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Scriever Aug 16, 2008 09:36 AM

I'm a sucker for good grits. The best I've yet encountered were at a brunch spot called Sunday's in Midlothian, south of Richmond. They served up some mean cheese grits when I went (mildly garlicky with a blend of cheeses and heavy cream, spiced up with black pepper and a touch of cayenne). Looking for a good source a little closer to home, though; Arlington/DC/PG/Montgomery/Southern MD. I get around.

Can anybody suggest a breakfast joint known for good grits? Or any other spot known for creative execution?

As reference, I've had decent cheese grits at Luna Grill in Shirlington (very smooth & cream cheesy) and locavore vogue grits at Food Matters in Alexandria (very coarse yellow meal grits with a mild bite of pepper, though a touch bland). Carlyle, near Luna, also served up some tasty grits as part of a dinner plate (creamy grits formed into a brick and given a pan-seared crust; tasty, though a little too pricey for a frequent fix).

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  1. ktmoomau Aug 16, 2008 03:48 PM

    Blue Duck Tavern has the best I have had in this area, not a cheap restaurant, but if you go the grits are great, I don't know if they have them for brunch, I have them as a side with dinner. The grits at Tallula/Eat Bar are good cheese grits too, they have them for brunch at Tallula, and dinner at Eat Bar.

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      Elyssa Aug 16, 2008 04:35 PM

      Georgia Brown's popular brunch buffet offers up some delicious grits....among other yummy and fattening Southern foods.

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        sam21479 Aug 16, 2008 05:41 PM

        Del Merei Grille on the outskirts of Del Ray have fantastic garlic cheese grits. They are available in both the bar and restaurant.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sam21479
          Scriever Oct 23, 2008 03:15 PM

          Finally tried Del Merei for the first time. I agree. Their garlic cheese grits are delicious, with just enough bite to make them interesting. The tastes of shrimp & grits I stole off my girlfriend's plate were excellent. Though without the shrimp dish's sauce my own side dish of grits was a bit too firm for my taste.

          I'll certainly be back.

          A note on Food Matters: Their simple grits aren't as mouth-watering a notion as Miss Shirley's (time to travel), but I think I might be a convert to the larger grain coarse yellow cornmeal. On one return trip the grits were a perfectly salt-and-pepper seasoned approximation of risotto, and even the less accomplished batches have made for great Georgia ice cream.

          1. re: Scriever
            alkapal Oct 27, 2008 04:54 AM

            just got some bob's red mill yellow polenta -- also billed on the label as grits. may fit your craving for the coarser, yellow ice cream. got it at harris teeter.

        2. e
          EatOrGoToYourRoom Aug 16, 2008 08:21 PM

          Southside 815 has cheese grits that are usually very good.

          Burger Delite, a small breakfast and lunch spot on Picket St. in Alexandria, has good basic grits.

          And I've actually had good grits at IHOP, I kid you not. But of course I butter and salt them to my taste.

          6 Replies
          1. re: EatOrGoToYourRoom
            rpb Aug 17, 2008 08:53 AM

            Well, that's most of the fun of grits, isn't it? If you can't doctor them up to your liking, whether they be of the sweet or savory variety, it's no fun for me. While I appreciate a great grits dish straight from the kitchen, I much prefer to get a breakfast plate with eggs over easy, bacon & grits and make my own delicious mashed up plate. I could recommend some great jalapeno, smoked gouda & bacon grits here in Baltimore, but I don't know of anywhere down in DC.

            1. re: rpb
              Scriever Aug 19, 2008 06:02 AM

              Wow. Please tell me more. I like Baltimore.

              Sweet grits? Sounds like anathema, though I've heard rumor that northeasterners take 'em sweet. The closest I've tried was a pretty horrible grit-like experience in Ohio. Apparently "fried mush" is the thing there. It's some strange corn log that's basically veggie scrapple, squeezed out of a sausage tube and fried in what is presumably its own grease then served with maple syrup.


              I can see the appeal of IHOP. Well-made diner grits dolled up with a little salt, pepper and butter and topped with an over easy egg makes for happy road food.

              1. re: Scriever
                igrowveggies Sep 25, 2008 09:09 AM

                In Baltimore I recommend either Paper Moon Diner, which is up around 29th St, or Metropolitan, which is on S. Charles St and should be re-opening very soon.

                1. re: igrowveggies
                  ILoveBacon Sep 25, 2008 09:37 AM

                  For the best grits in Baltimore, I vote for Miss Shirley's on Cold Spring Lane. Their Savory Grits with heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, chives, applewood-smoked bacon & tomatoes is to die for. Which, incidentally, you probably would if you ate it on a regular basis.

                  1. re: ILoveBacon
                    GalwayGirl Sep 27, 2008 05:35 PM

                    My DH would definitely second this recommendation! he loves the grists at Miss Shirley's - we just have to make sure we don't go there too often ;)

                    1. re: ILoveBacon
                      Scriever Oct 23, 2008 02:40 PM

                      I'm there.

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              bacchante Aug 22, 2008 01:53 PM

              You might try Old Hickory Grille in Loehman's Plaza on Arlington Blvd in Falls Church. A friend who grew up in Charleston S.C. swears by them. I think they're good, but then I'm from Indiana.

              I don't think they are open for breakfast, though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bacchante
                Steve Oct 24, 2008 06:33 PM

                I second Old Hickory Grille. Great stoneground grits.

              2. monkeyrotica Sep 25, 2008 09:03 AM

                You can get a plate of em with vanilla molasses and Benton bacon bits for $12 at Art and Soul. I've never tried them and probably never will.


                Art & Soul
                225 Pennsylvania Ave SE # 1, Washington, DC

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                  AlliantK Sep 28, 2008 01:27 PM

                  I like the grits at OpenCity in Cleveland Park. They have a great breakfast/brunch menu!

                  Although, the best grits I've ever had is at a place called 'Egg' in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Yes, Brooklyn...they also have great candied bacon!

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                    flavrmeistr Oct 24, 2008 09:10 AM

                    I like my grits plain and un-adorned. I usually have good luck with Waffle House. Any Waffle House. I like the shrimp grits at Georgia Brown, but 15 bucks is a little steep for a dab of grits and a few shrimp.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: flavrmeistr
                      Steve Oct 24, 2008 06:36 PM

                      I agree. For me, the gussied up stuff with cheese and garlic is overkill.

                      1. re: flavrmeistr
                        monkeyrotica Oct 25, 2008 04:27 AM

                        I'm always seeing shrimp and grits being sold as a dab of grits and a few shrimp, maybe some pretentious sauce as well. Does anybody around here just take cold grits, cut them into triangles, and deep fry them? That's how I've always had shrimp and grits; I love the crispy grit crust and the smooth warm center. It's the same way I like my scrapple.

                        1. re: monkeyrotica
                          FoodieGrrl Oct 25, 2008 10:28 PM

                          Closest I've seen to that is at Coastal Flats. I don't know that I've ever had "authentic" shrimp and grits, but the Coastal Flats version is amazing.

                          1. re: monkeyrotica
                            aaronsinger Oct 26, 2008 01:01 AM

                            Sounds like how I like my polenta, which is basically the same thing [mamaliga, mmm]

                            1. re: monkeyrotica
                              alkapal Oct 27, 2008 04:57 AM

                              my mom does that, but uses a glass to form the cold grits so the roll can be sliced in rounds, then pan-fried in bacon grease. the fried grits patties are even better than the hot grits the first time around, fo-shizzle!

                              1. re: monkeyrotica
                                flavrmeistr Nov 5, 2008 09:22 AM

                                You bet. Fried in bacon or ham grease. Another excellent variation on the shrimp-for-breakfast theme is the shrimp and scrambled eggs at Joe's Noodle House. Not sure what they might do with grits, but I bet it would be delicious.

                              2. re: flavrmeistr
                                alkapal Oct 27, 2008 05:01 AM

                                waffle house does have good grits -- with texture. tried to buy some in bulk from a wh once -- they wouldn't sell me any. ;-(

                                too bad there aren't any waffle houses close by. it is always a little head trip to go in any one of them. for a chain, i have never seen so much "local color" in each unique location. each is a little microcosm of the community -- quite interesting as you travel south on 95 from here to florida!

                                1. re: alkapal
                                  flavrmeistr Nov 5, 2008 09:16 AM

                                  We are blessed with 3 Waffle Houses in Frederick, MD. One features a burly transvestite night manager named Charlene, who keeps the kids at the grill on their toes. Charlene hails from (where else?) Baltimore.

                                  1. re: flavrmeistr
                                    alkapal Nov 6, 2008 04:34 AM

                                    that is too funny. you know, i am going to start a thread about the waffle house "characters"!!

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