Nicole Jones is bringing a taste of her former home of Georgia to Del Ray with the opening of Stomping Ground, a combination cafe, biscuit joint and lunch destination for the neighborhood.
That means special touches like her grandmother's pimento cheese recipe, biscuits and gravy and other homey touches for the restaurant. They'll serve traditional breakfast items like oatmeal, veggie hash and chia seed pudding in the morning, and transition to a selection of seasonal salads, from an asparagus panzanella to a burrata and herb dish with quinoa, in the afternoon. All day, Stomping Ground will serve those biscuit sandwiches, in varieties like a not-so-classic fried chicken with Middle Eastern spices, an avocado smash and a classic egg and cheese. Everything is made in-house beyond Duke's mayonnaise, and items change daily depending on what seasonal vegetables are available.
Jones is an owner in the restaurant along with Erik Dorn of Del Ray Pizzeria and a silent third partner. They've brought in pastry chef Heather Roth to whip up creations like lemon ginger scones and coffee cake. "I see it as a mash up of some masculine influences with feminine, softer touches," she says of both the menu and the cafe's decor. They're partnering with neighboring business The Happy Tart to offer some gluten-free items, too.
Stomping Ground, which will serve coffee from local roaster Swings, is trying to be the kind of neighborhood gathering place where residents can bring their children or hang out and work with a laptop. There's seating for about 35 people, with the possible addition of a patio to come. They'll have cornhole games in the back, too. Expect beer and wine, and mimosas and micheladas on the weekend.
Stomping Ground, 2309 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.; website.