I’m ashamed to say there are parts of our District I’ve not explored during my five years of residence. As my Uber headed east, I looked up startled at the sight of a cemetery, unsure of where we were. Had that much time gone by? Were we lost? Was he driving me outside the city to murder me?
A checked the map on my phone and breathed a sigh of relief. We were still in Washington, a few minutes from my destination.
Oh, so this is Brookland. There’s a cemetery. A cathedral. A university. A lot of beautiful architecture. Once I got over my trepidation, I enjoyed so many sights previously unseen.
I arrived safely to my destination, Brookland Pint, to meet my friend Edie. She’s a foodie and cocktail connoisseur from my hometown. As usual, she was waiting for yours truly at the table with a cocktail in hand.
For our beverages, it was tea for her, coffee for me, beer for her, and a grapefruit mimosa for me. Served in a tall tumbler, the grapefruit mimosa was fresh, frothy, and strong—this is a reliable breakfast cocktail done well. I have a feeling Brookland Pint would be a great spot for drinks in the neighborhood—good cocktails and a great beer list in a relaxed atmosphere. Plus, there’s not a lot of competition in the neighborhood.
Brunch at Brookland Pint provides all sorts of options: sandwiches, salads, steak and eggs, Eggs Benedict, an American breakfast, and a sweet potato corned beef hash. There are also a few International options—chilaquiles and a Croque Madame, oddly enough.
The menu has plenty of gluten-free and vegan options, which is attractive in a day and age when everyone has a food allergy or diet preference.
There are also weekly specials: a frittata, waffle, omelet, and burrito, all of which change every seven days. This is clearly a neighborhood restaurant—and with not a lot of other spots in the area, the restaurant is smart to provide its regulars with variety.
We began with New Orleans beignets, described as “irresistible fried dough coated in powdered sugar.” The description could not be more apt—I devoured three in a matter of minutes. Edie, who spent a good bit of time in New Orleans, vouched for the authenticity of the fried squares of delicious, warm, doughy goodness.
Edie ordered the breakfast mofongo: garlic mashed plantains, black beans, fried eggs, and avocado. You can order the dish as vegan, vegetarian, or with bacon. She ordered bacon—as bacon makes everything better. Her entrée was alright—but nothing to write home about.
I also ordered bacon—as a side— that arrived as a pair of strips perched awkwardly atop a large oval plate. It was good, as bacon most often is.
I chose to order the frittata of the week, a mushroom and caramelized onion topped with cheese. The plate was enormous, with a generous helping of home fries, fresh mixed greens, and a heavy cut of the frittata. Unfortunately, the quality of the cuisine just wasn’t there. The frittata was covered in flavorless melted cheese, and it tasted as if it had been made a few days prior. It was lacking in flavor and you could tell the quality of ingredients was just so-so. The home fries were lackluster—but I also lack enthusiasm about home fries. The mixed greens were fresh and not doused in dressing, which I appreciate.
For a mere $12, the brunch entrée was a steal—and all the menu prices are similarly responsible. Sadly, however, there’s no bottomless beverage option.
We must appreciate Brookland Pint for what it is: a reliable spot for American fare at affordable prices, and one of the few options in the neighborhood. A “foodie” might turn his or her nose up at the food, which is fine and respectable—but not great. We’d go there a lot if we lived in the neighborhood—it’s great to have in the ‘hood—but it’s not a destination brunch.
The Bitches say: B-. A casual, great neighborhood spot in Brookland. The food is not noteworthy and the service a bit odd.
716 Monroe St. N.E.
Brookland Pint serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.