January really is the worst month of the year. It’s freezing. All your calories, monies, and vacation days were spent on December holidays, parties, and vacations.
You’ve likely cut out sugar or alcohol as a New Year’s resolution or committed to flossing, despite this being the most onerous, mundane task you can imagine. Then again, flossing wouldn’t be so bad if you could have sugar or alcohol—we get super Bitchy without both.
Work is stressful because everyone is setting plans and deliverables for the year.
The next real holiday to look forward to is Valentine’s Day, which men fear and single women loathe. (I feel for you, ladies.)
This January, I was a hermit—working, blogging, cooking healthy, working out, and spending time with my hyper-productive boyfriend. I’ve fallen entirely off the social radar, and repeatedly chosen a book and coffee over human interaction.
It was a Thursday, and I realized I had Saturday free and was without brunch plans. As a hyper-social extrovert, the idea of not having anyone to brunch with brought on an anxiety attack and self-destructive thinking.
“Oh my god,” I thought to myself, “I have no friends. Everyone hates me. I am a social leper.”
Once my anxiety subsided and I arrived back into the realm of sanity, I took to Outlook, Gmail, Gchat, Google Calendar invite, and text, reaching out to several friends, requesting their company for chicken, doughnuts, and bottomless brunch.
“Sounds great!” said one over Gchat.
“Can I bring a friend?” said another over Outlook.
“Calendar invite accepted.”
“I’ll be there, but late,” responded another.
My tally of brunch companions had grown from zero to nine in a matter of minutes.
“Oh my god,” I thought to myself. “I have so many friends. Everyone loves me. I am so popular.” (Actually, you’re a lunatic. But, luckily, your friends like you anyway.)
Saturday, I breezed into GBD, tardy per usual. The gang had already made their introductions and had begun getting to know one another. I have a knack for picking good people—and was pleased everyone got along despite various backgrounds, stories, and personality types.
The friendly host sat our group at the enormous, communal table in the back of GBD. Unlike the patient host, our waiter was grouchy and admitted to a hangover, but his foul mood hardly affected our party’s upbeat dynamic.
“What’s the brunch punch?” I asked him, as I slugged my neighbor in the shoulder with a quick, “Don’t punch pack.”
“We’re out of it,” replied the waiter curtly. “We’re also out of the espresso old fashioned doughnut, and that doughnut. Oh, and that one, too.”
Everyone looked simultaneously bummed and stunned. We ordered waters, mimosas, Bloody Marys, and coffees. Christina, seated alongside of me, was desperately in need of coffee, which took quite some time to arrive. “Wonder if they’re out of coffee, too,” she mused.
When the coffee finally arrived, it was served in mismatched mugs, a cheeky, humorous touch. In the way of beverages, GBD offers multiple beers to pair with doughnuts, and the mimosas and brunch punch—should it be available—are $8 a pop or $15 for bottomless. The Bloodys were good but unfortunately not bottomless.
When the time to order, most of the table opted for the “let’s make a deal,” which allows you to add a doughnut and coffee on to your entrée for $3.
The brunch menu has some good options: a sesame salad, a pork center loin, a croissanwich, spinach onion quiche, chicken and waffles, or apple-cinnamon French toast sticks.
Everyone at the table opted for something involving fried chicken: a chicken biscuit, chicken and waffles, or the chicken boxes—a box of fried chicken (tenders or thighs and drumsticks) served with a crème fraiche biscuit, mac n’ cheese or potato salad, coleslaw, and your choice of sauce.
There are ten dipping sauces you can order with your chicken for 65 cents each: buttermilk ranch, chipotle BBQ, General Satan’s Sauce, honey mustard, mumbo sauce, jerk sauce, blue cheese dip, tartar sauce, and my personal favorite, Frankenbutter, which is Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and butter.
The doughnut selection is unique and expansive, with mainstays and seasonal options each time you visit. Some highlights: classic vanilla glazed, bourbon maple glazed with bacon, apple fritter with cinnamon glaze, espresso old fashioned with coffee glaze. However, in my several experiences, some of the doughnuts sound a lot better than they taste.
Today’s special doughnut was funfetti, which several brunchers ordered.
Many of us ordered the Nutella crunch doughnut. However, when our waiter arrived with the food, he informed us we received the last two Nutella doughnuts and two of us would have to order something else. Not willing to go all Hungers Games on my friends, I calmed my inner Katniss, and, being the Bitch and hostess, I gave up my Nutella doughnut.
Unfortunately, GBD has earned a deserved reputation for poor service and menu issues. This was my third time at GBD, and on both other occasions I experienced poor service, unavailable menu items, and hit-or-miss doughnut deliciousness. The day following my brunch, I received a text from a friend at brunch at GBD, it read, “I will never go back to GBD. The service was terrible and they were out of everything.”
Once the food arrived and everyone had what they needed, we carried on chatting, laughing, and munching. Everyone agreed that the fried chicken, biscuits, and waffles were delicious. Unfortunately, the waffles were cold, but Emil was too sweet to complain. Alana loved the Bloody Mary. Christina’s chicken biscuit was miniscule, so she had some of my mac n’ cheese. The apple fritter and Nutella doughnuts were delicious, said Salman.
My eclectic, wonderful group of friends got along in spades and we all headed off to Bar Dupont for more cocktails, conversation and conviviality this Saturday afternoon. Because, that’s the best part of pushing a bunch of genuine, smart, successful strangers together: everyone leaves as friends.
Brunch and doughnuts, bringing people together.
The Bitches say: C. GBD makes really delicious fried chicken and biscuits. However, the doughnuts are either seriously delicious or deeply disappointing, which is unacceptable when that’s your restaurant’s niche. The restaurant seems poorly organized and the service tends to be bad, or bad bordering on hateful.
1323 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
GBD serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serves doughnuts for extended hours.