Brunch at SER restaurant - Simple, Easy, and Real Good!
For me, brunch is all about indulgence – drinking mimosas, eating all morning, probably still recovering from being out a bit too late the previous night, things that are not part of my normal routine on a day that isn’t the weekend.
SER (which stands for Simple, Easy, Real), the neighborhood Spanish eatery in Ballston, absolutely fits the bill – indulgent, with classy food and a casual vibe. I previously wrote about my dinner experience at the restaurant, and recently went back for brunch, and came away impressed again.
The SER space is absolutely gorgeous – beautifully designed with pops of color in an expansive and open dining area. In the summer, the patio is probably one of the nicest places to sit out and enjoy a leisurely meal.
Chef Josu, who is one of the nicest people you will meet, has a brunch menu that is diverse and different – offering regional Spanish specialties.
Brunch starts with a brunch beverage, of course. Everyone loves a mimosa but at SER, they are not just your average brunch mimosa. Made with cava (obv), a variety of fresh fruit flavors are available, each with their own unique garnish of fruit or flowers. The pear mimosa with pear puree, and the blood orange version with fresh squeezed blood orange juice were my favorites.
ProTip: Roll into SER for brunch in your pajamas, and get a FREE mimosa! Easy!
The gazpacho Bloody Mary, made with gazpacho and garnished with an olive and a slice of iberico ham, is a serious cocktail. I loved it, but be warned that it has an intense garlic flavor and is a potent brunch drink! But you know, when in Rome right? Or in this case, Seville! I’ll take two, please.
On to the food. The menu has a number of breakfast-y and lunch-y options, most Spanish classics or with a Spanish twist. We started with croquetas – chicken and ham, and spinach. Perfectly crispy on the outside, intensely creamy on the inside, delicious all around!
The pisto machego – a vegetable stew with pine nuts and a poached egg is a light and tasty option. The pine nuts add great texture, the runny eggs brings everything together, and the vegetables are stewed lightly – I actually felt really good eating this - felt rich but not heavy!
The veruduras confitadas con ahumados - lightly sautéed vegetables with smoked halibut and salmon is another beautifully presented dish where the ingredients are the star performers. By this point, it is obvious that the chef is not just about the business of running a restaurant, but goes above and beyond in presenting quality ingredients and does what he truly believes in. We are truly lucky to have a wealth of chefs in the DC area who are so passionate about what they do.
Drum roll please, let’s talk about the razor clams. OMG if there is one dish I would want to eat every time, it is this. Beautiful seasonal razor clams with garlic, olive oil, and herbs – so freaking good. If you see them on the menu, get it! They are seasonal though, so are not going to be available all the time. I’ve been thinking about this dish time and again – it’s an absolutely knockout.
Other brunch options include eggs with Spanish potatoes and a choice of meat – serrano ham, blood sausage, steak, etc. Get the serrano ham and eat all the potatoes! I can’t complain when the eggs are cooked perfectly – this was a solid brunch dish that checks off all the usual brunch requirements.
The beef cheek is slow cooked and to prove it, I can say I did not need a knife to cut it. Don’t be afraid of this dish – it is not heavy or greasy, it is just plain delicious. I’m also not normally a huge fan of tuna, but the seared big eye tuna which also comes with confit vegetables and olive oil was a pleasant surprise. Beautifully cooked and super flavorful.
Other brunch options include a number of Spanish appetizers, meats and cheeses, and SER’s fantastic paella that can be shared in a group. If you do the pajama brunch, you get a choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $32. Remember to wear your pj’s to get a free mimosa, else you can get them by the glass or pitcher.
Finally, to wrap up our brunch feast with something sweet, we tried the custard cream and cookie, and the pineapple pastry. The custard cream is reminiscent of home – a comforting custard that is not overly sweet and a cookie to soak it all up.
The crispy pineapple with a hint of saffron was one of my favorite dishes – a nice play of textures and flavors, with crispy puff pastry, soft pineapple, and a cool ice cream. If you want to end the meal in true Spanish style, go for the churros and chocolate!
SER is a great place to take visitors or family for brunch when they are in town, or to check it out yourself with friends. It’s elegant and laid-back, and is a perfect spot for a leisurely brunch with high-quality food alongside.
To finish off your day in true Spanish style, head home for a siesta after brunch.
Check out the menus for SER here