Not quite down to the wire: Brunch at Miss Shirley’s in Baltimore

Awning in the tucked away parking lot behind the restaurant

One of the more interesting shows to hit the airwaves was a show about the gritty side of Baltimore called The Wire.  Speaking of wires, I was in Baltimore, running up against the cut-off for brunch and made it just under the wire to a delightful place in Roland Park called Miss Shirley’s.  Here’s how it went down…First thing, we get inside and it’s a pretty non-descript restaurant.  Not dirty or unkempt, just plain.  This wasn’t bad or good, just an observation. The crowd was exactly what’d you’d expect for a neighborhood that I’ll assume is almost up and coming.  Pleasant professionals and older folks and name-on-the-uniform blue collar workers all sitting and enjoying what we were about to get mixed up in.  As we walked to the front counter to be seated we past this

Technically this is an appetizer – not that my appetite needed any help. It’s much bigger than it looks, actually

Needless to say, it ended up on our table! It’s called Funky Monkey Bread.  Cinnamon-scented Pull-Apart bread with bananas, chocolate and pecans and dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon for $11. Yes, it was good.  No, we didn’t eat it all.  Imagine a soft, sweet cinnamon-roll with a bit of chocolate to sweeten the deal.  Next up were the entrees.  In a display of true self-sacrifice, I tried all three so that I could test the bounds of morning gluttony write about them.  First one I tried was the Mac Crabby

As you can see by the hands in the background, this mac ‘n cheese didn’t stand a chance

The Crabby Mac was Miss Shirley’s version of mac and cheese, only it wasn’t like any version I’d ever tried.  It had fresh jumbo lump crab meat, white cheddar cheese sauce, diced tomatoes, applewood smoked bacon chunks, sweet corn and a bit of Old Bay. (aside: Old Bay is to the Maryland set as salt and pepper are to the rest of America.  In this particular instance, I can see why.) The Crabby Mac was as good as it sounded, but I had to make room to try my wife’s eggs benedict and hadn’t yet sneezed in the direction of my own entrée.  Speaking of my wife’s meal

Perfectly poached eggs are such a nice way to start the morning–especially when doused in hollandaise

That would be crab cake and fried green tomato eggs benedict.  I don’t like fried green tomatoes and I’m pretty sure they aren’t in season in November.  But I still almost had to push her off the seat to get a couple more bites.  True, nature has done most of the heavy lifting when it comes to crab-based produck, but the part not left to genetics was handled flawlessly by someone in Miss Shirley’s kitchen.  If not for my own large meal I’d have put a serious hurtin’ on that plate.  Now, I’ve made several mentions about my affinity for this next dish on this site and Twitter and during other meals (really, any time anyone will listen), so this won’t be any great surprise.  In fact, it’s joining trips to craft breweries on the rite of passage list when I’m visiting a new city.  I’ve had this dish here, here, and of course, here.  What, pray tell, might I be referring to?  This

The waffle was drizzled with cheese and mustard aioli, which I didn’t expect to be as good as it was.

Umm, yeah.  This was an elevation of poultry and waffle.  It combined the sweet, slightly crispy waffle with a bit of green onion, Peppadew-jalapeno butter and classic maple syrup.  The picture virtually speaks for itself, so I’ll just add that the Benne Seed Chicken ‘N Waffles for $15 might be a slightly pricy breakfast option, but it’s well, well worth it.  I am still partial to Roscoe’s, though that might be an emotional connection to my first experience combining breakfast and lunch in a southern slice of heaven.  In any event, I must stop typing now and go run around the metro D.C. area.  These meals are great for my tastebuds, but seriously there’s no reasonable way to eat like this all the time and not be 400 pounds.  Next time you’re in Baltimore, drop by Miss Shirley’s, it was worth the trip.

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