It’s no secret that I love living on Capitol Hill. I have almost anything I need walking distance from my house, including a large number of brunch options. One of the newer additions is Box Car Tavern, which opened last year next to Tunnicliff’s Tavern, providing a second bar/casual dining option offsetting the more upscale Montmartre and Acqua al 2.
I’ve been to Box Car more times that I can count for dinner and drinks but only recently stopped in for brunch. I was meeting a neighborhood friend, we wanted a place we hadn’t been to for brunch before, and we wanted to we wanted to get in some window shopping around the flea market. Can you call it window shopping when the stands don’t have windows? So Box Car was the winner.
The menu is somewhat similar to the owner’s other neighborhood restaurants — Senart’s, Lola’s, Molly Malone’s and Chesapeake Room — offering a range of standard brunch options such as eggs, pancakes and sandwiches, but they are all made with a twist that makes them seem a step above pub food. The menu is also regularly tweaked to include seasonal ingredients and flavors (pumpkin French Toast? Yes please!).
If you’re in the mood for eggs, there are a number of delicious omelets that are stuffed with combinations of ingredients that will leave you full and satisfied. Options range from a mushroom, spinach and Gruyere cheese omelet to “The Philly” that’s basically a Philly cheesesteak in an omelet, and several other choices in between. If you’re not in the mood for an omelet you can order a breakfast sandwich, french toast, pancakes, steak and eggs, eggs benedict, western scrambled, and even a Hobo’s feast that has a little bit of everything. That’s generally what grabs my eye, since I hate choosing between eggs or pancakes. And if you want something a little bit more fancy for your brunch, there is duck confit with eggs. I did not get to try it that morning but I know the chef here makes a delicious duck so this should be a tasty dish.
If you’re feeling more in the mood for lunch, there are also a number of soups, salads and sandwiches to choose from. As for drinks, they are not bottomless and do not stand out more than your typical brunch cocktails, but they are good. As long as the champagne to OJ ratio is right, I’m pretty happy. And in retrospect, bottomless drinks could be dangerous to your wallet with so many shopping options right outside the door.
Box Car is a great addition to the neighborhood, and especially to that stretch of 7th street, which was in need of a few new dining options. It’s also open for brunch early — 9:30am on both Saturday and Sunday — which lets early risers like me get plenty of brunching and shopping in early in the day.