When we were invited to try brunch at b DC Penn Quarter, we were pretty pumped. Their tagline, “burgers. beer. bourbon” had us at burgers. b has several locations on the east coast, and the menus vary depending on local ingredients. Read: we were able to enjoy some Maryland crab!
To drink, they have bottomless mimosas and/or bourbon sours. You can switch between the two, but we ended up sticking with the bourbon sours, a refreshing, sweet treat on a hot day. They weren’t particularly strong, but our server was on top of refilling us so we were happily sipping on these for a while.
For an app, we started with the Peppered Bacon Bucket. As advertised, it’s a bucket of thick, peppered bacon. Surprisingly, this is not one of the b’s! They succeeded as a snack, but I think next time I’d order it to come out with the meal; it’d be a perfect accompaniment to a breakfast dish.
Next we had the Skillet Baked Pecan Sticky Buns. You know how sometimes you want a savory dish at brunch but you kind of also need something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Get these sticky buns to share. The star of this dish was the bourbon whip cream. Even though it was the cool element in this dish, it had a warm spiced flavor that tasted a bit like fall. While I was stuffing my face, Sydney had a good suggestion: If you’re trying to be healthy-ish, opt for the mixed fresh berries with bourbon whip cream instead of the sticky buns. Just get that whip cream!
Finally, we got the Hot Fried Chicken and Biscuits and the Crab Cakes. The hot chicken and biscuits was presented like two sliders. Spicy and saucy, this dish went great with the sweet bourbon sours. Hot chicken is definitely in vogue in the District right now, but when we asked executive chef Shannen Smith about it, she was more tuned into the food than the trend: “I’m from the south,” she explained, “It’s a southern thing!”
The crab cakes, on the other hand, are a Maryland thing. Chunky with some crisp on the outside, these were done right. A kale slaw and cajun bacon aioli rounded out this dish.
Located fairly conveniently to the National Mall, b makes a perfect post-museum refueling stop. Or a preamble to a botanical gardens stroll. Either way we’ll be back to try some more dishes and drink some more bourbon sours!
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