Tag Archives: Arlington

brunch at Circa at Clarendon

I am continually amazed at all of the new restaurants opening in Arlington — every time I meet friends in that area, I see countless new places to add to my “must try” list.  And as soon as I think there isn’t room for anything else on a certain block, something else squeezes in, adds a patio, and we have another place to enjoy our time away from the office.  Most recently, a couple of friends and I stopped into Circa at Clarendon for an early Saturday morning brunch.

The first thing that is great about Circa: it’s open for brunch on Saturdays.  The second great thing: it opens at 10:30, a half hour earlier than most other restaurants.  We sat inside since it was a rainy morning, but they do have a nice patio that looks like a great spot to enjoy a leisurely brunch on a morning offering slightly nicer weather. Continue reading

brunch at Bayou Bakery

It’s no secret that I love southern comfort food and I love beignets, so when word got out that a place called Bayou Bakery was opening in Arlington, I knew I needed to go.

The first thing to note about Bayou Bakery is that it’s more of a bakery and coffee shop with an extended menu than a restaurant.  There is no table service and you’re expected to bus your own dishes, as well as grab your own flatware and water.  But the large sunny room is lovely and energizing on a sunny Saturday morning.  I’m not likely to drive out of my way to go here, but I’d gladly stop in when in the neighborhood, which is often enough.  And if this place was closer to my house, I would almost certainly be camped out on one of the large couches at some point every weekend. Continue reading

brunch at Rustico

In the last couple of years food options in Arlington have increased faster than I can count, and the newest establishments are quickly picking up on the desire of its neighbors to kill a Sunday morning hangover with a delicious brunch.  The latest addition to the area to introduce a brunch menu is Rustico — the well known Alexandria restaurant that has recently opened a location in Ballston.

Coming in to the restaurant from a very cold and windy morning, I was pleased to be greeted by a warm fireplace that quickly helped thaw out my fingers and toes.  I arrived a few minutes before my friends so I took a seat at the very spacious bar while I waited.  There are some nice seats around the fireplace as well but they are placed fairly close together, leaving me to feel like I would be intruding on the conversation of the couple already seated on one of the couches if I sat in one of the adjacent chairs.  The bar was a better spot for people watching anyway.

Rustico has only been serving brunch for two weeks but I knew I wanted to give it a try as soon as I heard that they had homemade doughnuts on the menu.  I have little willpower when it comes to fried dough…and even less when they taste like mini beignets.  Rustico’s ricotta doughnuts, which come out with a mound of powdered sugar, are little balls of deliciousness.  They are also offered on their dessert menu, so you do not have to wait for Sunday morning to enjoy these little treats. Continue reading

brunch at 3 Bar and Grill

Anyone who knows me well knows that there was no way I would miss out on 3 Bar & Grill’s bacon week two years in a row.  A friend who loves bacon about as much as I do emailed me excitedly about trying out there brunch as soon as he saw that they were bringing back bacon week for a second year.

While they make a special bacon-filled menu for other meals, they only have one special item at brunch — the bacon-studded waffle.  While you can get bacon with just about any brunch dish, I was hoping for a little more creativity.  We ordered some Bacon Bloody Marys and decided to check out the full menu.

We both ordered egg dishes and decided to split the bacon-studded waffle as a dessert.  I felt sick when I left because I was so full, but it was all in the name of a well-rounded review, right?  Continue reading

New Spring Brunch at Tallula

Whenever people ask me for brunch recommendations in Arlington, Tallula is always at the top of my list.  I wasn’t able to make a blogger brunch this past weekend, which featured the new spring brunch menu, but DCist did!  Click through to see some yummy pictures and the menu.  I’m definitely craving a Nutella-glazed donut now…

brunch at Eventide

I had been wanting to try Eventide for some time, so when Groupon ran a coupon for brunch there back in February, I quickly bought one and set a reminder to go before the coupon expired.  I’ve had dinner there once before and loved the look and feel of the dining room, and the menu certainly aimed to please.

The brunch menu was limited and portions were a bit small but the food was very good.  It was also fairly heavy on the lunch items, rather than breakfast-style dishes.  Corned pork belly, fried chicken, meatless mushroom burger, and a roast beef sandwich are sure to please a group of people looking for something beyond a traditional menu of pancakes and omelets. Continue reading

brunch at Liberty Tavern

libertytavernI first visited Liberty Tavern about a year and a half ago for a happy hour.  I was able to sample a few items from the menu and bar, all of which I thought were surprisingly tasty for the price and the location.  Until recently, that area of Arlington being nothing but cheap beer and bar-food specials geared toward the just-graduated-from-college-crowd.  That was great when I was 22-24 but as I edge closer to 30, it gets a bit boring.  When Liberty Tavern first opened, it gave a slightly more sophisticated feel, without being too stuffy, and I liked it.  Several other places that aim for a slightly older crowd have opened as well, allowing the neighborhood to develop into a pretty decent destination.

Liberty Tavern’s brunch was not quite what I expected, mostly because it was a buffet, which brings its own set of issues.  The downside to a buffet is that it is hard to maintain quality when food is cooked in large portions and left out for an extended period of time.  The benefit is that a large group is given a lot of food options and everyone can serve themselves at will.  So, Liberty Tavern is a great place to go with a big group where you know everyone will want a good number of choices to fill their plate.

The buffet included a few variations of scrambled eggs with different ingredients mixed in, biscuits and gravy, ham, turkey, salmon (delicious), bacon (a bit over cooked), sausage, a frittata, waffles, blueberry pancakes, and a few lunch-items.   None of the food was amazing, but what was as good as I could expect from a large buffet.  They have an a la carte menu as well but it’s restricted to just omelets and sandwiches.

I do love the space at Liberty Tavern.  The upstairs offers an open-feel with high ceilings and a lot of light.  Downstairs is a bit more bar-like with a lot of wood accents and high tables, and good use of partitions to break apart various areas.  And they have a good amount of outdoor tables that are great when you have good weekend weather.

My favorite part of this brunch: the candy table.  As you leave the upstairs area, where the buffet is, there is a big table of sweet treats.  You have your pick of M&M’s, brownies, cookies, Blow Pops, Tootsie Rolls, and even Pixy Stix (a very long time favorite of mine from my childhood).

brunch at Bob & Edith's Diner

It’s no secret that one of my very favorite diners in the area is Bob & Edith’s Diner.  It’s open 24-hours, definitely gives off that old diner feel, and the food is greasy and amazing.  Any place that continues to bring in such a huge crowd after being in business for 40 years is clearly cooking up something worth trying! Continue reading

brunch at Harry's Tap Room (via urban bohemian)

urban bohemians brunch at the Tap Room...looks yummy!

urban bohemian's brunch at the Tap Room...looks yummy!

Urban bohemian wrote up a great review of Harry’s Tap Room saying, “I give Harry’s full marks out of 10: food, atmosphere, value and service. Especially the latter.”

I haven’t loved the Tap Room when I have been there for dinner but this review is enough to convince me to give them a try for brunch one weekend!  Read the full review here.

brunch at Tallula

tallula-restaurant_1237765672929If you’ve ever driven up Washington Boulevard in Arlington, you are sure to have passed Tallula and Eat Bar, with the giant neon sign that reads a simple message: “EAT.”  If you’ve been in the area for longer than a few years, you probably better remember the now swanky restaurant when it was a divey bar called Whiteys.  Whiteys is rightfully missed but Tallula certainly holds its own.  I love the decor and feel, and the floor-to-ceiling wine rack that takes up most of the front wall.  And while pricey, the mini-sized “snacks and sides” in Eat Bar (the bar/lounge part of the restaurant), are fantastic.

Brunch at Tallula is a much quieter atmosphere than a typical evening there, but the orange walls provided a delightfuly warm feel with daylight streaming in.  It was also surprisingly quiet considering similar restaurants like Liberty Tavern and Eventide are not open for Saturday brunch.  The menu did not seem to have any special twists, but it did contain a good mix of breakfast and lunch foods.  My top recommendations: the sour dough french toast has a delicious sweetness to it and the apple butter gave it an excellent bit of flavor to set it apart from a traditional dish.  The creamy cheddar grits were very well done, with a good black pepper flavor mixed in.  And the bacon – I always have to tray the bacon – had just the right amount of crisp.

I’m not sure that the brunch menu had enough of a variety to keep me coming back, but the restaurant and bar are both places that I’m quick to recommend to anyone looking for a good meal or drinks in Arlington.