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Posted at 9:52 PM ET, 04/29/2009

Brunches a Mother Could Love

By Julia Beizer

Make it a Mexican Mother's Day at La Sandia. (Leah L. Jones for The Washington Post)

Washington's restaurants have made an assumption about your mom. Either she loves chocolate, or she loves bubbly. Many of the Mother's Day menus I've perused this month have offered complimentary sweets or beverages as a gift to May's honored ladies. But you'll find more diversity in the Mother's Day meal options that follow, along with a cooking class and cupcake party for moms with young children.

If your mom likes Thai food -- and fruity drinks -- head to the Waterfront for Bangkok Joe's. For lunch and dinner, the restaurant's special menu includes entrees like soft shell crab tempura and crispy-fried trout for $16. (Expect the portion to be big enough for lunch, but maybe a tad small for dinner.) A mini-mimosa -- flavors ranging from jasmine to lycee -- is included in the $16 price. Desserts are available for an additional $7.

Spring lamb and cornmeal-crusted softshell crab are among the specials at both Hank's Oyster Bar locations on May 10. The a la carte menu is available as well. Prices range from $6 to $15 and brunch is served between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Newcomer Potenza offers an Italian brunch. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., sample items like smoked salmon bruschetta, breakfast pizza and corned veal hash. Prices range from $8 until $12 between 10 a.m. and noon, and $8 and $28 between noon and 3 p.m.

Addie's in Rockville also dabbles in the "corned [something-other-than beef] hash" department. Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the restaurant will offer corned lamb hash (with lamb from a Hagerstown farm) served with an apple-mint gastrique and hollandaise sauce, in addition to beignets, cured salmon sandwiches and other brunch items. The tent is up on the patio, so diners can choose to sit outside, even in the case of inclement weather. Brunch is filling up quickly, but there is still some availability. There will be special items on the dinner menu as well. Dishes are priced under $28.

Co Co. Sala's Chocolate & Champagne brunch begins with a champagne drink (mimosas, bellinis or the restau-lounge's fiery jalapeno-passion fruit mimosa) and then proceeds through three courses. The first is chocolate. The second includes more typical brunch options: french toast, hot cakes, flatbreads with scrambled eggs. The third course is a dessert buffet featuring 10 different chocolate-tinged treats. "There will also be a chocolate surprise for the mamas," says Miloud Elattaoui, a manager. The meal is available from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and costs $50 for adults and $30 for children. (I was tempted not to include this one since, you know, it promotes the stereotype that chicks only care about chocolate. But, as a chick who cares about chocolate, I decided to let it slide.)

Fresh off a Tom Sietsema review, Inox offers a $77 four-course menu including apps like carpaccio of beef tenderloin and entrees like crispy red snapper with braised fennel, roasted pepper, leek and potato confit. Children can take part in the feast by ordering the $22 three-course meal. Both are offered between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. (The regular menu will not be available).

Also in Tysons, La Sandia will open an hour earlier than usual (10 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.) to welcome brunch crowds. The special three-course menu features entrees like red snapper with pan-roasted vegetables and New York strip steak with a blue-corn enchilada and sells for $29 per person. The regular menu will be available as well.

Taberna del Alabadero has never opened for Mother's Day in its 20-year history, but it's decided to open its doors this year. Expect the usual lunch a la carte menu from 12:30 until 5:30; moms receive a complimentary glass of cava and a rose.

Dine at a hotel for one of the big dining holidays and chances are you'll spend a bundle (upward of $50 per head) on carving stations and buffets. On Mother's Day (and every other Sunday), the Beacon offers all of the above at a fraction of the typical price: $29.95 per adult and $14.95 per child. Unlimited mimosas, bloody marys and champage are in the adult price. The restaurant still has tables available after 2:30 p.m.

For something a little different, why not a cooking class? Children 8 years and older can learn how to bake flower-shaped cookies to bring home to mom in Zola Wine & Kitchen's Mother's Day cooking class. Set for Saturday, May 9, the class is $45 for each child and his/her parent or guardian. Contact Denielle Vendetti at 202-654-2855 to make a reservation.

Also on May 9, Thyme Out market and cafe in Rockville will be hosting the its first "Mommy's Day Cupcake Party." From 2 until 6 p.m., stop by the store with kids in tow for a free cupcake decorating event. Labor of Love Photography will be on hand at the event offering free photo sessions with patrons (you can choose to purchase the photos if you wish, but the sitting is free). While you're at the store, you can pick up some of the market's heat-and-eat Mother's Day meals (PDF).

For more brunch options, try OpenTable.

-- Julia

By Julia Beizer  | April 29, 2009; 9:52 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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