Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DC Dining - Farm to Table

Founding Farmers
1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 822-8783

Finally made it out to the District for brunch with Saki prior to her departure :(

She had been raving about the flavorful cuisine at Founding Farmers since our trip to Woodberry Kitchen for dinner together a couple weeks earlier. Both restaurants boast locally sourced vendors for just about everything; just check the menus for farm locations. Founding Farmer's takes environmental stewardship a step further in gaining LEED gold certification for their restaurant space. And what a lovely space it is! Situated right downtown at the bottom of what appears to be an office building, is an open dining room and bar full of crafty wood tables and wrought iron light fixtures, large windows from floor to ceiling let in more than enough light. We were initially seated in a corner two-top but opted to be swapped to the family style table next to the bar. Much better vantage point for people watching.

So the menu was gargantuous and slightly overwhelming, especially when our waiter brought out the lunch menu too. I dived right into the brunch cocktails. Saki had a spicy bloody mary and I went for some sort of libation with Absinthe... Yikes! Well they brought me the wrong drink which ended up being okay cause he let us sample it regardless. Oh and it was goooood. If only I had taken notes so I could tell you what it was! Nava? Something sweet with a warm brandy after bite.

Moving on. Saki new off the bat that we had to start with the skillet corn bread; an item found on the lunch menu but worked perfectly with our brunch. Ugh...so good. We cut it into slices after smothering the crispy top with butter and honey. Bread was light and moist and ridiculously addictive.

Our brunch selections do look beautiful. But...honestly? They were a little lackluster. I figured an Eggs Benedict would be a solid choice. It being such a traditional selection I envisioned the local spinach, tomatoes, creamy hollandaise sauce and homemade english muffins would catapult the dish into a new stratusphere but instead the veggies were mealy, the sauce bland, BUT the muffins were impeccable...full of buttery goodness and sopped up the egg remains nicely. My side of grits were eh. I almost didn't even clear my plate! But, then I did cause I have never NOT cleared my plate. But, I definitely thought about it this time.
Saki's spherical delight (don't you love how they poach the eggs?) was an interpretation of a skillet "hash" with cornbeef, grilled potatoes and two poached eggs. Turns out if you select the eggs poached instead of scrambled, the hash ends up pretty dry. The poached eggs didn't provide nearly enough moisture once mixed in. Perhaps with the scrambled option, the dish would have been more composed or casserole-like. At least that's what we were expecting.

Although the two brunch entrees may have not been what we were expecting, the experience more than made up for it. The service was stellar, the ambiance was creative and inviting and the prices weren't outlandish. Saki has gone back several times for lunch, dinner and drinks and has had no complaints. I definitely plan on making a second visit...the burger and shortribs are calling my name.

PS- Definitely a close call to Woodberry Kitchen. Nothing beats Woodberry's outdoor seating, rustic decor and decadent dishes...Founding Farmer's will play second fiddle until I have a chance to go back and sample more.

Back to Baltimore!

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