You may have noticed that we love brunch.
It is probably our favorite thing to do when it comes to going out to eat. There is just something about breakfast food all jazzed up that really hits the spot.
A few weeks ago, as Matt and I were enjoying another delicious brunch at a local restaurant, we realized that we should be documenting our brunch journeys. After all, if you love something, you should set it free…or write a brunch review about it!
And with that, let me introduce Power Couple Brunchin! Each month, we will pick one of our favorite spots to write up a review. The review will be based on five criteria: ambiance, service, menu options, brunch drinks, and of course, the food.
For our very first review, we chose Ted’s Bulletin, a local chain that started out in DC and now has several locations around the area. First of all, I love the history behind it–two brothers started the place as a tribute to their dad, who was a great cook and was always inviting family, neighbors, even traveling salesman over for a warm meal. Second, we knew we had to go there because one of their specialties is homemade pop tarts. Sold! Now, let’s get to that review!
We’re not ones to judge a book by it’s cover, but it certainly helps that the first impression of a brunch place is a warm, inviting atmosphere. Ted’s did not disappoint here–I would describe the decor as a modern meets trendy ’50s diner meets trendy ’50s restaurant.
Needless to say, we were impressed, and we give the ambiance of Ted’s four stars!
This one is obviously super important. First of all, the menu needs to have variety to it–what does that mean? For starters, it can’t just have all breakfast or all lunch items. Brunch is that magical time between breakfast and lunch, and sometimes you simply crave one or the other. Second, I like options that provide a well rounded meal: a grain, a protein, and a potato.
Ted’s had a really great selection on their menu–there were lots of options to satisfy your sweet tooth (hello, homemade pop tarts!), plus there were both lunch and breakfast items that looked appetizing. The big question I ask myself is–does the menu make me want to come back and try other dishes? Absolutely yes. Five stars!
Another aspect of the menu that is so important, it requires its own category! Mimosas and bloody’s are all well and good, but sometimes the restaurant really needs to take it a step further to keep me coming back.
Obviously, I don’t have much to say about the drinks this time around, other than that their concoctions look amazing! They’ve got a variety of drinks you can order, plus a whole section dedicated to milkshakes (that includes a slew of alcoholic options too). I’m pumped to come back and try one of their drinks–Matt went with an Irish Coffee, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
We’ll go with 3 stars on this one, since this category still needs some testing.
Another critical factor–because nobody wants to be waiting around too long for what is most likely their first meal of the day!
Like every other popular restaurant in the Nova area, there was already a crowd when we arrived around 11:30am. Fortunately, we are still able to take advantage of being a family of two, so we grabbed a few seats at the bar. Ted’s also offers call ahead seating, so that’s another plus in its favor. There were two bartenders, and they were both super friendly–they introduced themselves, got our names, and both of them made sure that we got whatever we needed. Plus, I got my own little carafe of decaf coffee, which I think is always a nice gesture so I don’t have to wait around for a refill. Service gets 4 stars–Matt felt like it wasn’t anything exceptional, and my meal wasn’t really served hot when it arrived.
And now, the best for last! The food was delicious–even though mine was not as hot as I wanted, I still cleaned that plate like it was my job. I ordered “Nana’s beer biscuits and sausage gravy,” and it has quickly overtaken Crackerbarrel as my favorite biscuits and gravy dish (no, seriously–I had yet to find some biscuits and gravy as good as Crackerbarrel). I think the beer biscuits took it over the top–soft and flavorful with just a touch of crunch on the outside.
Matt had the “Walk of Shame Burrito,” and I’m sure it tastes just as good when you’re hungover. I think this dish pushes past your average breakfast burrito by including short ribs as the meat, and adding in salsa verde (this gal will seriously lose her mind over anything with salsa verde).
We give the food four stars. Our comparison point is the Palace Cafe in New Orleans, where we had the best brunch of our lives. Although brunch at Ted’s was incredibly delicious, it did not equal or top Palace Cafe.
Not too shabby! I would definitely go back to Ted’s, and I really want to go for lunch/dinner sometime–they’ve got what promises to be a top notch grilled cheese sandwich!
Lastly…we’re super excited to announce that we started a new Instagram account, @NOVANoms! Be sure to follow along as we’ll be posting the best dishes we find around the Northern Virginia area. If you happen to dine in the region, tag us with #NOVANoms and we’ll feature your photo!
What do you all think of our brunch review? We are going to try to make this a regular thing, and hopefully once we are settled into our new “normal,” we can make this a monthly linkup!