A few weekends ago, urgent and important business compelled me to make a special trip to DC Brau–a local production brewery churning out deliciousness in the form of The Public Pale Ale, The Corruption IPA, The Citizen Belgian Ale and an awesome array of seasonal, limited-edition beers. Lucky for us, the brewery was actually in operation during our Saturday tour (the brewers had been going strong since 5:00 am that morning!). This meant a lot of noise, but it also meant we could watch the canning machine in action! If you have car access, this is definitely a fun outing (it’s all free) – and there’s even a food truck parked in their lot so you can get lunch before your tour!
To fortify ourselves for the tour and tastings, and because we were going into NE anyway, I convinced M to stop off for brunch on H Street. I was tempted by the Argonaut–a fantastic place (and the site of a very mimosa-heavy birthday brunch 2 years back), but opted for something new: Boundary Road. This lovely, brick-walled spot opened almost exactly a year ago, and has been a hit among H Streeters and beyond. It was bright and sunny, with just a small smattering of people enjoying a lazy Saturday morning. Our coffee was served in a pot right out of M’s childhood home, and the two raw sugar cubes served with it were perfect for sucking the coffee through our teeth (doesn’t everyone do this?)
There are a few peanuty items on their brunch menu (the Yelp reviews hold the Peanut Butter & Banana Monte Cristo to a gold standard), so I was sure to ask our waitress about the level of caution in the kitchen, and whether they used any nut oils in their preparation. M is allergic to tree nuts, and I peanuts, so we allergenically complete each other, and make it easy on restaurant staff by simplifying things accordingly: no nuts. Our waitress was very thorough about addressing our concerns, and made a point of saying that they do use peanut oil for some fried entrees, so I should be especially careful if I were to come back for lunch or dinner. I definitely appreciated her candor–next time, I’ll be prepared for a menu that includes peanut oil, and can plan accordingly!
The food turned out to be pretty solid. I ordered the Apple Cheese Pancakes, which were fluffy and creamy with a nice light char on the outside that gave them fantastic texture. I, of course, smothered them in maple syrup, and speared pieces of my fruit cup to accompany my bites. It was an enormous portion though, and after finishing his rather conservative portion of eggs, bacon and hashbrowns, M demolished the last 1/3 of my pancakes.
I really enjoyed Boundary Road, but perhaps more for its charming decor than anything else. The 2 stories of exposed brick, the crazy chandelier made from a repurposed antique spring mattress, and the assortment of vintage crockery all make you feel so at home. Granted–an ingeniously crafted home designed to evoke nostalgia at every turn, but that’s beside the point. Unfortunately, upon our departure, we were dismayed to find that 1) the car was now sporting a shiny ticket because we were a little daft and didn’t notice the pay-to-park sign and 2) that the car was blocked in by a food delivery truck servicing The Big Board across the street. It was lucky we had good beer to look forward to.
PS: The next day, my friend Sara and I finally stopped by Pleasant Pops Farmhouse Market & Cafe, a brick-and-morter outpost of the (very) popular local popsicle purveyors (say that 5 times fast!). Inside they have a wall devoted to local food brands, from Whisked (specialty pies) to Gordy’s Pickle Jar (self explanatory) to Goldilocks Goodies (gluten-free treats)! I was even able to accompany my cup of earl grey with a chocolate chip cookie from Blind Dog Cafe! It was a great little spot, and a great addition to my neighborhood!
Boundary Road | 414 H. St NE Washington, DC | (202) 450-3265
DC Brau | 3178-B Bladensburg Rd NE Washington DC 20018 | (202) 621-8890
Pleasant Pops | 1781 Florida Ave NW Washington, DC 20009 | (202) 558-5224