Shaw’s Tavern (and District Flea) (DC)

We decided to jump headfirst into exploring everything about the District this year. Since starting this blog and building a social media profile around it, it’s almost impossible to miss hearing about an event that people are excited about. District Flea is one of those things I’d been hearing buzz about for a couple of weeks. Since it was supposed to be nice on opening day, we decided to check it out. I thought it might be best to get there as close to the 10am start time, just so we wouldn’t have to fight too large a crowd. That ended up being a pretty good plan, and despite it being breezy and chilly, it was an enjoyable time. My favorite tents were a couple of the furniture sellers. I also enjoyed the one vendor (I can’t remember her name) pretty close to the west gate, who did the neighborhood drawings. I’m hoping she’ll take our suggestion to do an Old Town map soon. Next time, I think we’ll take a closer look at the food vendors. They were in the shade and it got very windy as we got to them, so we moved quickly back into the sun.

It was a bit chilly for us to stick around too long, so our loop took us less time than expected. I had thought maybe we’d do lunch somewhere near by, but we found ourselves ready to move along before 11am. Most places in the area hadn’t opened for lunch or brunch yet. I Googled around, and luckily Shaw’s Tavern had opened at 9am.

My first impression of the space was that it was very cozy. Exposed brick, a giant chalk board. The music was good. It felt sort of like hanging out at a friends’ house. We sat at a tall table sort of in a corner-ish area downstairs. We ordered mimosas, but not bottomless, even though it was only $12. I ordered the Cornbread Waffle and she ordered the Mac n Cheese Skillet. Our server also sold me on bacon, even though I really didn’t need it. My waffle was nice and soft, with a slight sweetness. The strawberries were a very nice complement. The bacon wasn’t hot, but it was a nice chewy thick cut. Her mac and cheese… was a sight to be seen. Creamy with sausage, peppers, and two eggs on top. I was only able to have a couple of bites of it, but it was good. Very rich and cheesy. Perfect warm up on a chillier than expected day. The biscuits that came on the side were really good. I just can’t shake my southerner love of biscuits.

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This weekend definitely had me asking why we didn’t live in Shaw yet. (Trust me, we always have an eye out for places.) This is quickly becoming my favorite corner of the city.

  • Favorite thing I had: The cornbread waffle was different, and I liked it. The bacon was a nice thick cut and was very tasty.
  • Favorite thing she had: The Mac N Cheese. The mimosas were proportioned just right.
  • How was the service?: Maybe not always the most timely, but our server was fantastic. He treated us like we were regulars. Very familiar and casual.
  • Most interesting thing I want to try next time: Probably a burger or pizza. I had a very, heavy savory breakfast, so I went for something on the sweet side for brunch. Oh, there was lamb biscuits and gravy that sounded really good, but too heavy at the time.
  • What makes this place stand out: The exposed brick and giant chalk board with the daily specials. The high tables. the prominent bar, the friendly servers and hostess. It’s a cozy place and I felt really comfortable here. The light was nice, and I just felt like I could call some friends over and hang out there all day.
  • How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): This feels like a neighborhood spot. If I lived in the area, I’d probably be there every couple of weeks.
  • Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): I had wanted to go over to Right Proper (now that it’s open for lunch!!) to have a beer or two, but we were absolutely stuffed and couldn’t consume another single thing.
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