I started this project with the premise that "Yes, you can occasionally get good brunch in D.C." and my initial premise has held true. Over my close to 40 reviews, the average rating was 2.2 stars out of 4. Only one restaurant got four stars -- Tabard Inn -- while six got only one star. However, ten restaurants got at least three stars. Thus, while D.C. still has a long way to go in perfecting my favorite meal, there are certainly bright spots, like the pides at Rosemary's Thyme, the bagel brunch at 2 Amys, the doughnuts at the Tabard Inn, and the fried chicken and waffles at Marvin.
Here are some of my suggestions for ways in which D.C.'s brunch scene could improve:
(1) Provide mandatory training on how to poach an egg. There were sundry occasions where my poached eggs were downright terrible. That ruins the dish, particularly the brunch staple Eggs Benedict. Note the difference between a horrible poached egg (at Stars Cafe -- unreviewed, just so bad), and an excellent one made by yours truly. The whites should be firm and the yolks runny. It's really not that hard.
(2) Add some prix fixe brunch menus. One of my favorite places in New York, Essex, offers a brunch entree and 3 alcoholic beverages for a flat $18. It's an excellent deal. While prix fixe brunches have long been a staple in New York (even my local NY brunch spot, Fred's, offers an entree, coffee, and an alcoholic beverage for $15), you don't see them at all in D.C. And the $15+ bottomless mimosa deals that have recently sprung up don't count, it has to be all inclusive and under $20.
(3) Get some decent Dim Sum or other ethnic food. It is a shame you cannot find decent ethnic food for brunch in D.C. Aside from the occassional Indian or Japanese buffet, there really aren't any ethnic brunch options in the city. An excellent and inexpensive dim sum establishment within the city limits would add a lot.
(4) Improve the service. At even the best restaurants in D.C., the service was often slow, disorganized, and inefficient. I understand that the waiters may be just as hungover as the patrons on a Sunday morning but improvement shouldn't be too hard. We shouldn't have to be moved three times for our party of five at Ben's Next Door, or wait at least 20 minutes for someone to take our order at Utopia. Bad service really hampers the brunch experience at a lot of restaurants that have respectable food.
Well, there you have it. For those who aren't sick of me, I may begin doing some food writing up in New York; if so I'll be sure to let my Brunch DC readers know. Farewell D.C.