On Saturday the wife and I decided to go out for a nice brunch. Our social calendar keeps us busy most weekends, and with the baby due in less than two months, we’ve been even busier than usual. We had a rare weekend off so we figured we should take advantage of it. I posted the goofy picture of me above because I get more compliments on that sweater than you could possibly imagine. The South, and ribbing pretentious Ivy Leaguers is quite popular. I must have been stopped five times while we were out. People especially love that not only did I not go to Yale, but I barely got into my in-State safety school. For brunch, we drove over to Merrifield, and went to Gypsy Soul. This was not our first time at Gypsy Soul (see the brief but succinct review of our visit for dinner HERE), but it was the first time we’d tried it for brunch. We showed up a little early, but they graciously seated us anyway, as my wife is too pregnant to stand around in the sun for too long. Chef RJ came over and chatted with us about the baby. He was a great host, and as a father of twin girls, he had some interesting antidotes, advice, and jokes. I ordered a bourbon lancer (sparkling wine, bourbon, and bitters if I recall), which was amazing. It was less acidic than a mimosa, and lighter than a bloody. If it was more common, or easily crafted, I’d say I’ve found my new brunch drink go-to. Unfortunately, the bourbon lancer at Gypsy Soul had the kind of polish that isn’t easy to replicate. The sparking wine and bourbon choices paired very well (I didn’t notice what brand either were), and the orange twist in the glass was surprisingly present on the palate. It reminds me of the Todd Thrasher cocktails I’ve had that, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t quite recreate at home. But oh well, its a good excuse to go back.
Not that I need any more excuses, the chicken skin cracklins with snake oil and roof top honey is just bananas. I saw Chef RJ’s girls enjoying a plate of them over at the bar. I was a little jealous of how well they must eat on a regular basis. As if the cracklins aren’t good enough as is, the roof top honey (from bees that live away from predators on rooftops) is delicious, and the snake oil hot sauce is so good that Chef RJ was waxing poetic about it. He’s not wrong, put all together its an undeniably delicious treat.
The chicken fried chicken livers with waffles, onions, and black pepper gravy. Insane. Chef RJ asked if I wanted an egg thrown on top, which was key. This was about the most rich, decadent, and delicious meal I’d had in a long, long time. A true standout in a field of strong competition (see my Greenbrier trip, or recent visit to the Inn at Little Washington for instance)(Also, WinnDixie, your breakfast skills have been challenged). That said, you really can’t go wrong. The wife had buttermilk blueberry flapjacks with gypsy granola and path valley maple syrup. The blueberries were as juicy as I’ve ever seen, and even though my syrup taste is fairly pedestrian (as I prefer good ‘ol Aunt Jemima or Hungry Jack), I was really digging the maple. I don’t know if this is a regular occurrence or not, but Gypsy Soul was playing some really great bluegrass. I picked out some Carolina Chocolate Drops, but I was mostly unfamiliar as there seemed to be a lot of contemporary bluegrass. I’d love to have the playlist. It really made a great brunch even better.
The portions were so generous that we had plenty leftover for breakfast on Sunday.
I enjoyed some cold brew and king of the hill, while the wife (barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen) heated up our leftovers, and fried up some bacon and eggs.
In summation, if you like southern style food done up a little fancy, and with just enough of a twist (but still true to its roots) to get you intrigued, you’ll love Gypsy Soul. I can’t wait to stop by again.
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