If I had to describe brunch at the Daily Grill in three words, I’d say “pleasantly surprised” and “comforting.” The folks at Daily Grill invited us over and I brought along one of my closest friends, Tristin, for a relaxed catch-up session at their downtown location. (Daily Grill is a national restaurant and they have another local restaurant in Georgetown.)
It was a sunny, chilly Saturday when we nestled in to a window-side booth in the very large restaurant and ordered two Bloody Marys. Daily Grill’s Bloody Marys are made to order. Mine arrived pretty yet plain, topped with celery, green olives and a lime. It was spicy, but not too much so, and easy to drink (a Bloody Mary issue I often struggle with).
Meanwhile, Tristin says, “ I am not a big drinker these days and so I chose to enjoy a Virgin Mary. They make all of their Bloody Marys to order and I asked for a bit of kick to mine. I will say that there was nothing especially bad about my beverage but it certainly did lack the ‘kick’ I asked for when ordering.”
Daily Grill’s Sunday brunch menu is a great package. When you order an entree, which are all priced at less than $25, you receive a pastry basket, complimentary coffee, and your choice of fresh orange juice, sparkling wine or a mimosa.
You can also order brunch a la carte (but why would you?). Additionally, the full lunch menu is available.
Says Tristin, “The menu choices were a bit pedestrian but at a place such as the Daily Grill their brunch choices were understandable. I am impressed with the specials they offered. It’s also great that they offer a full lunch menu should brunch not be your cup of tea. I do believe this would certainly appeal to my father for he rarely indulges in brunch.”
On this occasion, we both opted for the whole shebang.
Our server, Tony, was friendly and attentive without being overbearing. He made sure our waters, coffees, and Bloodys were always filled without interrupting the conversation.
The conversation halted briefly and both our eyes widened upon arrival of the pastry basket, which included croissants, raisin bran muffins and blueberry muffins. The croissant was buttery and doughy, and not as fluffy as could be desired. However, the most recent croissant I enjoyed was in Europe, so no croissant made stateside is likely to compare. Additionally, I didn’t think there were sufficient blueberries in the blueberry muffin. It was warm and tasted of rich buttermilk, so I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Says Tristin, “To my detriment, I very much enjoyed the pastry basket that lingered on our table. The blueberry muffins certainly proved to be my Achilles heel—I had to restrain myself from eating the whole basket as we had yet to receive our meal.”
Tristin ordered the egg white omelet, which was stuffed with mushrooms, tomatoes and scallions, and topped with an avocado and cherry tomato salsa.
She says, “I very much enjoy mushrooms and this omelet had plenty of them! I am keenly aware that mushrooms are a point of controversy and have sparked many a lively pizza topping debate. So, should you fall into the ‘anti-mushroom’ camp this would not be the best choice for you. Well, no matter to me for my omelet was full of them and accompanied by onions. The salsa on top was delicious. If you’re looking for something cheesy, however, this is not the best choice as it is a more healthy dish.”
I ordered my go-to, the crab cake benedict. I should mention that all egg dishes come with your choice of breakfast potatoes, sliced tomatoes, or fresh fruit—it’s great that they give you three options so you’re not just stuck with breakfast potatoes. The fruit—watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple—served with my Benny was fresh and I was happy to have something healthy on my Hollandaise-heart-attack-inducing plate.
As for the Benedict, it was a solid win, because: (1) the eggs came more poached, just as I requested, (2) the English muffin was properly toasted, and (3) the crab cake was nearly all crab and very little filler. While the Hollandaise was not the result of mind-blowing culinary skill, it was correctly done.
Lastly, we ordered a side of blueberry pancakes, which I’m happy to say were loaded with blueberries. The pancakes were cooked all the way through (sometimes a problem with filled ‘cakes). Fluffy, yummy, and comforting—like the kind your Mom used to make.
While Daily Grill is no chef’s masterpiece, the cuisine is reliable, delicious and comforting. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the food and how satisfied I was upon departure.
Tristin provides an apt summary of brunch when she says, “All in all, I very much enjoyed my brunching experience at the Daily Grill. As I stated before, I was pleasantly surprised with their brunch for I went in with few expectations. The service was prompt and out waiter was most attentive throughout, the food held its own, and I ate far too much for my own good—always a good sign!
The Bitches say: A- for a solid, reliable, affordable brunch that is relaxed, family friendly and surprisingly satisfying.
The Daily Grill
1200 18th St. N.W. # 2
Open for brunch Saturdays and Sundays