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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. 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.

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

      1. 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

          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

            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. 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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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 ;)

            2. 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

                I second Old Hickory Grille. Great stoneground grits.