Brunch. That elusive meal. Ever since moving to Bham Mr Foodie and I have been in search of that perfect brunch place. Ok, I know what you are going to say. We do love Over Easy because it’s possible to have a healthy meal there, and we’ve blogged about it here. Other blogworthy brunches that fill important niches are the Pancake House in 5 points (admittedly, it’s a chain, but woah, sourdough pancakes with chocolate chips….), and for lighter fare including TO DIE FOR crepes, Chez Lulu. We will write about those soon, I hope.

But, what if, let’s say, you are looking for a place to blow your caloric budget for the next week that serves more than just pancakes. And in order for you to do that, obviously, it has to be so food-gasmically good that you won’t feel (that) bad about it.

A few weekends ago, we were looking to do just that. Because this type of mission is much more fun with company, we enlisted a foodie friend who knows her major brunch food groups: eggs, meat, and things that pass as entrees but are essentially dessert.

I had heard about Big Bad Breakfast from a friend who told me that they make all their own preserves and cure their own meats in house, which sounded very legit. Also, we had heard that their first restaurant in Oxford, Mississippi was a huge success. As we pulled off of 280 and into the strip mall parking lot, we saw the packed parking lot and line out the door. A hopeful sign. Speaking of signs, we just thought this looked cool with the pretty summer sky so we took this shot:

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After a pleasant 45 minute wait (Mr Foodie ran a few errands-one benefit of eating in a strip mall-and I sat outside on a bench writing the Jasmine’s post), we entered. Wow, this place is beautiful.

As y’all prolly know I don’t take a lot of interior restaurant shots because I tend to get distracted by the food, but Mr Foodie insisted so here it is for your viewing pleasure:

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You can see right back into the kitchen too; I love how open the space is:

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And they sell a few goodies as well:

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We were seated by our extremely friendly server who helped us with the menu. She confirmed the rumor I had heard about the preserves and the meat, and walked us through why she loves virtually everything on the menu in a way that made me believe it. She even told us that she came back to eat at BBB on her day off – now that’s saying something.

So, we decided to go with one item from each food group. An omelette called the Cahaba Lilly (all I read was “fresh herbs” and I was in), pain perdu AKA French toast, and a plate of each of their delicious homemade meats. We made sure to order essentially one of each side dish: biscuits, potatoes, grits, etc.

Ok, let’s begin. First, they serve Octane coffee, which is smooth and delicious. Really good coffee is best served unadulterated, IMO. This was great.

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Then, the omelette. You can really tell how pretty this dish is from this view-served with an adorable flaky biscuit and crisp, light potatoes.

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Look at all the herbs:

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Now in glorious cross section. You can see the fresh dill, tomatoes, and Swiss cheese. I typically hate tomatoes in omelettes and had forgotten to ask for them to be left out but these were amazing-they made the omelette a little moister but not soggy, and the flavors blended perfectly with the rest of the ingredients. Aaaaah.

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Oh, this biscuit. Flaky, soft, buttery.

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Here she is all dressed up. Raspberry and peach preserves. Look at that color, and thickness-you can almost taste how bright and fruity and hearty they are.

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Here are the grits. Buttery and delicious, my friend, who is from the south so she has authority, proclaimed them to be excellent:

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Now the house cured meat. From upper left going clockwise: andouille sausage (spicy, smoky); pork sausage patties (mild and a little smoky); and chicken sausage (sweet). All absolutely outstanding.

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Because our arteries weren’t clogged enough, we also ordered bacon to go with our pain perdu. This bacon deserves it’s own blog post. They soak it in hot sauce at some point in the process so it’s spicy; it is also candied (?) and has a crispy, salty, and slightly sugary consistency. Our eyes rolled back in our heads as we ate it alongside the sweet, crispy, decadent pain perdu. I mean, there are no words.

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I have to say, we were quite a sight to see. First of all, we ordered a large portion of the breakfast menu offerings. Additionally, we were taking photo after photo and were so delighted that we lost all ability to be discreet. It was a bit of a spectacle. A very nice gentleman (manager? owner?) smiled at us and asked us if we were going to be putting them online somewhere to which I replied “maybe….” And here we are.

So sir, if you are reading this, I have only one complaint. You need a second location, downtown, so that I can visit you more often. And because downtown Bham is mad cool, people really appreciate quality ingredients (look at the success of El Barrio, John’s City Diner, Carrigans… the list goes on), and we don’t have anything quite like what you are doing. If you are wondering how busy you will be, check out the Pancake House line on a Sunday morning. Downtown Birmingham will literally eat you up.

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