Restaurant Review: Big Bad Breakfast

Chef John Currence brings his beloved Oxford breakfast joint to Midtown Mobile.

Interior dining booths at Big Bad Breakfast
Photos by Elizabeth Gelineau

Breakfast is for everyone and perfect at any time of day. The spectrum of customers — families in booths, retirees at the front and couples at the bistro tables — enjoying Big Bad Breakfast in Midtown right up to closing time makes that apparent.

By all accounts, patrons have embraced the concept that Chef John Currence envisioned when he established Big Bad Breakfast in Oxford, Mississippi, in 2008. The Mobile restaurant, which first opened in June, is the newest addition to the list of four locations in Alabama and 12 throughout the South. It has already garnered an enthusiastic welcome from the city — and more than a few fans. 

Come by at 6:45 a.m. on a Saturday, and you’ll most likely find about 10 other patrons waiting outside with you. Take a look at the menu, and you’ll understand the urgency. The folks at Big Bad Breakfast have taken the classics and made them their own. Think deep-fried, brandy-spiked French toast or the cathead chicken biscuit topped with fried chicken, sausage gravy and cheese. Healthier plates, such as avocado toast topped with arugula and a poached egg, pack just as much of a punch. A fan-favorite breakfast margarita or an iced coffee goes well with just about any dish you might choose. “The menu really does cover options for every single person,” says Danny Mulroy, an operating partner at the Mobile location. He hopes to one day offer a chalkboard menu of chef’s specials determined by the availability of local ingredients as well.

Blue booths, blonde wood tables and Sharpie art by Birmingham-based artist Peter Wilm are standard in all Big Bad Breakfast eateries and create a bright, inviting atmosphere. However, Mobile’s restaurant boasts a Gulf Coast flair all its own. Crab traps hang from the ceiling near the hostess station and a large postcard of the USS Alabama — “Check out these guns!” — decorates one wall of the space. A smaller version of the postcard is clipped to the check at the end of the meal.

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“There’s been a lot of life brought back into Midtown,” Mulroy says. Many customers live nearby, walking from their houses to enjoy a meal. Mulroy, who grew up between Florida Street and Sage Avenue, is eager to contribute to the progress. And it seems Mobilians are just as thrilled to enjoy the big, bad breakfasts he offers.

On the Menu

Jack Benny
This take on eggs Benedict includes all the favorites — runny poached eggs, ham and hollandaise — with a unique foundation of fried hashbrown cakes and topped with spinach.

French Toast
Warm, sweet and buttery, the French bread is infused with brandy batter, deep-fried and topped with strawberries, whipped cream, powdered sugar and syrup. Need I say more?

Breakfast Margarita
How do you launch margaritas into the realm of breakfast acceptability? Combine the traditional tequila and house sour mix with orange juice and Prosecco — don’t forget the salt around the rim!

Avocado Toast
Two thick pieces of toast are topped with an ample amount of smooth avocado, pico de gallo, arugula, chili flakes and poached eggs for a fresh yet filling breakfast — you may even need a to-go box.

Big Bad Breakfast • 1812 Old Shell Road, Suite D. 318-1411
7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. M – Su

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