Tag Archives: Eastern Market

brunch at Le Pain Quotidien

I didn’t give much thought to  Le Pain Quotidien when it first opened — it’s very pricey and seemed like just another upscale chain that gets a lot of hype because of its menu of fresh and organic meals. But over the last year I have found that it has become one of my neighborhood standbys for early breakfasts on Saturday mornings, as well as healthy lunches or a place for an afternoon meeting over a cup of tea.

Most Saturday mornings my sister and her daughter have breakfast there before going to Eastern Market to buy vegetables for the week.  And on mornings when I am up early enough, I join them for some girl time.  The menu provides a great selection of healthy but filling items for breakfast, and they have a pretty good kids menu that my niece loves…although it may also be the quality time with the girls that she really likes so much. Continue reading

Crepes at the Market

When I arrived at Eastern Market last weekend for the grand reopening, I scoped out the lines at my favorite food vendors to decide where to get lunch.  I wouldn’t have time to wait in line for something like Market Lunch (mmm blue bucks…) but knew I would need to take a break from volunteering at some point for food. And then I got a craving for one of my favorite treats: crepes.  If you have never stopped by the Crepes at the Market stand, put it on your list for one weekend soon.

The line moves a bit slow, but only because they make the crepes to order, and they have a mouth-watering list of fillings to choose from.  My savory favorites include asiago with mushrooms and spinach, or ham with muenster, apple and maple syrup.  You can also order a sweet crepe with any number of delicious toppings.  Sweet crepes start at $4 and savory start at $5 but most of the best ones are in the $7 and $8 range.  I say that they are worth every penny!

I have heard from some people that they do not love how these are severed, but I am a big fan.  They crepes are rolled into a cone and placed in paper so you can eat them while walking.  It can get a little messy, but aren’t the best foods the ones that are the messiest to eat?

Crepes at the Market sets up their stand in front of the Aquatic Center on North Carolina Avenue, right behind Eastern Market.  (They used to be on 7th Street but all weekend vendors selling prepared food are now setting up on the North Carolina plaza.)  Their website says that they are only at Eastern Market on Saturdays from 8am-4pm, but I heard them telling customers that they are coming on Sundays as well, at least through the fall.

Eastern Market Reopens Today!

More than two years after a fire destroyed Eastern Market, the big reopening is finally here!  The fire was devastating to Hill residents – the market was the heart of the neighborhood, and losing it was like losing part of our homes.  My mom owned a toy store across from it when I was growing up, so my earliest memories include the old market.  Needless to say, waking up to live footage of the flames was heartbreaking.  Thankfully, the community and city rallied around the historic site and renovated it to something more beautiful than any of us remember.

The Market officially opens today, with a ribbon cutting at 10:30.   The official celebration will be tomorrow, so come on by!  I was asked to volunteer as a docent and will be giving tours of the Market from 2pm until 4pm.

In training to be a docent, I learned more about the history of the market than I ever imagined existed.  If you’re interested in it’s impressive and long history, read my post at TheHillIsHome.com.  And then come get a tour tomorrow to find out even more!EMFlyer

news from around the Hill

image by cafemama on Flickr

image by cafemama on Flickr

A few morning bits of news from the NE and SE sides of the Hill:

  • Spike Mendelsohn will open his new pizzeria right next to Good Stuff Eatery, in Zach’s Taverna. Young & Hungry has more of the scoop. I’m pretty excited about this news since the pizza options on Capitol Hill are kind of lacking.
  • Greenworks Florist is now open for business at on 7th Street next to Eastern Market, in the store front that used to be home to Blue Iris.
  • H Street Country Club is scheduled to open on May 27.
  • The Bullpen opens tonight! JDLand has the news, as well as some photos.
  • Eastern Market is scheduled to open on June 26th, with a celebration on the 27th. Read more on that news here.

Eastern Market Building to Re-Open June 26

According to the Mayor’s office, the renovated Eastern Market building will re-open on June 26th, and a celebration will be held on the 27th.  Thanks to CHAMPS for first sharing the news after attended Mayor Fenty’s walk through of Eastern Market.  Shortly after, I got this email from the Mayor’s office: Continue reading

So Long Bread & Chocolate, Hello Le Pain Quotidien

bredandchocolate

While Bread and Chocolate was always packed in the weekends, it really never appealed to me in any way.  I never once had brunch there and don’t really feel like I missed out anything.  I did buy something from there once years ago, but it definitely didn’t impress me enough to go back.

Great news for anyone who was hoping for some newer options at Eastern Market!  Le Pain Quotidien, a Belgian chain that focuses on fresh and organic, will be moving into the corner space at 7th and Penn.  No word yet on when they will be opening, but renovations have already begun.

I have not made it to any of Le Pain Quotidien’s other DC-area locations (or gotten the pronunciation down yet…) but I have heard very good things from people who have eaten there.  It’s pricey but you get very good food for your money.

Another closing that was announced recently, that I am quite sad about: Ben & Jerry’s is closing on November 30, leaving the Baskin-Robbins on 8th Street as our only ice cream shop on the Hill.  Maybe this will be better for my waistline?  Montemartre will be expanding into the space where Ben & Jerry’s was.  City Desk explains the closing in more detail.

Tunnicliff's

Tunnicliff’s has been an establishment on 7th Street, across from Eastern Market, since before I can remember, yet it is not one of the first places I think of going to when I want to eat out. However, it is good at accommodating larger groups, so I ended up there this morning with some friends who ran a race (I’m not quite as ambitious on a cold, windy Sunday morning). Brunch was good and the atmosphere was great for our group, but I can’t say the food was anything to write home about. The menu was a just bit limited and ordinary. It had everything a brunch menu should, but nothing inspiring. But, my blueberry pancakes were good, and I must give them credit for not just throwing canned blueberry preserves on top of regular pancakes like some places. Blueberry pancakes have to have blueberries (preferably fresh) cooked in them. A truly top presentation will include some extra blueberries on the plate. Sugary canned preserves thrown on top of ordinary pancakes is just not okay.

One thing did stand out on the otherwise ordinary menu…peanut butter and jelly pizza, topped with mozzarella cheese. I was not brave enough to order it this morning, and neither was anyone else at the table. But I am a little intrigued, and very skeptical. If anyone feels up for a dare, let me know how it is!

So while this is not the place to go if you want to be wowed, Tunnicliff’s is a good neighborhood spot if you just want to get out of the house for a bite.

Montmartre

photo uploaded by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr

I should start with two disclaimers here. 1) While I studied journalism in college, I have never written restaurant reviews. So, please bare with me if this is not what you consider a proper restaurant review. And 2) Montmartre is one of my favorite restaurants on the Hill so I may be a bit biased here.

I have been coming to Montmartre for dinner with my family for years. The menu always has something for everyone we bring. MY dad and brother-in-law are usually drawn to the liver, while my sister goes for the duck or rabbit. Personally, I am a sucker for the risotto or an of the soups. I find that everything has a simple extra touch that spices up the seemingly simple dishes. While they have been open for brunch since their opening, I only went for the first time this past Sunday. My sister’s in-laws were in town from Florida and Montmartre seemed like the perfect neighborhood brunch spot before doing some shopping at Eastern Market.

The menu was not quite what I expected. It was more like an abbreviated version of their regular menu, with only a few breakfast items added in. There were the staples like liver, hanger stake, chestnut soup (amazing, I highly recommend it) These are items I do not categorize with brunch, but I realize that some people enjoy a selection beyond the traditional breakfast food. That is the glory of brunch, after all– a little bit of everything for everyone. I tend to prefer the breakfast items for my first meal of the day, and luckily for me, all three were ordered by people at my table so I got a wonderful sampling of everything.

We started with a non-breakfast item- escargot. I generally do not like snails (it’s a texture thing) but these were amazing! They were cooked in a butter, garlic and parsley sauce that was soaked up perfectly with bread. The bread, by the way, is some of the best French bread around. One person in our party got the butternut squash soup, one of her favorites. Judging by the empty bowl, I think she was not disappointed at all.

Main Courses: Three of the six of us got the eggs benedict. The only possible complaint with the dish was that there was no english muffin under the poached eggs. Instead, the eggs were sitting on a pile of fresh spinach, then covered in hollandaise sauce. As I polished off the final bites, I realized that I had not even missed the english muffins. The spinach was perfectly cooked and mixed perfectly with the sauce (does anything not mix perfectly with the hollandaise sauce?).

One person ordered the omelet, which had a fondue of tomato, caper and olive inside. It made me almost wish that I had ordered that instead of the eggs benedict. Then I remembered how much I love the hollandaise sauce. And one person ordered the egg, chicken and parmesan quiche. Good but not as much my taste as the other two. The inside was a bit too runny for me and one of the spices in it was not appealing to me that morning.

If you have never been to Montmartre, I highly recommend it for brunch, lunch or dinner. It is a bit small and tables are pushed close together, but the food and wine are excellent. And they have a wonderful patio open when the weather is nice.

Montmartre also owns Montsouris in Dupont Circle. With the current sidewalk construction affecting business for everything on the strip, I would also like to put in a work for the sister restaurant!