Evening Star Cafe (Del Ray)

The lady and I seem to have an unintentional way of celebrating moving to a new apartment: we make a trip to brunch at Evening Star Cafe. When my parents were in town 4.5 years ago when we moved to Old Town, we took them there as a thank you for helping us move. This time, we fit the trip in before the move over to Del Ray. The lady and I took a break from all the clearing out and packing and changing our address to enjoy a nice quiet morning at brunch.

As we are wont to do, we arrived at around 11. Since they don’t seem to take reservations for brunch, I’m always afraid they’ll be packed. However, there were only a couple of other tables and we were seated immediately.

In order to keep the bill on the more affordable side, we skipped out on drinks and just ordered food. Actually, if you’re looking for a way to try Evening Star without going big, the brunch is actually very affordable.

I decided on the the chicken and waffles (no surprise there) and the lady had the bacon, egg, and cheese.

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The chicken and waffles were served with a pat of hot sauce butter in the middle, as well at some crispy bacon on top. I thought the hot sauce butter was an excellent idea, as I usually ask for hot sauce for my chicken anyway. I’m going to have to steal that idea. The waffle was that perfect balance of crispy but still soft. The bacon was a nice touch.

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The bacon, egg, and cheese was simple but good. I could definitely whip that up at home, but was pleased to not to have to. The crispy potatoes tasted like they were coated in something. Something delicious. I definitely helped myself to those from the lady’s plate.

As always, a delicious meal from an old favorite. I think our next trip there will be WALKING from our new apartment. Well, if it’s warm enough to do so.

  • Most interesting thing I want to try next time: The Midnight (ciabatta, tasso ham, roast pork, fried egg, swiss,
    whole mustard, pickled green tomato) sounds amazing. Like a cuban, but breakfasty. I might have to make a special trip back for that.
  • What makes this place stand out: It’s Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s first restaurant.
  • How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): Brunch is surprisingly affordable. I have a feeling we’ll be back soon, now that we live in the neighborhood!
  • Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): You could walk up to St Elmo’s Coffee Pub, if you’re in need of some more coffee. Or Dairy Godmother, for a sweet treat. Or next door to Planet Wine for all your beer and wine needs.

Cafe Bonaparte (Georgetown)

Another one I had saved up for a rainy day.

One of my favorite things is when my friends find themselves in Georgetown and holler at me for lunch or Baked and Wired dates. There’s so much to do there, people find themselves there for shopping, job interviews, or cupcakes on a fairly regular basis.

A couple of months ago, one of my best college friends had an interview just across the street from my office and was going to be finishing up with it just before lunch time. She suggested we grab lunch to catch up and requested that I choose the place. Since she is a fan of all things France, fluent in French, and has studied abroad in France, I chose Cafe Bonaparte. I’m not always the biggest fan of how heavy French food is, but I knew, from another lunch date a couple of summers ago, that Bonaparte had some really great salads. So, we met up and hiked up the hill in the heat.

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We got there just after noon, and I was impressed how crowded it was. It is a fairly small space and I knew the food was good, but wow.

We sat down and took a good long while fully exploring the menu and trying to decide just what we wanted to order while catching up after not seeing each other for probably 6+ months. It’s amazing how you can live in the same metro area and go so long between visits.

We finally decided, but it was not easy. I did the half sandwich and soup lunch options and ordered the French Onion soup, because I had it last time and knew it was perfect. I also ordered Saint Tropez, tuna sandwich.

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The soup was just as good as I remembered, and the sandwich was also really tasty. The bread was crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and the tuna was very fresh.

She ordered a crepe, I believe it was the Brittany. She substituted and asked for a buckwheat crepe. Once our server walked away, she explained to me that in France, savory crepes were always made with buckwheat crepes because it’s more hearty. I had no idea!

 

Despite being routinely unimpressed with French food in the states, my friend seemed to enjoy her crepe. I mean, I know there is such a thing as a bad crepe, but this one sure looked tasty.

Overall, the food was just as good as I remembered from my first visit and I really enjoyed catching up with my friend. Another successful friend lunch date in Georgetown!

  • Favorite thing I had: Both the soup and the salad were delicious. It’s definitely the best French Onion soup I’ve ever had.
  • Most interesting thing I want to try next time: The Apple and Brei Crepe chips sound TO DIE FOR. I bet the escargot, mushroom risotto, and mussels are all great too.
  • How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): I’ve been twice in a couple of years, but the lady has yet to go and it’s still on our list. I think we’ll try to get there in the next year. Now that Cafe La Ruche is closed, it’s one of our only options for affordable French food in Georgetown.

Eno Wine Bar (Georgetown)

I wrote this post long, long ago…might as well fire off the stuff in my back log!

It seems like wine bars are making a resurgence recently. The lady and I have added 4 or 5 of them to our To Try list in the past couple of months. As I was walking to A Bar a few months ago, I reminded myself about Eno Wine Bar on the West End of Georgetown. Walking back to pick up some things from office before heading home, we decided we weren’t ready for the evening to be over yet. So, we dipped into Eno to have a glass of wine.

When we walked in, I was very impressed with the space. It was small, warm. Concrete, brick, and wood. It was clean and modern but still cozy. I felt immediately at ease. I was also curious about the outdoor space, but we didn’t venture there.

Once we were seated and perused the menu, we decided that wine AND a chocolate flight was the perfect way to end this evening.  I ordered a glass of sparkling rose (because bubbles!) and the lady ordered her usual, a chardonnay. We noticed that they had Happy Hour specials, but we didn’t ask what was included. I wish we had. Next time! Would have reduced the bill by about $5-6 per glass of wine.

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We also ordered the Nuttin Butter chocolate flight. It came with 3 chocolates: Apple Pie, Hazelnut, and Brown Butter Caramel.

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  • Favorite thing I had: All 3 of the chocolates were SO TASTY. The rose was not the best pairing with the chocolate, but it was also good.
  • Favorite thing she had:  She liked the apple pie chocolate the best.
  • Most interesting thing I want to try next time: The whole food menu looks great. I’d be interested in the deviled eggs, the Moroccan Spiced Meatballs, the salads, and the flatbreads. I’ll also go with red wine or sparkling white, next time.
  • How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): Next time I want a glass of wine near work. Maybe if I need a fancy-ish Happy Hour spot.