washington, tabard inn brunch

isaac outside tabard inn

So I totally overplanned our trip, complete with a complex itinerary.  Then, after reading this article, called Anatomy of an Unplanned Adventure, in O Magazine on the plane, I threw the itinerary out and cancelled all my DC restaurant reservations.

I decided that we should eat when we were hungry and not go hiking across DC to reach a restaurant at a predetermined time.  (Duh).  Surely there were enough restaurants in Washington if I had a simple restaurant list scrawled on a map, I’d be able to find us meals.  Besides, every single meal consumed when travelling does not have to be the BEST MEAL EVER.  That is sort of ridiculous and stressful to boot.

So the first night we hiked up 14th and found Cafe Saint-Ex.  And then when we found Ben’s Chili Bowl, we were too full to eat more.  I do not like wandering around foreign cities, feeling like I’ve just consumed a Thanksgiving feast.

I had read about Tabard Inn on Chowhound, and knew it was highly recommended for brunch.  Well, we didn’t have brunch reservations, but on Saturday morning, when Isaac finally got out of bed at noon, he declared he was really hungry.

Well, the brunch gods shone down on us on that Memorial Day weekend, when Washington DC is PACKED with tourists.  On a whim, we meandered down to Tabard Inn, which was just a few blocks from our hotel, and snagged a table.

me, being shone down upon by the brunch gods

(I didn’t realize until I saw a tweet from Mack Male, that he and Sharon had been to Tabard Inn too – I loved it more than they did, but that’s ok.  I was just so delighted to get a table, nothing could have marred the experience).

pork belly and cheesy grits? sign me up.

Brunch was a cherry mimosa, two poached eggs on fatty crispy pork belly with cheesy grits. Cheese, pork, fat, alcohol.  Really I cannot quibble with that.  Service was friendly, and the atmosphere felt like this was the type of place that well-heeled parents would bring their college kids to when they were visiting in town – there was a lot of money in the room.  Kind of like a scene from a Nora Ephron movie.

mmmm, mimosa

I enjoyed soaking in the atmosphere and I especially enjoyed eating the food.  My poached eggs were cooked perfectly, and their soft yolks ran all over the crispy pork and creamy grits.  Even though we were stuffed, Isaac and I managed to sample a half order of their fresh doughnuts for dessert – sprinkled with sugar, crispy on the outside and pillowy inside. Heaven.

those famous doughnuts

I’d revisit Tabard Inn in an instant.  (Oh yeg, why oh why don’t you have more brunch places?).

Tabard Inn
1739 North Street NW
Washington DC


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