I would tell you to get the catfish, but the menu at Sally’s Middle Name—the new seasonally-inspired spot on H Street—changes daily. So, I suppose if I tried to lure you there with a picture of delicious catfish, I’d be food-catfishing you…
Sally’s Middle Name is a unique little spot owned by power-couple Aphra and Sam Adkins. There’s no written menu, as the day’s offerings are written on the wall. You can also check out the daily options on their website, but if you like food, trust me you’ll be happy. Each day has a varied selection of dishes based around what is fresh and in season, including options for those with dietary restrictions.
Upstairs, Aphra runs a home and lifestyle boutique called Akae, which will include some items sewn by Aphra, who is a pretty awesome fashion designer. I actually have an Aphra dress from a few years back when she used to work with one of our web development clients! The upstairs will also serve as an event space.
When we heard that Sally’s would serve brunch Saturday through MONDAY, we had to check it out immediately. And we did–we were there for the first Monday brunch, although it was before they got their liquor license squared away so we can’t report back on the cocktails at this point in time. We knew we needed to get some work done that day, anyway, so we promptly ordered some iced coffee.
When we got our coffee, we were surprised that it already had milk in it. When we tried it, it was sweetened as well, with a unique flavor we could not pinpoint in the moment. Sydney closed her eyes and tried to identify it: what is that nutty taste?? Glancing again at the menu on the wall, we soon realized we’d received the coffee horchata, and we were tasting an almond flavor. Mystery solved, we chugged the rest.
We asked Aphra for a recommendation. “Definitely get the bacon,” she offered, “it’s homemade.” The bacon is cured in house for three weeks, and then smoked at DCity Smokehouse. “…and the rabbit hash, and the babka.” When she wasn’t looking, I Googled “babka” and learned that it’s a brioche-y cake, which sounded great as a little sweet to go with bacon is never a bad thing.
The rabbit-hash was a more seasonal take on corned-beef hash. Everything is a take on something else, our server explained. Tender rabbit, herby sweet potato (nice touch), and a perfectly poached egg on top, so fluffy is looks like a dollop of sour cream. Rich in fresh flavors, this dish felt both hearty and delicate at the same time.
But back to the catfish. I wasn’t joking that it was my favorite dish! DC-Brau battered, Sally’s is serious about keeping it local. The outside was ridiculously crispy. The catfish was fresh, hot, and so flakey, served atop an aioli that tied it all together.
The babka (now I know!) was served with an amazing cherry sauce that they should probably can and sell because, let’s be real, I would probably put it in my yogurt, on my Eggos (don’t judge), or straight in my mouth. The babka itself had a cinnamon swirl that probably would have made it sweet enough on its own, so I’ll be honest in this dish I loved each component but found it too sweet overall. But for the record, I did finish it and basically lick the plate.
Finally, when you get your check, you’ll notice that an 18% gratuity fee is already added. This service charge is split evenly between the employees, to ensure all employees in front and back of house are sufficiently and fairly paid. Sounds like a good business model to us, and we can’t wait to see what’s on the menu next time!