Sunday, February 13, 2011

Washington, DC: Food Review, Brunch and then some...

Ahhh Sunday morning. Sundays in DC usually consisted of getting up and going to church and then hitting up somewhere for brunch. Later, as I mentioned previously I would spend the afternoons in Eastern Market and would sometimes grab a delicious pretzel and lemonade for lunch or a snack. One of my favorite brunch places was Montmartre.
I first went here one weekend with my European roommates and their first thought was it felt very much like Europe. It is of course a French restaurant as I bluntly pointed out. I've never been to France but I assume cafes there are quaintly decorated and serve crusty bread with chilled butter just as Montmartre does. They make a delicious latte and every single time I went there I would order the quiche of the day. The quiche was incredible and served with a side of spring greens. When I would go with other people, rave reviews also came from the eggs benedict and waffles with fruit.

Roomies K and J on my birthday outside Montmartre.

A few doors down from Montmartre was Le Pain Quotidien. Although this is a chain, I always felt so cozy settling down for my favorite pot of tea and Belgian waffle. They had a few egg dishes and sandwiches on their menu as well. Something I always wanted to try but never did was the Baker's basket with many different types of bread and jams and even Nutella. It always made me think of my trip to Italy but I also couldn't justify chowing down on so many carbs so early in the day on my own. So if you go there, please take someone with you and tell me whether I was truly missing out.

One last stop close to Eastern Market that both had delicious brunch and lunch/dinner items is Tunnicliff's Tavern. This was one of the first restaurants in the area that I discovered. One of my first weekends in DC left me a teeny bit lonely on a Saturday evening and after sightseeing all day, I was starving and not really wanting to return to my empty apartment. I decided to walk around my neighborhood till I found a good joint for a beer and dinner. I just happened to stumble into Tunnicliff's Tavern and it quickly became one of my favorite spots. I sat at the bar for my dinner, which was a new experience, but it really is a good spot when you're dining solo. I asked the bartender for his food recommendations and one of the things he suggested was the super grilled cheese. I was sold. A grilled cheese on buttered up Texas toast with American cheese, smokey bacon, red onions and tomatoes(which I opted out of). It was love at first bite, and from that moment on I would never order anything but the super grilled cheese at Tunnicliff's. Except for brunch of course. They have multiple ways to enjoy poached eggs (my favorite way to eat eggs), omelets, breakfast burritos (delicious), and pancakes and french toast. One item they serve and I never got to try, but really wanted to was the salmon platter with a bagel, salmon, cream cheese and capers...I think it must be so good! The second best thing about Tunnicliff's besides the super grilled cheese (it's really that amazing) is the people there. That first night when I journeyed in there, I felt very welcomed. The patrons there are like a little family and the waiters were incredibly kind and attentive.

Since I'm on the topic of bars with great food again I just have to give a little shout out to Crystal City Sports Pub. This place is phenomenal. Multi-leveled, playing pretty much any sports game and quite accomodating to what you want to watch, a sports lovers bar. The third floor is really intense with scoreboards, TVs and tickers all around the room. I attended a Big 12 kick-off party here, it was so great to be representing KU there! Crystal City Sports Pub was actually where I ate my very first meal after arriving in DC with my dad also. I ordered their crab cake sandwich and like with the super grilled cheese, I never ordered anything else the other times I went in there. Except friend TY and I order chicken strips and their honey mustard was so yummy! If you want a great crab cake sandwich that is juicy and flavorful, I would go to Crystal City Sports Pub. It's soooo good and it's not even that far of a walk from the Metro so it's totally worth the trip outside DC.

Last but certainly not least is Tryst, the coolest little coffeehouse in DC (don't you just love that name). The weekend my bestie came to visit me, we were scouting out fun places for breakfast and happened on Tryst. While it's a bit of a walk from the nearest Metro stop (Woodley Park-Zoo), it's so worth the hike. This is just the type of coffeehouse I want to open someday. Cozy, mismatched furniture, delicious baked goods and fabulous coffee. Healthy and community minded, it is the perfect place. I was so sad that I only made it there once, but I'm also so glad it was with my bestie! I was so enamored with it's coziness and tin ceilings and aroma of coffee. I ordered the fritatta with bacon and cheddar and remember not wanting it to be gone. Each bite was so creamy and delicious, I would eat it every morning if I could. If I had lived closer to Adams Morgan or wouldn't have had to make the long trek alone, I might have spent all of my free time there. It is the most perfect coffeeshop ever. I mean until I open mine someday. :) There was one afternoon when I was starting to venture up that way but got sidetracked by a coworker on the Metro and changed my plans. If not for him I would have another delicious Tryst tale to tell, though I realized I am quite the creature of habit when it comes to food. You must visit Tryst, you will not be disappointed. Please marvel at the beautiful tin ceiling and the mismatched furniture. That place stole my heart, if you find it, please return to Kansas.

Inside Tryst...kind of poor lighting but it's all part of its beauty.

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