It’s easy to forget about your trusty local, especially when the neighborhood is being bombarded by shiny new hot spots opening every weekend.
1905 has been a staple in Shaw for years. And—with the rapid development of 14th Street and Logan Circle—what was once a rarely visited neighborhood is now a prime location.
One of the best things about 1905 is its rooftop bar, which was a welcome addition last year. Unassuming and mostly hidden from tourists, the small bar serves up great cocktails, plays fantastic tunes and provides a spectacular view of the capital. It’s a hidden gem.
How can such a classic D.C. spot not serve up brunch? Well, they relaunched brunch recently after several years, and they did so with a bang. Not only did 1905 announce brunch with a $15 bottomless on Sundays, but the restaurant also added a Tuesday night brunch-for-dinner deal, which, frankly, is my dream come true.
The tiny little restaurant is wedged on the second floor of a row house. It’s long and narrow—you typically have to squeeze past the bar patrons to get to the restroom through a pair of saloon-style swinging doors. It’s dimly lit, making it a romantic D.C. date spot.
On a Sunday afternoon, the sunlight was streaming through the windows, showing off the worn cushions and dusty chandeliers. So much personality. It’s classic Washington, now made even more classic with a bottomless brunch.
I had made a reservation in advance, and I was glad that I did, as the brunch service was packed. There was even a long table for 10 filling up with people and their mimosa-fueled debauchery nearby. However, our party was wedged between the bar and the service station, which was unfortunate.
We ordered coffee and drinks, and even though our server was flitting around our space, because that’s where the computer was, the drinks took a while to arrive. No big deal, we weren’t in a rush, after all. Just thirsty.
We were then given an order of bread, which came with a delicious thyme-honey butter, but just three slices—and there were four of us. Again, slightly annoyed, we ordered a second round, and a few more appetizers, assuming it would take a while.
The frites were thin and salty, and served with a delicious green tabasco mayo on the side. The beet salad was a very pretty dish when it arrived, as the salt-roasted beets were actually orange, rather than the typically deep purple. They were placed on a bed of granola with big dollops of goat cheese-buttermilk fondue surrounding the construction.
Finally we got around to ordering entrees. My boyfriend ordered the burger and was asked if he wanted a sunny side up egg on it, which he declined. It arrived with the egg anyway. The double-patty Angus burger also had cheddar cheese, BBQ mayo, and bacon-fried onions.
We also ordered the frittata, which was cooked with seasonal vegetables and served with field greens on the side. It was delicious, but thin.
There were brunch specials, written on the chalkboard, which our server referenced but which we couldn’t see from our awkward table location. One of the specials was the French toast monte cristo, which was unusual and delicious. It was a lot of carbs and meat to handle, but the flavors were proportionate.
I ordered the chicken and waffles—because how can you not? It was not particularly outstanding, but I’m a tough Bitch to please when it comes to fried chicken and Belgian waffles. The chicken was deep-fried confit thigh. Served on top was cayenne honey.
Brooke ordered the soft scrambled eggs, which were served piled up on a brioche roll. She said they were decidedly delicious, with cherry tomatoes and house-made sriracha mayo, which was appropriately spicy. 1905 took a simple dish—a pile of scrambled eggs—and made it something unique.
We ordered a side of grits to share, which were supposed to be truffled grits, but arrived a bit cold. Because of the tepid temperature, it was hard for me to stomach them and taste the truffled goodness, so I was slightly disappointed.
I want to love 1905’s brunch, in fact, I’m quite fond of the charming space for dinner, and I adore the rooftop. Unfortunately, our brunch experience didn’t live up to our hopes.
The Bitches say: C+. Rough around the edges, with its clumsy service and dusty decor, and the brunch dishes are hit or miss.
1905 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
1905 serves brunch on Sundays.