The Southern vibe continues onto a different kind of South. Southern California is my playground and Long Beach/Seal Beach is my adopted hometown. I have been longing to try this way cool place on Broadway called The Attic. It’s a converted old Craftsman style house that emulates a Southern vibe from the look and feel to the menu of delicious Southern treats like Fried Green Tomatoes, Biscuits the size of a Mini Cooper, Shrimp Etoufee and gorgeous looking Gumbo that will trick you into thinking you are in the heart of New Orleans. And the menu provides you with a few twists like ginormous and juicy Bison Burgers. You gotta check the food out as it is a truly awesome line up.
It was a typical SoCal Saturday that was sunny and warm which angers most of my friends any East of the Mississippi. I was treating my Mom to breakfast so we could have some Mother Daughter time and make an excuse to have a Day Drinking Saturday together. We opted to sit on the patio at The Attic and it truly felt like you are relaxing at someone’s house. Mix and match tables adorn the patio are strewn throughout and a large outdoor padded bench with small tables line the front side of the house with French style art tables and umbrellas. The inside of the house is cozy and warm with wood floors, chandeliers lit with Mason Jars and local art presented throughout. It feels like you are no longer in Long Beach.
The staff is supremely friendly and attentive and we are made to feel at home from start to finish. The aroma of the kitchen immediately impacts your hunger pangs. Now, we are here for the food but of course it a thrill seeking Bloody Mary adventure. We look around us and we can tell we are not the only fans of an Ultimate Bloody Mary as this place is well known for theirs. When seated, you are presented a Bloody Mary Menu. Yes, a menu. I like their style. You can choose one of their Ultimate Bloody Marys or you can choose your own path with menu and you can name it yourself. Let’s start off with their 5 signature Bloody Marys. The Attic satisfies any Bloody Mary enthusiast for sure.
The BBQ Bloody Mary: Homemade pepper Vodka, Chipotle, Tabasco, chefs BBQ sauce, rimmed of Montreal Seasoning and garnished with a Baby Back Rib and Bacon.
The Veggie: Basil infused Gin. (Not an option for me. Gin in a Bloody Mary? I am so not a fan. It is Vodka or go home). This is has V8, Lemon Pepper rim, Horseradish (another thumbs down for this drink), sea salt, pepper and topped with a pickled Green Bean, Asparagus and Okra. I’m digging the garnishes for this one.
The Basic: This one has their house mix. Which was a welcomed balance of spicy and savory. There weren’t any overwhelming flavors. You could tell there was some Southern influence with a creole seasoning of some sort. Worcestershire and hints of Lime and Tabasco. Your typical straight forward Mary.
The Baja: Here is a new twist and I am not sure that I would like to try this one. Jalapeno and Lime Tequila. I have heard of Bloody Marias before but have yet to try. I am a fan of Tequila and a Jalapeno and Lime infused one sounds great on its own or in a Margarita. Tabasco is substituted with Tapatio. Si, but of course! Tapatio is a SoCal must have sauce and a staple at any restaurant. This version is garnished with a Jalapeno stuffed Olive, Shrimp and served with a 4oz pour of Bavik Pilsner on the side. I’d be a fan of this one if the Tequila were Vodka.
The Meaty Man: Ahh, yes. Goldie Locks found the one that was just right for the day. Who doesn’t like a meaty man J This one was calling my name and is a winner all around. I had been trolling their Facebook page for months and this one is always pictured. Each time it looks ridiculous and yummy all at the same time. It’s the one where people respond with “I gotta get me one of those!” The Meaty Man is the brother to the BBQ Mary mentioned earlier. This round it is Bacon infused Vodka. It comes with a Celery Salt rim, their house mix that is jazzed up with a demi-sauce (that’s a new twist), Jalapeno Tabasco and garnished with a piece of Bacon and a Short Rib Slider. Yes, it is the Bloody Mary that requires a plate. When ordering this you do have to exert patience as it is truly made to order. This is challenging as there are Bloody Marys being delivered all around you. When it arrives it is a spectacle and provokes an instant response of OMG giddy laughter. My Mother is not quite sure what to make of this meal, I mean drink. The slider is a good size. Not mini at all and is delicious. The slider is Pulled Pork smokey meat and sauce on a homemade bun is speared so it sits just above the drink. The freshly fried thick Bacon is hugging the side of the glass adding more flavor to the drink, Cornichons and topped with Slim Jim stuffed Olives. Yes, I did say Slim Jim stuffed Olive. Now, that’s a fun party. The garnishes are devoured rather quickly post photo opp. I liked the hint of the demi-sauce and it is something I will try for my own mix.
We had a side of Lunch with our Bloody Mary and the food was not of this world. It is some of the best food I have had and it rivals some of the great Southern food travels I have had in the past few months. No joke. I had the Ninny which was a Fried Green Tomato sandwich. Even writing this makes my mouth water. It was truly too much to eat and was divinely delicious. Not over fried, lightly breaded on thick Parmesan crusted toast and a secret sauce with candied Bacon bits. Yes, candied Bacon bits. Mom had the Biscuits and Gravy and Eggs. Both are considered sides but when the B&G dish was presented we disagreed with that assessment. I am not kidding. Three giant soft and dense hot biscuits are presented with an avalanche of beautiful, warm Sausage Gravy that has chunks (not bits) of Sausage. It was a meal in itself. And scrumdilliumptious. The food will leave you feeling well taken care of and planning your next visit back.
Now that the food is out of way, we are relaxed on the patio soaking in the sun. I am now intrigued by the BYOBM menu. It is lengthy and robust! Get ready folks.
Choose your spirit: Vodka, Gin, Tequila or Whiskey. WTF? Whiskey? Holy shit*balls. That’s hardcore. I am off the brown booze after last weekend’s debauchery in Nashville but I vow I could never have these two worlds collide. Brown booze in a Mary. Hooey, you must be chasing the dragon from the night before to do that one.
Pick your rim: Sea Salt or Cajun. I choose Cajun. Spicy goodness to give a pep to your sip.
Mixes: They have their house mix, V8 or Clamato. Sheesh kabob! No Clamato, V8 is a cop out. Choose the house mix.
Hot sauce choices: Tabasco, Tapatio, Siracha, Wasabi, Chalula or Cimino’s (a local Pepper Sauce made in Long Beach.) Why choose one? Let’s go with everything but Wasabi and Siracha.
Spices: Choose your level of heat. Not too spicy. Spice me up. Burn my taste buds. I would have opted for the obligatory “burn my taste buds” but I do not know what level that really is being it is my first time here. Spice me up is fine for the first dance.
Here is where you can truly lose your wad and create a costly Bloody Mary. Here come the extras.
Each of the following is 50 cents extra:
Olive Juice (I’d argue that this should be gratis)
Pickle Juice (Ok, I will pay for this and chose it. Never thought of adding Pickle juice. That’s going in the recipe now!)
Creole Mustard (Intriguing!)
Demi Glace (You bet!)
Horseradish (Not in my house)
Blue Cheese stuffed Olives (Be still my heart)
Slim Jim stuffed Olives (One round was enough)
Jalapeno stuffed Olives
Garlic Clove stuffed Olives
Too bad you cannot mix and match the Olives!
Garnishes Galore! The $1.00 Garnish List:
Bacon (Had my allotted amount of Bacon for the year already)
Salami (Umm, yeah!)
Pickled Green Bean (Really? A buck for a bean?)
Pepper Jack Cube
****Missing Cast Members: Pickled Cauliflower, pickled Carrots, Pickle and pickled Onions. I thought that was surprising but then again how many more choices can you add before it becomes too much for the customer to choose from and it puts a dent in someone’s retirement or college fund.
“Garnishing Your Wages” Add On’s for $2
Baby Back Rib (Justified!)
4oz Bavik Pilsner (Sidecar of Beer may be the best add on! This is three bones..not dos.)
Short Rib Slider
So, I am a little snarky on the above “add on” prices. This may be the ONLY, remotely negative thing I write about The Attic. I agree the pickled Egg, Baby Back Rib and Slider should be priced as they are. The $1 ones are on the edge of unreasonable. Salami I can see as slightly justified but the pickled veggies are out of bounds. However, it did not stop me from creating my own and adding these garnishes. You win Attic. You win. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create my own $12 Bloody Mary.
At the bottom of the menu you have the opportunity to name your creation. Pretty clever, I say! The menu would be a fun thing to create your own if you had friends over for a Brunch. Everyone can create their own order and as host you can make it for them and they can come up with crazy fun names for their branded Bloody Mary! I see Instagram memories! Facebook opportunities!
My creation came out and it was delicious. I skipped on the mega garnishes since it was post lunch. The pickled veggies were a must because pickled anything is amazing. The heat was not enough for me but I am a spic enthusiast. Next time, I will go for the “burn my taste buds” level.
Overall, it was an amazing experience. So what if I have a little disagreement of their garnish prices. It does not deter me from coming back every time I come home to SoCal. It truly is THAT good, that inviting and that big of a MUST have experience.
The Attic, you had me at Hello. See you again soon!