What’s new at Baltimore’s Miss Shirley’s? [classic article]

What’s new at Baltimore’s Miss Shirley’s? Credit: Tamar Alexia Fleishman, Esq.

Just in time for one of the biggest Sunday brunch weeks of the year — Mother’s Day — Miss Shirley’s in Baltimore has a bunch of great changes. Don’t worry! All your faves are intact. You can read more details about the restaurant here. I’m glad I got to check out the changes.

They have expanded their Alonzoville location, spreading out the tables and adding more seating, including some on the patio. This may relieve some of the lines to wait somewhat, but Miss Shirley’s remains so popular, they could probably take over the whole block and fill up seats.

Lots of seaside Southern restaurants claim to have invented the Crush cocktail. Miss Shirley’s doesn’t claim to have thought it up, but theirs may be the best: it’s fresh-squeezed orange juice with pulp and passionfruit vodka, garnished with orange, strawberry and mint, with a sugar rim. It’s got a fresh and slightly sweet flavor, very refreshing for the morning or late afternoon.

Miss Shirley’s has new menu items for Spring/Summer, including traditional vegetable crab soup (Maryland crab soup): beef and crab stock, lump crab meat, roasted corn, greem beans, stewed tomatoes and Old Bay. It may be one of the finestcrab soups available. It’s got a rich flavor from the beef stock, a little heat and a large, succulent crab claw in the bowl.

The Dixie Sampler is a classic item on their menu, but still fun any time of year. The appetizer is fried pickles, fried okra and fried peppadews with dill garlic sour cream, dusted with Old Bay. The dill sauce is rich and thick. The peppadews are sweet, but not too hot. The pickles — usually spears at other places — are in cute, bread-and-butter slices, but have all of the dill flavor punch of traditional spears. Okra when fried gives you all of the hearty veggie flavor, but with none of the slime.

A new entree is the soft shell “BLT” Benedict. It has poached eggs, cornmeal-encrusted soft shell crab, red and yellow tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, applewood-smoked bacon on sourdough rounds with Old Bay Hollendaise sauce. The eggs are gorgeously poached to medium. The cornmeal crust makes for a crunchy crust on the crab, a very seasonal local seafood. The sauce is tangy and adds richness to the crunchy, meaty seafood. The whole shebang is garnished with mache’ and fresh minced chives for even more flavor nuances.

Another seasonal entree just rolled out is under the life is short, eat dessert theory: Key lime cheesecake-stuffed French toast. It’s Key lime cream cheese with whipped cream and Graham cracker crumbs, dipped in an almond scented egg mix, drizzled with Key lime syrup and dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon. It’s a very creamy filling, and provides a flavor change of pace from their signature coconut French toast. It’s quite a decadent breakfast. Maybe they can combine the two! Y’know. . .you take the lime and the coconut and mix them all up. . .

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