Nothing Bad About Breakfast at BBB
Big Bad Breakfast, a new restaurant courtesy of James Beard Award-winning chef John Currence, appeared in the Inverness-area down 280 in early June. Because my husband makes that long trek from downtown B’ham to Chelsea every day, he spotted its presence and made a quick mental note. We are certainly not breakfast people, though. We’re brunch lovers through and through, but as two childless humans who love sleeping in that extra ten minutes, we are admittedly not great about grabbing a little something to break the fast. Monday morning this week, though, we found ourselves awake at a rare hour. In an effort to make Monday a little more palatable, we opted to try this new breakfast spot.
Let me tell you, Big Bad Breakfast is worth every second of missed sleep. Even better? You don’t have to actually give up those extra winks because they serve their Deep South deliciousness all. Day. Long.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with where all great epicurean love stories start: With bacon. At Big Bad Breakfast, this stuff is house-cured in Tabasco and what I can only describe as a whole bunch of other awesomeness. It’s the perfect thickness, not at all rubbery but not crispy fried either, and presents just a tinge of heat at the end of each bite. Savor it by chewing slowly lest you’ll be forced to order a second side of it. (And, hey, that’s ok too. No judgment here.)
The life partner ordered the Cathead ($7.00), a better-than-momma-made-it buttermilk biscuit with patty sausage and cheddar cheese. This was a massive biscuit chock-full of sage-y sausage-y goodness. He got it with a side of some of the stickiest, most flavorful peach jam either of us had ever tasted, and that stuff really highlighted the buttery saltiness of the biscuit. The dish comes with hash browns or grits, and being the good Bama-bred boy he is, he (smartly) ordered the grits. They were nice and thick, brimming from the top of a little side serving bowl. Plenty of butter and a note of a peppery kick with each mouthful. His order made me wish I didn’t swear off carbs all those years ago, and we both agreed the Cathead from BBB would most certainly make the first course of our last meal if we ever found ourselves on Death Row.
I, as a fitness instructor, would’ve been remiss had I not ordered the Big Lean Breakfast Plate ($8.50) with chicken sausage, marinated sliced tomato, and a side of fruit. It’s supposed to come with egg whites or Egg Beaters, but I’m all about full-force protein so I went for regular eggs served over-easy. If I could name a restaurant that actually gets a solid portion of nutritious, calorie-responsible breakfast items just right, Big Bad Breakfast would be it. In fact, it is it. The chicken sausage was in link form and tasted wonderfully meaty with solid spices. To be honest, it didn’t taste healthy (read: like cardboard), therefore I loved it and even opted to share a little with the husband in exchange for bites of both his biscuit and grits (because I’m a master negotiator). The marinated sliced tomatoes were yet another unexpected surprise. They were vibrantly red and ripe. I couldn’t detect precisely what the marinade contained beyond some coarse black pepper and perhaps a bit of oil, but whatever it was really drew out the juiciness of the tomato. I rubbed it all up in the busted yolks of my eggs and congratulated myself on my healthy, awesome order.
The service was exceptional. No, wait—better than that: It was ideal. Our server was a wonderfully attentive woman who gave us some backstory on the restaurant and never walked by our table without checking to make sure everything came out perfectly. My coffee cup stayed filled with Octane’s special BBB blend, a robust balance of earthy and smooth, and she even graciously provided me with a full to- go cup for my journey from 280 back to downtown Birmingham.
Fun facts: Pork belly is ALL OVER THIS MENU. It’s on platters and quesadillas and you can even get it as a side item if you’re feeling adventurous (or just particularly hungry). Also, BBB serves a breakfast margarita (which is probably the best idea I’ve ever heard) along with beer, tap wine (who knew?!), and breakfast cocktail classics like mimosas and bloody marys. I’m going to confess that I’ll be spending Sunday brunch this week partaking in one (if not all) of the above. I recommend you do the same. Big Bad Breakfast is located at 5361 U.S. 280 behind the Krispy Kreme.