Crispy Comfort

Dyron’s Sunday Brunch boasts fried and true favorites.

By Jan Walsh

You won’t find a better brunch than Dyron’s Lowcountry. The menu changes frequently, typically each Sunday. But its style never does. There is usually a farm egg omelet, Southern style big breakfast, French toast or pancakes, gumbo, steak or short rib, biscuits, beignets, and their fried dishes: oysters, chicken, crab claws, and fish.

We start with brunch cocktails of a beautiful Bloody Mary and a magnificent Mimosa. Oranges are not my thing. So, I never touch mimosas… Why would I add orange juice to perfectly good cava? Yet it is not orange juice in Dyron’s Mimosas. It is the freshly, hand squeezed juice of oranges. One taste and Kev declares his mimosa to be the best he ever had. Effervescence rises to the top as its pulp settles to the bottom of the glass. So, I curiously taste his, instantly agree, and order one of my own freshly squeezed Mimosas. It is a lovely balance of the juice of a fresh orange and the sparkling wine. Highly recommended!

Today we are craving our favorite fried dishes. So, the drinks are paired with Fried Crab Claws and House Made Buttermilk Biscuits. We dip the delicate, meaty claws in the house made cocktail sauce and happily devour them. The biscuits are small and tall, sturdy and fluffy, white inside and golden atop. As we cut in half and slather with butter, tiny, tasty crumbs crumble onto the plate. To each their own… Kev fills his with peach preserves, and I drizzle mine with BDA raw honey. And as we fork our last bites, even those tiny crumbles do not go to waste.

For entrees, we keep the fryer hot. Kev orders Dyron’s famous Joyce Farms Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Two extra pieces are ordered to take home because we always have chicken with Dyron’s biscuit on Monday morning after Sunday brunch here. And I select the Fried Gulf Snapper. Keeping our own stash of Joyce Farms chicken at home, we are always excited to find it on restaurant menus. “It’s all about the taste,” Kev says. And that is just what Joyce Farms breeds for—flavor. “The chicken also maintains its moisture and the crust is crisp but not too thick.” The golden crust cuts easily, as does the white meat inside, with no air pocket between. Better than your grandmother’s! The only thing that can make it better for him is Dyron’s creamy smooth, buttery mashed potatoes. Sometimes he orders double potatoes. Today earthy market field peas and a gorgeous Conecuh sausage gravy round out this delicious dish. Dyron’s fried chicken is so popular that it is also found on the dinner menu.

My snapper arrives floating on a pool of gribiche, rather than on top of the fish. This makes a perfect presentation as sauce not only glues the fish in place to the plate, the gribiche also coats the tongue side of the fish’s crust with its the pickily, eggy goodness. The first cut shows the glistening, delicate white fish inside. The first bite speaks “fresh from the coast” with its mild sweetness and delicate nutty flavors. And these chunky wedges of fried potatoes have become my thing lately. The wedges are sliced radially around the potato into a polyhedron shape—two triangles and three trapezoid faces. Each potato wedge is crisp on the outside and full of fluffy texture on the inside. Given their generous size, I always think there will be a couple left to go home with us, but this never happens. What would a fish fry be without coleslaw? Dyron’s crunchy coleslaw is delightful, adding color, creaminess, and acidity to the plate.

Dyron’s Lowcountry is one of the very best restaurants in the greater Birmingham area. Both a neighborhood favorite and well worth the drive for out-of-towners. I suggest you make reservations.

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