I should have written about Rustico on Slaters Lane a long, long time ago. It’s only 4 blocks from our apartment, so we often default to there on our lazy days. We walk there when we need to get out of the house on snow days, and it’s usually where we end up when we want to go out, but we’re too hungover to travel too far. It’s also somewhere that we often end up right after we get back from being out of town. It feels a little bit like home.
We didn’t have real concrete plans for a midday meal last Sunday, so the idea wheel started turning. I offered the lady Nando’s, but she was not enthused. I thought maybe the new We, The Pizza in Crystal City would be great, but it’s not open on Sunday. She mentioned that she wanted Mac N Cheese, but I wasn’t in the mood for Noodles and Co. That did spark an idea though! Sometimes Rustico has mac n cheese-like things on the menu. They did not, but the lady took one look at the brunch menu and was sold by their many hangover-busting options. We changed out of our jammies and were on our way to a second NRG spot in one weekend.
We normally sit in the bar area, so we took a spot at one of the long, skinny tables. I contemplated ordering a mimosa for a minute, but they don’t emphasize brunch cocktails on their menu, so I refrained. We were pretty hungry, so we started with a couple of “snacks.” We ordered one Buttermilk Biscuit Slider and one Sweet Potato Skin.
The biscuit was a wee bit dry, but it was really nice to get a little bite of biscuit. The sausage was very dense but also very flavorful. The sweet potato skin was a whole other level. The goat cheese fondue was a perfect balance to the potato. We both wished we had just ordered a whole bunch of those and called it a meal. Luckily, our entrees were just as good.
I landed on the French Toast and she went with the most hangover-busting thing she could find on the menu, the Breakfast Panini.
The french toast was amazing. The lemon curd and macerated strawberries, whipped cream, and walnuts were all a perfect combination. When they brought it out, I was afraid it was burned, but it was cooked just perfectly. It was crispy enough to stand up to all its toppings. I’m not sure where the brown color came from, but damn was that delicious.
She felt the exact same way about her breakfast panini. The crust was soft (it was made out of pizza dough, how awesome is that?!) and it was all the breakfast foods you could want, combined. It wasn’t too many eggs, which is important to her. She and eggs are acquaintances but not bffles.
Out of the dozens of times we’ve eaten there in the past 4 years, this was definitely the best meal we’ve ever had there. Sometimes things are not always as perfect as we could hope but that’s ok, because it’s still always good. This meal definitely stood out to us. It was the perfect Sunday brunch before groceries and afternoon nap. We’ll definitely try to get back before they transition into the fall brunch menu. IF even just for some of those potato skins…
- Favorite thing I had: The sweet potato skin was SO GOOD. My french toast was also pretty perfect. The lemon curd was awesome and it was just crispy enough.
- Favorite thing she had: The breakfast panini was excellent. She was a little bit hungover, and it hit the spot. She also really enjoyed the sweet potato skin. I’m going to try to replicate those at home.
- Most interesting thing I want to try next time: The shrimp and grits or the Cubano. I’ve already had a lot of the other things.
- How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): It’s so close to home, we rarely go more than a month without a visit.
- Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): Buzz, another NRG gem, is just across the street. We often go there to grab dessert to take home. Or just to hang out and read/blog.