Monday, July 28, 2008


Mezè, which means "snack" or "taste" in Persian, is a Turkish/Mediterranean place on the east side of 18th street. Mezè is a three-dimensional enterprise: (1) it has a mediocre lunch and dinner menu consisting of Mediterranean tapas that are inferior to Zaytinya's and not much cheaper, if at all; (2) at night, like many other Adams Morgan establishments, it converts itself into a raucous and generally obnoxious lounge with a club on the top floor; and (3) surprisingly, it has solid brunch.

The brunch starts off with complimentary muffins. Any free food is good and these muffins are warm and tasty. The best item on the brunch menu is the French toast, which you might not expect from a Turkish restaurant. Of course, the quality of the bread is what makes a good French toast. While Mezè's is not made from challah -- our personal favorite -- it is prepared with homemade cinnamon bread topped with a generous amount of fresh fruit. The bread is thick, soft, and spongy and the complement of cinnamon with sweet fruit and maple syrup presents an ambrosial combination. If you've never been to Mezè before for brunch, there's no reason to order anything else.

We have, however, sampled some of their other offerings. The two other highlights on the menu are the Eggs Florentine, a popular vegetarian alternative to Eggs Benedict of two poached eggs with tomatoes and fresh spinach on top of an English muffin with what appears to be homemade hollandaise sauce, and if you're adventurous, the "Bosphorous Breakfast" which they describe as a "traditional Turkish breakfast with pastrami and sausage, cigar borek, hard boiled eggs, assorted cheeses, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives" -- kind of like a Turkish antipasto. The coffee is also very good here, though it comes with those annoying one-serve half-and-half containers instead of a milk or cream saucer.

They also offer free belly dancing lessons.

2437 18th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009

Brunch Menu [Mezè]

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Photo courtesy of

New D.C. Food Blog -- Thrifty/Epicure

Some friends of ours just started a blog called Thrifty/Epicure billed as the "Ultimate guide to eating well, drinking cheap and enjoying life for the young, broke and hungry of the District." We agree with their "meh" characterizations of certain popular spots in the city and wish them well.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bardia's New Orleans Cafe

Bardia's New Orleans Cafe is a small hole-in-the-wall on the west side of 18th street. While not a traditional brunch place, the Cafe does have an extensive and inexpensive New Orleans-style brunch. It has the staples like French Toast and omelettes with various fillings from the ordinary (ham and cheese) to the N'awlins, like crabmeat creole or andouille sausage. We'd recommend the more traditional New Orleans fare. The Eggs Baton Rouge -- two poached eggs on top of fried catfish bites topped with creole sauce (a mildly spicy tomato sauce) -- is a really interesting mix of flavors that we enjoyed thoroughly, though it could use more sauce. The Eggs New Orleans -- two poached eggs with crabmeat on top of a fried oyster -- is another gem. Most dishes come with potatoes and a biscuit, which is superior to the usual Popeyes variety.

As for sandwiches, the "River Catch," which consists of flash fried catfish with remoulade sauce shouldn't be missed; in fact, all of the catfish-based dishes are generally well-prepared. The other sandwiches are ordinary. Their chicken sandwich, the "The Plantation" is no better than what you'd get at any deli. For dessert they have "beignets," which are similar to funnel cakes and topped with powdered sugar.

The service could be improved. You often feel rushed and they're not very attentive with water or coffee. The New Orleans-themed decor with jazz-inspired paintings is a nice touch but we think that they should complement that with some big band music in the background. The tables in the front face large windows that look out onto 18th street for those interested in people-watching.

Bardia's New Orleans Cafe
2412 18th St NW
Washington D.C. 20009

Menu [Menupages]

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Diner

From the guys that brought you Tryst and Open City, The Diner is an Adams Morgan staple and is open 24 hours a day serving breakfast and something called "dinner" at all times. It's usually packed on Saturday and Sunday mornings, as local Adams Morgan residents and tourists flock to this place to recover from their hangovers often in the clothes they wore the previous night.

While there are many better brunch places along 18th street, this one is by far the most popular, probably because the food is competent, it's fairly inexpensive, and crowds inevitably draw more crowds (thanks behavioral economists). It has standard breakfast fare -- omelettes, pancakes, an obligatory Mexican dish, -- as well as sandwiches, salads, and larger "dinner" entrées that appear to be on the menu just for show. The "croques," French breakfast sandwiches, which consist of eggs, French bread, gruyere, béchamel sauce, and meat is a greasy highlight on the otherwise ordinary menu. The omelettes are fairly traditional and generally overcooked, but the Spanish Omelette, which is filled with pepperjack cheese and what appears to actually be homemade tomato salsa and is surprisingly flavorful. We'd generally stay away from the Eggs Benedict since they are fairly pricey here and the Diner chefs apparently haven't figured out how to poach an egg that doesn't come out watery and flat. The drinks are also ordinary except for the bloody mary, which comes in a large glass, is fairly spicy and alcoholic; an easy way to break a hangover.

Absurdly large desserts. Decent coffee.

The Diner
2453 18th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009

Website [The Diner]
Breakfast menu [The Diner]

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Welcome to Brunch DC. This site is devoted to tracking down, reviewing, and compiling information on the best, and worst, places to get brunch in Washington D.C. We'll be focusing on the following areas:

Adams Morgan
Dupont Circle
Columbia Heights
U Street

and if we get around to it, maybe Georgetown and Capitol Hill (though why would you go over there?)

We'll also be compiling "best of" and "worst of" lists based on our extensive brunch experience.

If you have any comments, suggestions, additions, photos, videos, or request to take us out to brunch, feel free to send us an email at brunchdc [at]