D.C.’s favorite pastime may be brunch, when restaurants swell with Saturday and Sunday crowds looking for all varieties of eggs, avocado toast, and of course, mimosas. Chef Damian Brown turns the weekend meal on its head by offering brunch every day, all day at his new Uncaged Mimosas.
Brown’s wonderfully wacky waffle and flavor combos at Uncaged Chefs in District Heights helped catapult the comfort foods wizard into Instagram stardom, with well over 230,000 followers. Brown brings his “no rules, just good food” motto to Truxton Circle with the January opening of Uncaged Mimosas in the former Anxo Cidery space (300 Florida Ave NW).
The vibrant, two-story replacement goes big on its namesake with a whopping 25 varieties in every color of the rainbow. A whimsical confetti mimosa comes with cake-flavored vodka, whipped cream topper, and a candle, or go more basic with peach or pink lemonade flavors. In lieu of a bottomless option for now, a mimosa flight allows customers to mix and match five different versions. Standard flavors are $11 and premium varieties are $14.
Brown’s love for bold and bright colors is also evident inside the towering brick building, with faux flowers at every turn. “Every angle is a good picture,” says Brown.
He installed the motif mostly by himself and spent over $20,000 to blanket the space with white, pink, and green vines. Pop art in the upstairs area joins neon signs saying, “This must be the place” and “You’re like really pretty.”
“I think outside the box 100 percent,” says Brown. “Never apologize for being yourself. My flavor combinations may not be traditional but I can make things taste good.”
Appetizers ($15-$20) include jerk salmon sushi with avocado and Cajun aioli, grilled oysters with a choice of jerk or garlic butter sauces, and his signature duck-fat tater tots blasted with Parmesan and rosemary with a side of Sriracha ketchup.
Entree highlights include Southern fried chicken with sweet potato pie waffle and maple black pepper syrup ($20); jerk salmon and grits with creamy Cajun sauce ($24); or red velvet pancakes with whipped cream cheese icing ($16).
For sides, tack on options like candied yams, garlic bread mac and cheese, or fried Brussels sprouts. Finish it off with desserts like banana pudding or a snickerdoodle.
Bars on each floor also whip up New Orleans-style frozen daiquiris in partnership with local Black-owned business District Daiquiri, along with a pineapple ginger mojito or a caramel apple pie mule.
While growing up in Capitol Heights, Brown says his culinary grandfather helped him fall in love with food. His expansive cooking career in D.C. has included stints at fine-dining spots Blue Duck Tavern and Fiola Mare and casual bars like Takoda.
In 2019, he broke out on his own with the opening of Uncaged Chefs as a pop-up. He eventually moved into his own space in District Heights with a bakery next door called Uncaged Desserts. Uncaged Mimosas represents his most polished project to date and first in D.C. proper.
Brown is right on brand when describing his cooking style: “uncaged and free to create what [my] heart desires.”
A grand opening is slated for Monday, February 6, and a patio will go live in the spring. For now, weekday hours kick off at 5 p.m. and weekend brunch starts at 11 a.m. Eventually, hours will stretch from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.