Brunch at Thirty 7 North
Thirty 7 North Restaurant in Virginia Beach
Blackened shrimp, blue cheese stuffed olives...and candied bacon, oh my! Nestled in the Shore Drive area is Thirty 7 North hosting a true farm to table experience. With the bay on either side of the restaurant, the salty air sets the tone for the refreshing food to come. Their menu often reflects what is currently growing in their farm located in Virginia Beach. Our server was well-versed in the menu and the restaurant's history all while presenting in an invigorating, tasteful approach that made us feel right at home. While their regular menu might be reserved for more special occasions, their brunch is reasonably priced and exceptionally tasty.
If not grown on their farm or made in house, Thirty 7 North partners with Coastal Virginia’s local farmers as well as neighboring South Carolina and their Geechie Boy's grits. Grits are never on the top of my list when it comes to brunch decisions because of their flavorless, oozing consistency, but little did I know all of my grit opinions were about to be wrecked. Our server told us they were simply "done right", and they're one of the few mills that continues to process grits the traditional way. Convinced, I confidently placed my order.
My mother-in-law and I agreed on shrimp and grits. My husband thought he wanted the Eggs 37 complete with crawfish and bacondaise (their take on Eggs Benedict), but after hearing of their in-house corned beef hash he made a beeline for what he used to enjoy out of a can. Unashamed, he ordered the corned beef hash with sunny-side eggs on top, and my father-in-law opted for a simpler meal and went the eggs and house bacon route.
Twenty minutes and one spoonful of grits later, I found myself entranced with a dense, creamy, almost like thick oatmeal, pile 'o grits. The crispy blackened shrimp was wonderfully offset by the grits and the tangy tomatillo relish tossed throughout the dish. Though the eggs and bacon seemed less creative than the other options, my father-in-law was more than pleased with his choice. Who wouldn’t be with quarter inch-thick house bacon? My husband didn't speak during his meal which basically meant it was too tasty to even comment. I jabbed my fork over a couple times to find tender, hefty cuts of corned beef mingling with potatoes. The runny eggs brought this manly meal to completion.
Intrigued at their Bloody Mary bar, we were excited to find out about their house vodkas. They infuse vodka with diverse ingredients such as peppercorn, lemon, pepperoncini, orange-thyme and jalapeño. Without hesitation I chose jalapeño and headed to the bar to handpick the ingredients for my cocktail. Their barrel-aged Bloody Mary mix acquired a perfect balance of pepper and tomato, which is a mark often missed by other Bloody Mary mixes I’ve had.
As if the infused vodka wasn’t enough to spruce up this beloved cocktail, more than a dozen mix-ins fanned across the bar: candied bacon stuffed olives, blue cheese stuffed olives, house bacon stuffed olives, pickled asparagus, mint leaves, celery salt, Old Bay, Worcestershire, hot sauces, infused olive oils, curried pickled cauliflower, pickled sweet potato strings, quickles (quick pickles), celery, mustard seeds and whole chives. After first mistaking the chives and attached flower as a decoration, the most quirky mix-in was the chive flower. "Oh, and you can eat the flower," the bartender added. The flower punched with a spiciness that I can only equate to a smidgen of wasabi as it left a lingering sting. The actual chive stem tasted less punchy but spicy nonetheless. Needless to say, the Bloody Mary spread was an absolute treat.
From start to finish, Thirty 7 North was delightful across the board—in service, presentation and most importantly the use of both creative and local ingredients. Since brunch is my weekend-defining activity, Thirty 7 North is the ultimate place to chow down before a lazy Sunday.