Thursday, June 5, 2014

DC Eats - Founding Farmers

Yes, this blog has covered eateries in the DC area before, but let’s be real…tastes change as we get older. And I don’t mean palate-wise (although this is part of it), but also atmosphere and service. I’d like to share the name of a wonderful place I tried this past Sunday for brunch: Founding Farmers.

Doesn’t the name just say it all? I love a tongue and cheek title, especially when it evokes images of a pastoral lifestyle: wholesome and fresh. Which the restaurant was, and I was not in any was disappointed.

Founding Farmers has 2 locations – we went to the one close to the Foggy Bottom metro stop. Make reservations because from what I gather, the spot is always poppin’ so either be prepared to eat at the bar or wait a looooong time.

We went for brunch but it was nice that they also served off their lunch menu – some places (usually smaller ones) will just offer brunch on Sunday mornings. The menu is quite diverse, but not overwhelming, which I appreciated. They also make a lot of things in house: sodas, breads, desserts (think fresh beignets) which is nice to see. The space is gorgeous: light and airy, large booths and good-sized tables. The wait staff wear farmer aprons which is kind of cute. They are all on a mission though, and it was a little hard to get their attention for extra water or pens to sign the tab.

I got the pastrami hash (which came with two poached eggs and a yummy hollandaise) and the bananas foster French toast. I have a thing about French toast…it has to be dense and really soft with a good crunch. I hate dry French toast, which a lot of restaurants unfortunately have come to market as the norm. This one, however, blew me a way. They use a brioche loaf and cut it into cute little logs, stuff them with pastry cream, and douse in caramel bananas foster. It was amazing. Life changing, maybe. Okay, I exggarate… The pastrami hash was not oily, really fresh, and super flavorful – the fact that it was covered in a superb hollandaise was a huge plus. You already know my thing about poached eggs providing a natural sauce, so this was a great addition.  The hollandaise, by the way, wasn’t really acidic like many I’ve had recently. I ordered a hash to go – it was that good.

We finalized our meal by ordering the beignets even though we were stuffed to maximum capacity. Do I regret this? Not a bit. The pate de choux (aka dough) was perfect: chewy with pockets of air and a great crunch on the outside. The sauces: chocolate, raspberry, and caramel were great, too. I’m more a beignet purist so I shy away from dousing mine in sauces, but I tried each separately and they were really quality.

So there you have it: a new must-try in DC. I know it’ll be a regular revisit for me whenever I have a sweet or savory brunch craving. Which is always.