Friday, June 10, 2011
Restaurant review: Buttons Restaurant in Addison
Be sure to plan time for a nap after your trip to Buttons, as you'll be in a food coma.
It may not be good for you, but this is soul food. And let's be honest: You've gotta take care of your soul.
My first taste of Buttons Restaurant came straight from The Man himself. At a party last weekend, owner Keith Hicks stepped down from the tower of restaurant stardom to personally greet us. With his long gray beard, black mustache, and glistening bald head, he's a startling sight ... until he laughs jovially and hands you a chicken wing.
"These are fried chicken wings dusted with a Jamaican jerk seasoning and served with chipotle bleu cheese dressing, and a little watermelon to cleanse the palate," he said, handing out three plates of the stuff.
As our souls were clearly not sated with one chicken wing, we were back the next morning for the popular Sunday brunch. Though the atmosphere is classy here — with dim lighting and funky wall decor — this is the ultimate come-as-you-are joint, with everything from the just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-hungry-for-grits crowd to cheery folks in their Sunday best (with flamboyant hats worthy of the royal wedding). After all, who ever said you needed a white tablecloth or three-piece suit to chow down on collard greens?
The brunch buffet will take you from breakfast to lunch and back again—as many times as you can make it back for another plate. Traditional items like an omelet bar and French toast are can't-misses. Or fill up on made-from-scratch biscuits (you can taste the "scratch"!) and gravy ("serious gravy, not fuckaround gravy"). If you've got it in you for a third or fourth (or fifth) round, there's plenty more feel-good food down the line, from collard greens and mac 'n' cheese to chicken wings and fried catfish.
This brings me to Buttons' most famous dish, which isn't on the buffet but the a la carte menu. It's a sure bet that any place reputed for its chicken & waffles isn't messing around when it comes to soul food. Here, you get bone-in fried chicken and a homemade Belgian waffle topped with blueberry-infused butter and fresh berry compote, piled high with sweet potato pomme frites. Like I said—not messing around.
"Are chicken and waffles considered breakfast or lunch?" I wondered.
"Well, there's syrup. I'm gonna say breakfast."
If you come to Buttons outside of the brunch rush, you can check out the full menu, which features everything from "Let's Get It On" oysters and oxtail soup to Yo Mama's Chicken and Brotha Can You Spare a Rib. I returned two days later, and when it came to choosing an appetizer ("what you need when you want to get the party started"), I just couldn't resist the Flash Fried Skrimpz. Fried shrimp I've had. Skrimpz? I was about to be enlightened. These babies are fried and topped with serrano peppers and bacon, covered with jalapeno ranch. The heavens may have opened up just a little right then.
By the end of the meal, I was making a valiant effort to power through food coma and finish my mimosa (which was mostly champagne). As we were leaving, "Let's Get It On" began playing over the speakers and I laughed at the impossibility.
"I can't get it on when I have a food baby," Blake sighed. That said, be sure to plan time for a nap after your trip to Buttons. I'd advise sleep if you plan on doing anything else at all that day, like coming back for Sunshine's Pecan Thang. Dessert is also good for the soul.
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