topped with blue crab and spring onion-green tomato chow-chow. It was also accompanied with a small house salad.
While Brett really enjoyed the grit coquette, he felt that the shrimp were rather underwhelming. In fact, there was too much going on between the chow-chow, crab, and shrimp to justify naming this dish “shrimp and grits”, especially since the shrimp were somewhat soggy from the aforementioned ingredients that were placed atop. He felt that the version found at Acadiana was far superior and wished he had ordered the fried green tomato crab stack instead.
In regards to the service, we had one slight hiccup when Kim had asked to swap the potato fritter that came with her frittata with home fries instead. The waitress said that this was not a problem, however, when we received the bill, we were charged an additional three dollars for this substitution. This would have been okay had the waitress informed us of the charge when Kim made her order, but she didn’t, so this caught us by surprise. They ultimately removed it from the bill, but the restaurant really needs to be more upfront about this in the future.
From the looks of things, it looked like brunch was a draw between the two of us as I came away pleased while Brett, well, didn’t. He just wasn’t crazy about his dish for the exception of the grit coquette, though he did agree that my home fries were rather good. The service was also a little off-putting, but not enough to completely write off the place. So all and all – good, not great.