It is officially Hot Girl Summer. Declared so by Houston’s own Megan Thee Stallion, this summer is all about “being unapologetically YOU, having fun, being confident, living YOUR truth, being the life of the party, etc.” And if I may add one more?
Always being down to brunch.
With the confidence of Meg, I put on my favorite hot girl shorts, despite the fact that I think I may be living a more “Try To Keep Cool Girl Summer” because it’s just too hot outside, y’all. I was officially really down for anything with my friends at DTB, located on the forever adorable Oak Street.
“Imagine my disappointment when I found out DTB isn’t ‘Down to Brunch,’ like DTF, duh.”
Several different versions of this text message popped up in my phone over the week as I prepared to gather a few of my favorite humans – my old and current coworkers – for their first Brunch with Angie moment. They’re a bunch of creative writers and designers and strategists, and I already knew this was going to be a brunch to remember.
Sure, the name is a bit misleading, but Down the Bayou was definitely not a disappointment. In fact, it was an experience; one that solidifies what it means to gather for brunch with your squad and catch up on the new business (someone is custom-making his dream motorcycle, another decided to stay in New Orleans instead of running off to Los Angeles) and laugh until you cry over old business while eating amazing Creole, cajun, and locally-sourced meals, all the while “driving the boat” with bottomless mimosas like Megan Thee Stallion taught us.
Or should it be “drive the pirogue?”
We started with the T-Plates, which are their version of appetizers and across the table, we knew we had to get the mac-n-cheese with gruyere fondue and pecorino crumble. It was creamy and cheesy and lifted onto the fork in a very sexy way, just like we all love our mac-n-cheese. It worked as a perfect base food for the bottomless mimosas falling into our bellies. We also ordered the gumbo which was, just as one would suspect, the perfect and soul-stirring thing to eat on a hot day.
For our main meals, we went with some cult favorites and a few new items that seemed interesting and very “on brand” for brunch, as one friend commented.
Fried Chicken Sandwich
DTB has somehow mastered the art of the fried chicken sandwich. Their version is a good-sized chicken breast fried perfectly and paired with a buttery toasted bun and their signature spicy mayo, with a side of crispy fries that made one brunch buddy have that “Ratoutouille” moment with his first bite.
This brunch group included a few pescatarians, and this was a top pick with those ladies! The spicy-yet-satisfying seafood etouffee was drizzled atop a buttery biscuit and complimented by a surprisingly delicious poached egg. The dish came with a side of potatoes that, as I’ve said in the past, are a superior brunch side.
Crispy Oyster Croque Madame
This was my main, and a surprising pick for ya girl. I love oysters. I LOOOOVE croque madames. But, I was a little apprehensive about those two loves meeting in the name of brunch. But it’s Hot Girl Summer, the time to try something new and learn new things about yourself, so, I got it and it was the best decision I’ve made all July. The oysters were as crispy as their name indicated and the croque madame with tasso was trés magnifique. I would definitely get it again and put the same perfect amount of Crystal hot sauce on it.
Gulf Shrimp and Grits
A brunch staple, especially in New Orleans, and the stone-ground grits were deliciously seasoned and paired perfectly with the juicy and fresh shrimp. This meal sparked a conversation about how we take our grits (salt or sugar) and I quickly learned that that debate really only matters to people in the south. The pals from the midwest were like, “I mean, I just started eating grits when I got to New Orleans.”
Brisket on a Biscuit
The beef brisket was a surprise choice for one friend who loves burgers so much, he was first in line when Shake Shack opened in Metairie last week. So, imagine my surprise when he ordered the Brisket on a Biscuit. When I asked him what made him do that, he said, “Sometimes you have to risk it for the biscuit.” And it was a risk he is glad he took. The brisket, according to Burger Science Friend, was juicy and slightly sweet, and paired perfectly with the fluffy biscuit underneath. 10 out of 10, he’d take that risk again, and honestly, I would too.
Our waitress, who kept our glasses from ever emptying out fully, saw us living our best loud and hilarious brunch lives and took the opportunity to offer a group of food-loving fools some delicious desserts that we definitely didn’t need, but we ordered anyway. She sold us on the pecan waffle with salted caramel, praline cream, candied pecans and cane syrup and y’all … Y’ALL. I don’t know if it was the mimosas or what, but I want those waffles every day for the rest of my life. I want to bring that pecan waffle home, give it a good life, marry it — all the things. I need to speak to someone in charge at DTB to create a dish with this pecan waffle and that piece of chicken from the sandwich. Trust me on this, Mr. or Miss DTB – it’ll be a best-seller. I will buy it.
Because DTB is located on Oak Street, which is growing to be one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city, you have a chance to burn off those calories and sober up by taking a walk. You can hit up the local fancy bodega/corner store, Made Grocery, next door and get you some Rap Snacks, or be like me, and take your first journey into a comic book store with your go-cup in hand and score a Black Lightning comic book!
No matter what you decide to do pre or post-brunch, make sure the brunch happens at DTB – the place where the Hot Girl (or Boy) Summer manifests itself on a Saturday afternoon.
Angie aka Yung Mimo$a