One area of the DC metropolitian area I simply do not visit enough is Old Town. The only thing that really hold me back is accessibility – parking is tough and it’s a pain to get to by public transportation. But once I am there I don’t want to leave. It’s charming, full of great stores, and it offers a great selection of restaurants.
This past weekend a friend suggested Overwood for brunch. I had never heard of it but was promised a great meal. They definitely did not disappoint. Their brunch menu offers a selection of classic brunch dishes, a few with a twist, as well as several lunch and salad options for those brunch guests who aren’t in the mood for breakfast food. Continue reading
Granville Moore’s only serves brunch once a month but it sure is worth the wait. This has been one of my favorite spots for a relaxing beer and food ever since it opened. They have a great beer list, some of the best fries in town, and excellent mussels (chef, Teddy Folkman, won in an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay with his blue cheese and bacon muscles).
I think their brunch was my family’s favorite so far. The menu was not your classic brunch menu. Instead, it tapped into the items that have made their dinner menu such a draw. They had lamb steak and eggs, cast iron bison hash, biscuits and bison-sausage gravy, an egg top sandwich with applewood bacon, duck confit fritata, and a pork breakfast burrito. Great comfort food for a cold rainy morning.
Hopefully their brunch will become a more regular event, but for now you can find upcoming dates at their website.
While I haven’t gotten around to writing a review of it, Kramer Books & Afterwords Cafe always tops my list of brunch recommendations in Dupont Circle. We Love DC tried it last week and gave it a rave review that I wanted to share.
While the Afterwords Cafe can be cramped and noisy, the crowd is an energetic and welcoming one. The menu is very good and extensive, and the glass room feels warm and enjoyable any time of the year.
Thanks to Frozen Tropics for the tip – Sticky Rice on H Street NE will start serving Saturday and Sunday brunch this weekend!
The first thing that caught my attention on the menu: the bacon martini. I’ve never really thought of having a martini so early in the day, but it certainly caught my eye. The menu is quite intriguing, with inventive variations on your typical eggs and waffles menu. Breakfast Balls, Waffles and Wings, Pacifically Fried Rice, Crunchie Shrimp and Grits…you can see full descriptions at Inked’s Flickr page. I’m definitely going to be stopping by one weekend soon! Frozen Tropics also lists their new lunch menu.
I’ve been told by many people that Open City has one of the best brunches in town, and have always been drawn in by their large corner patio when I’ve visited the Woodley Park neighborhood. Last weekend I met a couple of friends there for brunch and must agree, it’s worth stopping by.
To start, I’m a big fan of any place that serves breakfast all-day. I’m an even bigger fan of a place that offers grits as a standard side alternative to hash browns. Checking out plates on other tables, everything on the menu looked fabulous. All three of us got the OC Scrambles – scrambled eggs with various ingredients added, a side of toast, and your choice of grits or hash browns. My bacon scramble was excellent and the grits were just right. And my Bloody Mary, which I ordered at the suggestion of a friend on Facebook who saw my post on Bloody Mary‘s, was spicy and quite good.
My one complaint was that the enclosed patio did not have enough of a heat source, so our food was almost cold before we could finish it. But that will not deter me from eating there again, and trying the large selection of pastries during my next visit.
Guest post by Brian
Last Saturday the weather was really amazing, perfect weather for the new Capitol Hill visitor’s center to open along with a Prop. 8 protest on the mall – so a couple friends and I decided to head over to Old Town and hit up Vermillion for brunch. Vermillion is an old haunt of mine, back from the days when I worked a block away and it was the official bar of Frank Luntz employees and the unofficial satellite office…
But anyway back to brunch. The atmosphere was soft and slightly loungy – the nice way it is during day but without any crowd or line to get in. Meandering over to the bar to meet the one friend who had preceded two of us in getting there, I noticed most of the tables were empty and that college football was nicely displayed on their screens (unfortunately my Hokies had already lost on the Thursday night game). The bloody mary’s were not amazing but not bad – two olives separated by a lime wedge on top.
Unfortunately, the menu had been recently updated and the steak benedict one friend was looking forward to eating again was no longer on the menu. The slightly soured disposition due to the Benedictine banishment immediately vanished with the appearance of a butternut squash soup one of us had ordered as an appetizer. The menu’s description also included york apple, crushed amaretti cookies & pumpkin seed oil in its ingredients but I was more concerned with its consistency which was as perfect as I had seen for a squash soup.
For entries we tried the 3 farm eggs, the monte cristo sandwich, and chef’s “scrapple.” I had the chef’s “scrapple” myself – partially out of curiosity over the necessity of quotation marks around scrapple in their menu. I of course asked about it first before ordering and was told that it was a non-standard scrapple – looser than normal I was told – and which it was. Its consistency closer to slightly runny, underneath two eggs (I had them scrambled), and above two slices of sourdough – I thought it was rather good. And I will admit, about halfway through I abandoned my fork to create an ad hoc sandwich with the two pieces of toast resulting in an all in all win.
Both the 3 egg dish and monte cristo were fairly standard fair – not bad but not particularly amazing. Although I will note this: the monte cristo did have adequate basil on it. Skimping on sufficient full basil leaves to cover the sandwich is a sin in my book – and one that Vermiliion need not pay penance. The meal overall nice and you can check the brunch menu here on Vermillion’s website. Hopefully in the future my friend’s steak benedict will make a reappearance – but in the meantime the menu, while not expansive, is decent and the experience more dependent on your company than cuisine.
I first went to News Cafe Italian Kitchen several years ago for dinner on a date. It’s a cute little Italian restaurant with very good food, although I feel like the atmosphere would be improved by removing a few tables. It’s so tight in some spots that you can have as close a conversation to the couple at the next table than to the person across from you. But as I said, the food is good and it is pretty charming inside, so when a friend suggested it for brunch, I was quick to jump at the chance to go again.
The brunch menu had my mouth watering as soon as I saw it – everything from crepes to omelets to waffles or pancakes. I was craving something a little sweet so I chose the waffles topped with fresh berries and fresh whipped cream….piled twice the high of my waffle. Delicious. My friend got a cheese omelet that was one of the most beautifully cooked I have seen in a long time.
We got there right at 11 and the place was almost deserted, but by the time we left after noon, there was a line out the door. So go early or be ready for a bit of a wait for a table!
Jimmy T’s is my favorite low-key brunch spot on the Hill. I will admit that this place receives quite the list of mixed reviews, many of which I would be hard pressed to disagree with. Straight down to the bare-bones website, it is clear that this is a place that has never tried very hard and probably never will. But somewhere in its what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, it holds a dear spot in my heart. And I am obviously not the only one who feels this way since regulars will regularly wait in lines out the door for one of the booths or tables that are crammed into the tiny corner diner.
There is nothing fancy or formal about Jimmy T’s. Since it opened on the corner of 5th and East Capitol Street SE in 1969, I don’t think it has been remodeled once. The dishes don’t match, the chairs and tables are all wobbly, and it’s the same staff that served me when I went as a small child.
When you get past the mediocre service (tip: sitting at the counter gets you much better service and some entertaining stories), the cramped space and lack of formality of any kind, this old diner serves up some of the best breakfast around. My favorite part of the menu is the combo options. I can never decide between pancakes/waffles or one of the egg platters, and here I don’t have to. I can just get ½ waffle with eggs and bacon, and a side of grits, made fresh to order, and much cheaper than other diners in town. Their menu covers all of the diner-breakfast basics so there is something for just about everyone. But again, only if the old neighborhood diner is your kind of place.
It’s cold and rainy outside, but I have hopes that it will soon clear up for an exciting Saturday. What’s going on around DC tomorrow, you may ask? Okay there are actually a lot of events going on but the one I am thinking of is Oktoberfest at Barracks Row!
Their Oktoberfest celebration will feature:
- A culinary cook-off between military chefs from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
- Expanded beer gardens at the restaurants on 8th
- Puppet shows and a petting zoo for the kids
- Redskins Cheerleaders
- Tours of the Commandant’s home at the Barracks
- And appearances by the Marine Corps’ mascot, Chesty the XIII.
Oktoberfest-ivities will be taking place from 11am to 5pm. Why not kick it off with brunch at one of the many 8th Street restaurants? Two that I can personally vouch for are Finn macCool’s ($10 bottomless mimosas or bloody mary’s!) and Belga Café.
I will be volunteering at the kids zone from 2-5pm so stop by! It looks like a few other local bloggers will be stopping by too!
I will unfortunately not be able to go to this because I have to go out of town for yet another wedding, but I wanted to at least help promote it!
The Pug is going to start testing a brunch menu at this weekend’s H Street Festival. Read all about it at Frozen Tropics, and if you happen to make it, please send me your review!
And after brunch, go check out the festival! The annual H Street Festival includes music, performance stages, food, a moon bounce, face painting…and much more.
If you have yet to venture over the Atlas District, bump it up on your to-do list and try to make it there this weekend. While the neighborhood is still a little “rough” around the edges, the bars and restaurants that have opened have quickly become some of my favorites. Dr. Granville Moore’s has been holding a top spot in my list for quite some time now.