Neighborhood: One in Mt. Vernon Square, one in U Street
On this night, I headed over to the 5th and K Busboys and Poets for a benefit concert put on by Official Friend of DCWD HR Intern.
Both locations are pretty similar in their set-up: a large cafe space, this one with two floors, huge, hip, and modern. True to its locations in both U Street and Convention Center, it celebrates black heritage in a very noticeable way, with paintings of Dr. King and Obama (though in fairness, there's also Gandhi and the Dalai Lama). To your left as you walk in is a shop that sells mostly fair trade goods and the best of black literature: Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Alice Walker.
As you look into the space, you find the massive bar which wraps around a winding metal staircase. It'd almost be pointless to describe the seating arrangement, because there is seemingly every variety: quiet coffeeshop type space upstairs, bar seating in the center, two-tops, four-tops, half-booth seating in the side room. The downside is that the space is almost always filled up with sound, bustling and vibrant and probably musical or poetic with the stage in the side room where we were.
Starving, I ordered the Mediterranean burger, a patty inside a wheat pita covered in goat cheese and tomatoes. Let's be clear: I love goat cheese. Everyone knows this, so I was already digging it in that way. But I thought the pita thing was sort of inspired, the culinary opposite to Wendy's "Where's the Beef?" campaign, as it stripped away all of the unnecessary starch fluff from the burger. Plus, the burger was exceedingly and surprisingly well-cooked, melting very well with the creaminess of the goat cheese. Actually pretty fantastic.
Without too much to judge it on, it's hard to make a definitive decision on Busboys and Poets, but for what it is, the meal was pretty good. Will definitely have to go back and see what's up.
Food Rating: *** (out of 5)
Date Rating: 3 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code: Casual
Bar Rating: Hipster Hangout to Suits Scene
Vibe: Energetic to Noisy
Cost: $$ (out of 5) ($25-$50 for two)
Pairing: Considering the sheer amount of events there, just stay at Busboys and Poets and take in a poetry reading or a small concert.