September 23, 2021

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Foodies welcome

Brunchaholics, a pop-up that sells ‘over the top’ soul food, to open permanent Dallas restaurant

Brunchaholics owner Jessie Washington plans to open a permanent brunch-themed restaurant in Dallas in late 2021 after serving his popular soul-food burritos and shrimp and grits at pop-ups around Dallas for three years.

Washington got an early jolt for his business when Food Network declared that his Southern-style burrito — stuffed with catfish, mac and cheese and collard greens — was among “the most over-the-top burritos in the country” in early 2019. Indeed it is: The dish is quite a sight.

At the time, Brunchaholics’ burrito was available only at the Dallas Farmers Market on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Customers would line up an hour early for his food, often blocking the other vendors.

“It was crazy,” he says. “I think it definitely legitimized what I was selling.”

He’s a self-taught chef with no investors, and he stuck to the plan, serving his Southern food on weekends only until the coronavirus pandemic shut it down. Washington then wrote a cookbook in 2020. And he pivoted to pop-ups, where lines were still down the block despite the health crisis.

That’s a theme here: Brunchaholics fans seem happy to wait for Washington’s food.

The last opportunity for foodies to get in line was when Washington served brunch at Soirée Coffee Bar in West Dallas from late 2020 to June 2021. The shrimp and grits were especially good, reported special contributor Dalila Thomas Brent.

Washington then secured a lease at 5014 Ross Ave., as reported by The Advocate. It’s the former Back Home Barbecue and will be Washington’s first permanent restaurant.

Given the name Brunchaholics — which originally came from a blog Washington started back in 2015 — his restaurant will be open at brunch time on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, starting at 11 a.m. He’s also going to try selling brunch food at dinnertime.

“I love breakfast food and, as a kid, I always wanted breakfast for dinner,” he says. As an adult, he loves mimosas, and they’ll be available all day.

Of course, his soul-food burrito will make the menu at Brunchaholics. Other dishes will include a “crabby patty,” or a waffle with a crab cake on top, smothered in red pepper cream sauce; plus more typical breakfast fare like pancakes, French toast, bacon and sausage.

The restaurant already has a drive-through, which will allow him to send soul-food burritos out the door more quickly. It also has a patio.

Washington is aiming to open the restaurant on Nov. 27, 2021. That’s the date he was fired from a job working in injury claims at State Farm three years ago, he says. He got caught spending too much work time shopping and prepping for his budding brunch business.

He laughs now, looking back on that time.

“I’m going to pursue this food thing and see if it’s really for me,” he says.

Brunchaholics will be at 5014 Ross Ave., Dallas. It’s expected to open in late 2021.

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.