GBD Fails to Deliver on Chicken and Donut Concept
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 01:02
Utilizing old deep frying baskets as lampshades and serving drinks in mason jars, GBD is a stereotypically hipster dining spot, conveniently located in DuPont Circle. Specializing in fried chicken and donuts, GBD is appropriately named, as it stands for the kitchen’s motto, “golden, brown and delicious.” These three adjectives provoke images of flaky, fried tastiness, and rightly so. Highlighting the skills of wife and husband duo, pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac and chef Kyle Bailey, GBD features dishes that can satisfy your sweet and salty cravings in one sitting.
Our party of six walked in during the last hour of brunch Sunday around 1 p.m. Even at this late hour, we had to wait for about 30 minutes before we were seated. While the service was slow, the waiters were all friendly, making it hard to feel too frustrated by the service. Nonetheless, if you are in a hurry this may not be the place to get your fried chicken fix.
The brunch menu runs Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and consists of a select food menu along with $15 bottomless drinks including mimosas, grapefruit mimosas and brunch punch. GBD’s menu also features a wide variety of beers, classified by which food to enjoy them with.
While selecting from its brunch menu, which contains dishes like the croissanwich ($12) and strawberry French toast sticks ($10), I had to make the ultimate brunch decision between sweet or savory. Typically, I ended up ordering both. First, I ordered the chicken box, which included a fried thigh and drumstick, mac and cheese (or potato salad), coleslaw and a biscuit ($10). The fried chicken, which is organic and hormone- and antibiotic-free, comes with your choice of dipping sauce from a list of uniquely named sauces including mumbo sauce and blooch. I chose “general satan’s sauce,” a supposedly spicy version of General Tso’s sauce, which didn’t turn out to be very spicy at all.
The sight of the freshly fried chicken and doughy biscuit proved promising. However, upon tasting the food, I was underwhelmed. While the fried chicken was moist and juicy, the seasoning was missing that extra kick. The main source of flavor came from the dipping sauce, which I found to be not very well-suited to my chicken. While the biscuit was buttery and fluffy, it would have been better complemented by a side of gravy. The coleslaw and mac and cheese sides were pretty average. Overall, I would say that although my expectations were high for the chicken box, I was unfortunately disappointed.
However, in an attempt to remedy this disappointment, I ordered a chocolate cake donut with a passionfruit glaze, which left me with a far better impression of GBD (donut prices range from $1.50 to $2.75.) The passionfruit glaze was tangy and flavor-packed — adding a nice contrast to the sweet chocolate. With rich and decadent varieties of stuffed, yeast-risen donuts like a key lime curd-filled gingersnap-topped option and a grapefruit Campari glazed cake, its donuts are creative and tasty. While similar, if not better, fried chicken can be found at other restaurants, I have yet to come across or hear of another donut bakery with so many different flavors. If you find yourself in DuPont craving something sweet, I would definitely recommend trying one of its donuts.
Not a place to be avoided, but also not a place to venture out of your way to find, GBD is better as a concept rather than a reality. With a somewhat lackluster fried chicken and average sides, its only selling point is its delicious and inventive donuts, and this GBD just doesn’t fully hit the spot.