There are two places that I’ve continuously heard from Washingtonians that are recommended as the top brunch spots in DC: Blue Duck Tavern and Tabard Inn. There are other excellent brunch spots in town (i.e. Birch & Barley), but for some reason, those two are like brunch institutions. I have yet to try BDT, but it remains in the back of my head for when I plan my next brunch outing.
Saturday brunch at Tabard Inn was half of a date that The Bf had planned for June – we’ve started this tradition of taking each other out on dates once a month, and we switch the planning responsibilities each month. I did May, Boyfriend tackled June. (Seeing “Midnight in Paris” was the other half the Saturday before). We had been slacking in the date department, so I initiated this plan in May. Hopefully, when we’re making a little bit more money, we can turn it into a bi-monthly or even weekly thing. :)
The “inn” part of Tabard Inn is incredibly quaint and nostalgic – when we arrived and waited in the seating area next to the lobby, I felt like I should be wearing a flapper dress and smoking with a long cigarette holder. The restaurant keeps up with the old-timey feel, with an atmosphere a cross between a Parisian cafe and a Southern restaurant in the ’50s.
My first suggestion if you decide to eat brunch at Tabard Inn: get the doughnuts. They’re soft and deceptively light. I probably could have eaten three but The Bf and I kept it at two each. They come with this lovely whipped cream that has a twinge of vanilla and is perfect to dip (or double-dip) the doughnut in.
I had the poached egg as my entree, which comes with cheese grits, fried oysters, pork belly and a bernaise sauce. If we hadn’t ordered doughnuts, I probably would’ve cleaned my plate, but alas my stomach can only expand so large. It’s a decadent dish, with each component being a bit richer than the next. The creamy grits had a strong cheese flavor (cheddar, maybe?) that I enjoyed, and the creaminess blended well with the crispiness of the oysters. The pork belly was salty and thick, a little tough though. I would take a little piece of each part to make one insanely flavorful bite.
Now that I’ve been to two restaurants that make their own signature doughnuts, I think it’s time that someone seriously considers opening up a doughnut shop. No, the one Krispy Kreme in Dupont Circle does not count (although I do love those doughnuts). If NYC can have a place like Doughnut Plant and San Francisco gets Dynamo Donuts, why can’t DC have it’s own shop selling only signature fried rings of sweet goodness? I think you can tell at this point that specialty doughnuts are slowly becoming my new obsession.