The Mockingbird is an elevated diner serving unique comfort food with an international twist.
The Mockingbird truly has it all. The food is rave-worthy, the cocktails are creative, and the fun decor serves as a perfect photo backdrop for a fun experience. I’ve been a longtime fan of The Mockingbird, but its well-deserved popularity has sometimes deterred me from visiting because I can be a last-minute kind of gal. I found myself in such a predicament on a Sunday morning while craving brunch with a friend. They didn’t have reservations online, but we decided to risk it and show up right when they opened to test our luck. There was a line at 10:30 a.m., but we made our way to the host stand after a five-minute wait and meekly asked if they had room for two on the patio. We should have grabbed a lottery ticket after because not only were they able to seat us, but they also had room outdoors. The day was glorious — one a songwriter would wax poetic about — so we said thanks to the universe and were seated at a perfect corner table under an umbrella.
I was feeling a little salty, so I ordered the Bloody Thirsty with vodka. It is a flawlessly executed bloody mary with a lemon forward kick and a flavored salt rim. My friend had the Church Punch, which is only available on the brunch menu. Now, the Church Punch is something special. Do you remember going to church or a community event where the organizers would put sorbet with ginger ale in a punch bowl with a ladle? OK, good. Now, picture it with vodka inside. Genius, yes? I’m happy to report it is just as good as it sounds.
The cocktails were slightly easier than deciding on food, but we were up for a challenge. The chef is a pastry master, so we decided to order two pastries to share. For a savory option, we had Da’ Bomb, which is an everything bagel stuffed with cream cheese and zucchini bread with honey whipped butter and walnuts. Both were solid choices. The bagels came with four servings, which may have been more than we needed, but there are no rules at brunch. While we loved the soft and delicious bagels, the zucchini bread with honey butter and flaky salt blew us away. It was not too sweet or rich, and it is what dreams are made of.
Our entrée selection was exceedingly difficult as well, but we decided on the Hot Brown, an open-faced sandwich that consisted of tomato, turkey, fried egg, bacon, and a covering of a slightly spicy cheese sauce. My friend ordered plantain and pork hash, which was the ideal blend of sweet and spicy thanks to the Fresno peppers. Both dishes were substantial portions and we had filled up on our pre-meal carbs, so we barely put a dent in our entrées. What The Mockingbird excels at is taking a traditional dish, such as hot brown or fried chicken, and adding a pop of spice or flair that undoubtedly sets it apart. Everything they do is fun, delicious, and bursting with creativity.
I would be remiss if I did not highlight their genius invention of The Punching Bag: a frequently changing, seasonal homemade punch that you can add to your choice of spirit (or keep it virgin if you are abstaining). On our visit, I sampled the lemon lavender plus vodka, which was refreshing and great to sip outside.
The Mockingbird is a pure delight. Their menu is exciting, creative, and shines in that glorious brunch-time light