It's not often that I make the trek to South Boston. It's not that the neighborhood is particularly far away, it's more that parking is a nightmare for non-residents, especially in the winter. You've all seen those space savers on the news. Southie residents do not mess around when it comes to their parking spots.
Despite my usual hesitancy to venture there, when I heard the team behind Sam's at Louis was opening a new spot in Southie I knew I had to check it out. The new restaurant is called The Maiden. If you share my dread when it comes to find parking, fear not! The restaurant is directly across the street from the Broadway T stop on the red line.
I went on a Sunday morning to meet a friend for brunch. The doors open at 11:30am on Sundays and were there at 11:30 on the dot!
I love The Maiden's window boxes which are decorated with oyster shells!
The hostess led us to a high table top right in the front windows. When the temperatures get up into the 70s and 80s, they will open the windows to the street.
Behind us was the bar area. There is a long L shaped bar and more high top tables behind.
We couldn't help but stare at the leafy patron in the corner.
When our waiter brought over the menus I immediately noticed the branding on the back side. I really dig this logo!
Of course I zeroed in on the cocktails. The Maiden offers a Bloody Mary (vodka) and a Bloody Maria (tequila). My kind of place!
After much deliberation I went with the traditional Bloody Mary. It came garnished with a green olive and two house-made pickles. Unfortunately the pickles tasted more like cucumber slices.
The brunch menu has seven entree choices, most savory and one sweet (the bread pudding French toast). My brunch date decided on the breakfast skillet which was a fried egg, bacon, honeyed cornbread, beans, rice and kale in an iron skillet.
We both fawned over the skillet presentation. After a few bites she said, "This really was delicious and was a huge portion. The cornbread was far and away the best part. It is drenched in honey and butter. I also appreciated that the rice and beans were really flavorful. Sometimes when you order rice and beans in a restaurant they are totally bland. The egg was also cooked perfectly, just runny enough to help coat everything in the skillet."
When the skillet arrived, my friend asked for some hot sauce. Our waiter brought her the restaurant's secret recipe and she doused the whole dish with it. When the waiter came back over, she suggested, "You guys should bottle this and sell it!"
I opted for the cheesy egg scramble which came with home fries and toast. The version on the menu is served with sausage, but when I asked if it could be made without, the waiter said, "Of course!" When he brought out the plate, he surprised me by replacing the sausage with dressed greens.
I really loved this entire dish. The cheese in the eggs made them taste nice and rich. They were excellent on the toast, which was grilled and had a light char. I also really enjoyed the tangy dressing on the side of greens. The home fries were a neon orange color (likely paprika) and had a great crisp to them.
I also noticed on the list of side dishes there was an option to order a biscuit. I felt I had to.
My favorite biscuit is at Sweet Cheeks Q by Fenway, but this was a close second! The biscuit was wonderfully buttery, had a nice firm exterior and a crumbly inside. Each bite was made even better my the generous sprinkling of salt over the top.
When our breakfast plates were cleared, our waiter asked if we had room for dessert. You know my answer is always "yes." He explained the two choices for the day were coconut cream cake with dulce de leche and a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. I mean, how do you even make that choice?
We agonized and then landed on the ice cream sandwich. The Maiden presents the sandwich with a true sense of occasion, sliced and standing up vertically on a beautiful wooden serving board.
The sandwich has clearly been made, then frozen, as the ice cream never moves out of place or begins to melt. The cookies tasted just like the recipe I've been making since I could reach the kitchen counter as a little kid. The couple next to us saw us eating this and then ordered one for themselves!
Stuffed and happy it was time to ask for the check. Our waiter brought over the bill with two adorable pins. So fun!
I had high expectations for The Maiden because I always adored Sam's and they totally rose to the occasion. For South Boston, the location is beyond perfect because it completely eliminates the parking problem. I love the open windows to the street and the cute touch of the oyster shells in the flower boxes. Both of our savory brunch dishes were stellar and the ice cream sandwich was a home run.
I'm already thinking about when I can go back!
If you still need more convincing, follow @TheMaidenBoston on Instagram. Warning: may cause drooling.