Sunday, October 07, 2007

Watts Grocery: Brunch

This morning, I had my first opportunity to sample items from the Watts Grocery brunch menu. I ordered the eggs benedict just so I would be able to compare it to the servings of eggs benedict that I've tried for brunch at other local restaurants. It was served on a house-made English muffin, which was thicker and chewier than commercially available ones and I thought it was good. The Hollandaise sauce was probably less salty and tangy than many I've had. Overall, I liked the dish. Unfortunately, it was served with grits. While Amy Tornquist can do magic to salad ingredients of which I'm not terribly fond, these were still grits. Despite my being a native Southerner, I feel that grits and even polenta are an unfortunate fate for corn. If I had known that they would accompany my meal, I would have asked to substitute fresh fruit or hash browns.

Now I will contradict myself by saying that one of the reasons that I was so looking forward to having brunch at Watts Grocery was to sample "Bill Neal's" Shrimp and Grits. I fondly remember visiting Crook's Corner when I was just a youngster through my mid-teens, until their chef, Bill Neal, passed away. One of the dishes I enjoyed (when soft shell crabs or crab cakes with exquisite lemon sauce was not on their dynamic menu) was Shrimp and Grits. You see, grits completely overwhelmed by shrimp, bacon and cheese are perfectly acceptable. Since his death, I believe that I have only been to Crook's once or twice, in part because the entree wasn't as good anymore. I am pleased to report that, at Watts Grocery, the flavor of the bites stolen from my mom's plate matched what I remembered. Some differences include its seeming much greasier and mixed together, rather than layered. It also seemed as if the huge and heavy portion would be more appropriate for dinner than for brunch.

There are several other dishes that I want to try, such as their French toast, pancakes and huevos rancheros, so I'm eager to pay them another visit soon.


  1. We hit WG for brunch too, but we somehow managed to miss you -- the pancakes were the best I've ever had (nice tart buttermilky edge to the flavor, and absolutely perfect texture: a bit of bite to the outside that spoke to a whole lot of butter in the recipe, and meltingly tender within. yum.) And the next time you go for brunch, get the churros.

  2. Wow, Amy, that was a drool-inducing comment if I've ever read one. I was about to ask if churros were more like cake donuts or yeast ones, but I see that they don't have leavening at all, other than eggs. Interesting!