When we spoke to chef Suki Otsuki after she took over Meddlesome Moth, she was confident about a few things, one of them being: This Design District spot needs brunch.
And brunch it now has.
Along with those seemingly countless beers on tap, there’s a menu that looks enticing. Reading through the descriptions, you can get amped up about what comes out; but when it does, it might fall under the weight of those raised expectations.
Take the Nashville hot devils: cage-free eggs, whipped filling (vague), spiced chicken skins and hot sauce ($11). What comes out are simple deviled eggs with basically a crumb of skin. The presentation doesn’t make you want one, and the flavor doesn’t make you want two. You won’t spit it out or anything, but you will wonder what the point is.
The biscuits and sausage gravy ($7) drew a split review at our table. The large, square biscuits are dense, but not hard: Those of us who like the bread to have a little somethin’ to hold up a real gravy are fine with this. For those who want a fluffy, flaky biscuit, you’ll be disappointed. The gravy is just fine, properly seasoned, at least.
A special on the chalkboard called to us: a Frito chili pie omelette ($15). It’s what it sounds like, and somehow, the chili, cheddar and egg combo works — and somehow, the magic of those corn chips keeps them crisp.
Back to the regular menu, the beef cheek hash had multiple people at our table wanting to order it ($16). Braised beef cheek, caramelized onions and shishito peppers come topped with two eggs. Beef cheek is usually wonderfully full of flavor and plenty of fat. This one came out extremely greasy, as if it were cooked in fat then a skillet was simply dumped into the bowl, drippings (and then some) and all, along with the meat.
Despite its name, the mother and child reunion was a better choice ($16). A crispy chicken breast has nice breading, one that falls off easily from the meat, and is topped with two perfectly poached eggs. Below are homestead grits — so dry and firm that we were surprised they made it out of the kitchen — and jalapeño gravy that complemented fried chicken well.
The bloody mary is well made, especially because anything that gets the Moth’s pickled okra is instantly phenomenal.
Of course brunch is somewhat new here, as we know because the PR rep told us and there are plenty of kinks to work out.
As she said, this is the perfect spot for brunch. Many of us love the Moth for good reason: an excellent beer list and plenty of good meals at other times of day (including mussels we can’t get enough of). Once brunch starts tasting as good as the menu makes it seem, we'll be more excited to go there for morning hours.
Meddlesome Moth, 1621 Oak Lawn Ave. (Design District). Brunch served 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.