Have you ever stood in a gallery staring at an amazing piece of art, all the while wondering where the artist’s brain was? What was the thought process behind that bold stroke of crimson that feathers into a wisp of grey so soft it breaks your heart? I get that way about a poached egg.
Okay, so maybe there was a dash of hyperbole in the whole egg thing there. Truth be told though, I often wonder what inspires an amazing dish. What was it that compelled that first cook to wrap a jewel of honeydew in a salty ribbon of prosciutto? Brilliance often defies logic, but boy can it taste good.
Behind the brick facade of a historical storefront in the charming market place of downtown Annapolis, Maryland brilliance is in the baking, on the flat-top and in the fryer. Here Foodie Nirvana can be found on a brioche bun, slathered in garlic aoili, and topped with a poached egg.
After an afternoon of blissful indulgence in the form of crispy pork belly and fried green tomatoes, chicken fried to perfection then seated upon a pedestal of golden waffles and enrobed in velvety gravy that would earn my own granny a smack in the mouth, I had to know more about the artist (chef) behind this study in indulgence.
Kyle Algaze, is the genius behind Iron Rooster. The former General Manager of The Breakfast Shoppe, where he won many awards in the area including “best breakfast in the state of Maryland” as voted by Rachael Ray Magazine – Kyle balances life as the father of two with running a restaurant that elevates comfort food to an art form.
Kyle took a quick break from the handmade pop-tarts (no concrete masquerading as frosting here) to dish with me.
What is Scrapple anyway?! (Wait, do we want to know?)
Some things are better left unsaid, but we serve it crispy and let the guest do the rest. It is a VERY popular menu item. We call it Pennsylvania Caviar.
Note to self: Don’t ask for caviar in Philly.
How do you top your waffles?
With fried chicken and black pepper gravy, of course (Chicken and Waffles).
Cheeky Monkey, he knows I meant… how do you “out do” those pillows of perfection.
What food do you refuse to eat?
Ketchup….I don’t like to even touch it. Ironically, my son puts ketchup on everything…literally everything.
Your favorite cookbook, is?
Heritage by Sean Brock (Husk Restaurant in Charleston). It’s low country comfort food, and very thought provoking.
I failed to mention that I’m a cookbook hoarder and he’s just become an enabler with this one.
Best cocktail you’ve ever had? Go!
Angels & Demons at Level in Annapolis: (Herradura Silver tequila, St. Germain, micro cilantro, habanero pepper, lime, agave). The name says it all.
There are great vintage “family” photos on the wall in the women’s restroom, people you know?
No, we do not know any of the women pictured in the restrooms (the men’s room has pictures as well). But the building is haunted (it was built in 1906)…so you never know if they come out at night.
Thanks Kyle… now back in the kitchen!
Here is my take. Is it worth it to make a trek into Annapolis if you live in DC? Yes. Does traffic and parking in the area suck? Also, yes. If you’re visiting Annapolis from out of town should you go anywhere else for brunch? NO!
You’ll find Iron Rooster at, 12 Market Space, Annapolis, Maryland. The price-point runs from about $9-$15. They have an amazing mixology menu as well as great options for kids – I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive. I like a cocktail with my PBJ. Wait, that may not have been my point.
Though the place is often busy, it never seems cramped and the staff is always welcoming. I suggest making a reservation though. See if you can get seated upstairs, the view is almost as incredible as the Red Velvet Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich.