A friend of mine told me about Macon Bistro a few weeks ago, right after it opened. We’ve been pretty terrible at getting anywhere north of Columbia Heights to eat, so the lady and I decided to take a trip to Upper Northwest for brunch a couple of weekends ago. The menu looked promising. If you’ve been reading for any amount of time at all, you know I love me some southern food.
We made the long trek all the way from Alexandria to one of the most northern parts of the city. It was a good reminder that there’s a whole lot in the city I still need to get to. We parked on one of the side neighborhood streets and dodged dogs and strollers and a surprising number of people in boat shoes to find the place. The outdoor seating looked promising, but we opted for sitting inside. We got a table by the front window surrounded by several families with 2+ kids.
We started with drinks. I ordered the bloody mary on the cocktail menu- which I don’t actually remember what was in it and it’s not on the website. But it was served with pepper on the rim. The lady had the Martini De Lamartine: vodka, St Germain, Orange, Lemon.
And then we waited. I didn’t time how long it took get drinks, but it was definitely long enough that we had to time to wonder where our drinks were. We were waiting for a friend who was running a few minutes late, but still.
We got our drinks, or friend arrived. All was well. My drink felt like maybe it should have had more flavor but the lady’s was excellent.
We decided on food and placed our order. The lady had the Short Rib Hash, our friend went with the chicken and waffle, and I had the shrimp and grits. And then we waited some more. I’d say that we waited for well over 30 minutes on our food. I’d say more than half the tables in the space were full, but it was not busy enough to warrant such a wait.
The food finally came, just in the nick of time too… we were all getting a little hangry. I’m not sure why we didn’t order some biscuits in the mean time. Maybe that’s what they were trying to get us to do…
The verdict on the food was that it was… good, with some issues. The lady’s egg was a bit over cooked. The short rib was perfectly tender though.
The gravy on my shrimp and grits needed way more peppery flavor and a lot less sweet. And there was a bit much of it to the point that it was a little over powering. The chorizo was also cooked a little past having any flavor at all and was a bit chewy. The shrimp was cooked perfectly though. And I really appreciated the okra and the grits were great.
The pickled watermelon rind was a bit much on the chicken and waffle. Maybe with like a third of the amount, it would have been ok. The chicken was nice and juicy though, and the honey hot sauce was really interesting.
The kicker was when the check came. For the lady and I, two entrees, two drinks, tax and tip, it came out to $80. You know, I’ll pay that for a great brunch. I’d pay that every time if the food was outstanding. But it was just… good. And it took a long time for that just good food to get to our table. I know the place is new, and I think it probably has potential. I’d like to hope so, anyway. I’m rooting for southern food in my city.
- Favorite thing I had: The shrimp. And the few bites I had of the chicken with the honey hot sauce.
- Most interesting thing I want to try next time: If I ever make it back, I’d like to try dinner.
- How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): Let’s be real… it’s far away from us, we probably won’t be back. Unless someone gives us a really good reason.
- Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): No clue. The lady and I zoomed back down to the complete opposite side of the city for a baseball game.