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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Bistro Bohem

Plaudits: None
Neighborhood: U Street/Shaw

The Setup


With a need for dinner near our house, Official Co-Writer/Wife of DCWD Texas and I happened upon Bistro Bohem.

The Vibe

We have circled the dual Bohem space for quite some time. Half the space is a cafe, which we've also never stepped foot into. On the bistro side is a bar area with a spare few seats, mostly at high tables and an actual bar. The real seating comes in the form of a sizable outdoor patio and a side room, which is the real dining area at double the size of the front room. Here, an exposed brick room of greens and browns come decorated with various kitsch. It's nice if unmemorable.

The Food


On this trip, I order the pork schnitzel, because what else does one do at a German restaurant? Of the many styles offered, I go with the one covered in arugala, tomatoes, and some provolone cheese. It's tidy though a bit of a nothingburger, like something one could have popped out in a home kitchen having been told what schnitzel is. If there's a surprise here, it's the side of mashed potatoes which is happily heavy on the butter.

For her part, Texas's roasted portobello burger - which comes on a pretzel bun topped with house grilled veggies and provolone - is an actual, literal nothingburger. It's indistinguishable and lacks any discernible punch. Even the house made potato chips, fried down to a dark brown, are worth passing on.

The Verdict


Fine, I suppose.

Food Rating: ** 
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 3 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Casual
Bar Rating:
 Quiet Drinks
Vibe:
Calm
Cost:
$$
 (out of 5) ($25-$50 for two)


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Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Munchies: Uprising Muffin Company

Plaudits: None
Neighborhood: Shaw/U Street

The Setup


Quick breakfast on the go? Time to try out the Uprising Muffin Company. I'd already previously sent Official Sister of DCWD Rissa over to the Progression Place eatery beforehand, who had provided a fairly middling review herself. Still, we found ourselves in the area with a hankering for breakfast and the desire to switch up our normal Blind Dog Cafe routine.
The inside of the muffin shop is like if you took a Starbucks and switched green to yellow: modern coffee shop feel with heavy hits of brown; a central counter with some outlying bar and two-top seating; a brisk, impartial feel that sits on the opposite side of the spectrum from the more relaxed, lived-in feeling you get from more casual espresso-slingers. It's not for lack of trying: certain design elements, like small square tiling or gray and white trim try to push for a hipper (or at least Home & Garden-er) aesthetic. Still, doesn't feel the kind of place you'd want to hole up for the day.


As for the food, we grab two muffins and beverages - none of which are exemplary. Texas's pumpkin muffin is saccharine and gooey - which makes the whole affair fairly unpleasant, the sugar only outdone by the incredibly cloying chai latte we split. My spinach, tomato, and parmesan muffin fairs better, but it's still dry and pedestrian.

The Verdict


With so many other coffee stops within just a few blocks... skip it.

Food Rating: * 1/2 
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 2 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Casual
Bar Rating:
N/A
Vibe:
Calm
Cost:
$
(out of 5) (less than $25 for two)

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Munchies: DCity Smokehouse

Plaudits: Washington Post 2014 Fall Dining Guide
Neighborhood: Bloomingdale/Truxton Circle

The Setup




Riding back on one of the 90 buses, Official Co-Writer/Wife of DCWD Texas and I suddenly realized how hungry we were. What better time to get off the bus and try out the buzzy DCity Smokehouse?

The Vibe
Blink and you'll miss it. Despite what seems like a large storefront, DCity Smokehouse consists only of a walk-up counter and four bar seats along one wall. It's cute though: some slate and white walls decorated with assorted DC kitsch lit by an assortment of Edison bulbs. If you're looking for seats, be prepared to battle for them, and to have a constant line behind you.

The Food


We ordered two sandwiches, the Brisket Champ and the Z-Man; the first a brisket sandwich on Texas toast with fried onions and pickles, the second chopped pork on a potato roll with cheese and fried onions. To say these were decadent seems self-obvious; to say they were delicious is a necessity. Meat that's juicy and complex, toppings that feel like home, and a feeling of indulgence that's contagious.

As her nickname suggests, Texas has strong opinions about barbecue. To these sandwiches she said, "can we get some more?"

The Verdict


Superlative barbecue in a low-key spot.

Food Rating: ****
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 2 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Casual
Bar Rating:
 N/A
Vibe:
Chatty
Cost:
$
 (out of 5) (less than $25 for two)

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