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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Plaudits: None
Neighborhood: U Street/Dupont Circle/Adams-Morgan

The Setup

After circling it for years, it took some simple prodding by Official Friends of DCWD Flo and Burgh to drag Official Co-Writer/Fiancee of DCWD Texas and I out to neighborhood anchor Locolat.

The Vibe

Locolat sits at the nexus of three neighborhoods on the corner of 18th, Florida, and U Streets. It’s also a restaurant that sits at the nexus of a few ideas: a Belgian restaurant, a coffee shop, a patisserie. Despite these concepts, the building that Locolat sits in is decidedly modern, with clean stainless steel and silver accents all over a curved seating area that wraps around the pastry display, composed of two-tops in combination. A small kitchen peaks out beyond a door behind the counter, and the whole space is decorated with Belgian bottles, beer caps, and beer posters. A sizable patio wraps around the front, with metal furniture that matches the space.

The Food

There are certain things that you almost have to order when you head to a Belgian place: waffles, escargot, beer, mussels. On this trip, we ticked off all but one of those. I ordered the waffle sliders: three different savory waffles (potato and chive, green herb, and pesto) topped respectively with beef stew, a burger, and grilled asparagus. All of the sliders fell within the category of interesting and above average. All three waffles made for intriguing flavors not normally associated with your typical sweet morning breakfast, and definitely added an element of “and now for something different.” The burger, covered by a melted Belgian cheese, was quite pungent-in-a-good-way, while the beef stew was hearty and thick, albeit a tad bit overcooked and thus a bit chewy for my tastes. The asparagus was the lone true meh, a nod to vegetarianism that I felt could have been done a bit better.

To this, I tacked on a beer float, a bottle of Gouden Carolus mixed with vanilla ice cream. It may go without saying, but something about a beer float is just a little more bitter than any other float, so there was something fun, but ultimately disquieting about the mixture. One of those quirky “ooh I’m glad I tried it, but I will not be ordering that next time” things.

The other dishes around the table also followed a similar pattern. Flo saw her waffle topped with escargot petit gris with garlic butter, with the snails also a bit chewier than I would have liked, but with a waffle just as enjoyable as my own. Texas ordered a trio of quiches picked by our server, a plate of two-inch squares that were definitely more cheese than anything else, the sort of melty goodness that oozed right before it hit you with a little ham or spinach. Burgh ordered a puff pastry stuffed with spinach and ham and swiss, which was crusty and delicious.

The Verdict

Straight Belgian food with interesting flavors, and a lot of variety in what you can do there (coffee, drinks, dinner, desserts, pick-up). Not a bad neighborhood choice.

Food Rating: ***
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 3.5 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Bar Rating:
(out of 5) ($25-$50 for two)
Take a walk down U Street and check out some of the old and new shops that have opened up: Joint Custody record shop, Ginger Root Design, and the about-to-expand Foundry.

Locolat on Urbanspoon

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