Spring menu, 10th anniversary for Baltimore’s Miss Shirley’s [classic article]

Tamar Alexia Fleishman, Esq.

It’s Miss Shirley’s 10th anniversary and the celebration involves food, glorious food! There are seasonal classics being brought back for a limited time, so now’s the time to check out the spring offerings. I was happy to be hosted to experience it.

Miss Shirley’s is a place that considers the breakfast/brunch cocktail an essential part of all the fun! There are several well-conceived types of drinks, with a couple of seasonal specials. Southern Ruby Crush has Deep Eddy Ruby Red vodka, Triple Sec, a splash of club soda and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice with pulp, garnished with a grapefruit slice and mint, raw sugar salt rim. This is a tangy-sour, refreshing drink. It won’t interfere with any of the food flavors in your meal. It’s served in a glass jar with handle.

Strawberry Lemonade Mojito has Deep Eddy Citrus vodka, muddled fresh strawberries and mint leaves with simple syrup, fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade, fresh lime juice, garnished with a lime wedge, strawberry slice and mint, sugar rim. This is a sweeter drink than the Crush, but not overly sweet. Think more like super-ripe fruit. The herbs and mix of fruits add complexity to the cocktail.

One of the starters I tried came highly recommended, the Southern Grit Fritters. I’ll admit, I didn’t consider them at first, because I thought they would be different from what they are: I thought maybe they’d be huge, overwhelming, maybe heavily sauced. They are delicate little balls, topped with herbs, perfect for sharing.

A new take on deviled eggs is BBQ Deviled Eggs: pulled BBQ Chicken and Southern coleslaw with toasted almonds, garnished with Baltimore BBQ Co. Chesapeake Sauce, dusted with Cajun spice. This is a rich starter that could make a decent brunch on its own.

People love breakfast breads and Miss Shirley’s has a new twist on a traditional Southern fave: Benne Seed, Corn and Jalapeño Biscuits served with peach-jalapeño jam. They’re crunchy on the outside, substantial inside . . . very satisfying.

Here’s something for the season, a taste of Baltimore: Orioles M & M pancakes! You can get them in stacks of 2 or 4: big, tender, rich chocolate chip pancakes with custom Orioles M & M’s.

So, what’s one of the dishes back from memory lane? Breakfast Kabobs with Andouille sausage, applewood-smoked bacon, sweet potatoes, Granny Smith apples, yellow grape tomatoes, Vidalia onions and peppadews with mango drizzle, dusted with Cajun spice and served with mixed greens. It’s got a flavor profile that runs the gamut from sweet to savory, spicy to tangy. If you’re all dressed up, maybe coming from church, it’s neat eating without sauce. It’s also easy to share, served on two skewers.

Here’s a house specialty item that’s a twist on an old Southern favorite: Benne Seed Chicken ‘N Waffles, made with fried boneless breast of chicken pieces and a honey mustard aioli drizzle on Cheddar green onion waffles with Peppadew-Jalapeño butter, dusted with Cajun spice. The pieces make it so you’re not gnawing off bones in polite company. It goes in a different flavor profile direction than the traditional chicken and waffles served with honey or syrup, a touch of salt — but it totally works! Peppadews have a touch of sweetness. If you go more for savory things (like I do), you’ll really favor this version.

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