There is no better way to celebrate your best friend’s birthday than having an old fashioned Sunday Funday with a big group of friends. Fortunately for Brooke, her birthday coincided with President Abe’s birthday, and so for her celebration we went to the most appropriate brunch fiasco that we could find on that particular Sunday: Lincoln, of course.
We definitely got what we asked for. The Nationals’ mascot (yes, that massive Lincoln head) was parading around the brunch revelers. A performing duo called “The Sexy Man Group” (which was actually a server and a dude on a keyboard) was crooning from the omelet and waffle bar. Hell, we even jumped into the Lincoln-Birthday celebration ourselves by challenging one another to come up with the best Lincoln pickup lines.
Saro: “The Gettysburg Address was short, but let me tell you what isn’t.”
Tammy: “I’m gonna reunite my north with your south, baby.”
Brian: “You must be Seward authorizing the purchase of Alaska … ‘cause I’m experiencing some unprecedented growth.”
Oh yes, it was one of those Sunday Fundays where you’re drunk by 11 a.m. and everyone else is, too. Let me tell you how this happened.
First, they place two massive antique-looking punch bowls on your table, one with crushed orange concentrate, one with pulpy Bellini bits. Then, they start popping bottles, and mixing your punch, and you scoop the bubbly from the bowls in big spoons into your goblets. Oh, it’s glorious. By the end of your brunch you likely have mixed both types of champagne juices together, but that’s OK. No one is looking.
Or, if you’re not into that, there’s bottomless Marys, too. But they’re super spicy. Like, break-a-sweat spicy.
Our server, Dave, was hilarious. Right off the bat, there was no pressure. He made sure we were always set with booze and were having a good time. He chatted with us; he was attentive. We spent three hours with him. I feel like we knew him well by the end of the brunch. We even got his phone number (I told you it was one of those brunches).
I wished there were rolls or some kind of app dropped on the table as we arrived. In fact, Dave took a bit of a minute to get our service started up. We were all starved, and getting tipsy, and so we dove into the menu as quickly as he would allow.
The brunch deal at Lincoln that day was as follows: $36 all you can eat and drink, made-to-order omelet and waffle bar with two sides and unlimited mimosas, bellinis and bloody marys. Or, the a la carte menu, with which for an additional $19 we got unlimited mimosas, bellinis and bloody marys.
Most of us ordered a la carte (picky Bitches). But those few who ventured to the omelet and waffle station got their food fast and early as the rest of us salivated and appeased our empty stomachs with more champagne.
The omelet and waffle station was located at the front of the restaurant next to the DJ and the Sexy Man Duo. The station was kick-ass because there were chocolate chips and fresh fruit. Better yet, you could choose between buttermilk or gingerbread waffles with seasonal berries, New Jersey peaches, cherries, hazelnut butter, whipped cream and an assortment of syrups. The chef-made omelets had a variety of seasonal fillings.
The group was pleased with their omelets and waffles, yet it was strange that certain people got their food right away while the other half of the table had to wait. The trade off for getting your food so fast? A few poor souls heading for those waffles stepped too near the Sexy Man Duo and were accosted by a man in a vest crooning love songs in their ear. Suddenly, everyone in the restaurant is looking at them. They just wanted their waffles, dammit!
Mike was a station guy, but he wasn’t as impressed as I was with the bar. In fact, he thought most of his food was rather mediocre, including the waffle, omelet, biscuit and gravy, and cheese grits. He said the gravy was very tasty, but the biscuit was sweet, which was disappointing. But then again, waffles, omelets and grits aren’t exactly complex.
Mark had the Lincoln Country Breakfast, but substituted the biscuit for butter-and-garlic toast. The eggs were too cooked, and a bit greasy but tasty. The sausage was grilled and had a nice apple taste to it. The two slices of bacon were good, and so were the potatoes. He thought it was the perfect portion. However, another Bitch who had this same dish claimed it average and said that next time he would just go for the omelet bar.
Derek had the steak and eggs with a side of cheesy grits. He says, “The steak was served just how I ordered (medium rare). It was tender and juicy but the taste was so so. It was served on a hash of some sort that was sweet and actually made the steak taste better. The eggs were nothing to write home about. The cheesy grits, on the other hand, were delicious! They were creamy, perfect consistency, and had great flavor.”
Tammy, who likes anything you can put an egg on, had the breakfast burger. She particularly loves when you can add eggs to burgers, because it’s not something you typically find in the U.S. It was served with an egg, arugula, bacon, and cheddar. Delicious and not too big.
The bananas foster oatmeal did not live up to my expectations. We wanted more bananas foster and less oatmeal. Also, it was piping hot when it arrived, but the dish cooled down quickly. I guess that’s just oatmeal though. I felt pressure to eat it fast, when really I had just ordered it as a side. The bagel dish was the winner of the table—beautifully presented with salmon, eggs, capers, and more.
The Benedict was great. It had a big slice of tomato, and crispy bacon underneath. There was lots of Hollandaise sauce, and even after the last few bites were all egg yoke, biscuit and ham mixed together, it wasn’t mushy and still tasted great.
We shared a lot of other dishes. Like the mac and cheese, which was served in a cast-iron skillet, and was gone immediately. It was listed as a main entrée for brunch, even though it should be under the sides. We weren’t big fans of the thyme potatoes. The cheese grits were good, but the cheese was hardened on top so you had to crack through it. I wished the cheddar would have been mixed in a bit.
We weren’t ready to wrap up brunch when the music jilted to a halt at 3 p.m. We were still raging and boozing and ready to dance to more Sexy Man Duo! They brought Brooke out a complimentary cake with a candle in a jar, without anyone asking for it, which was nice. The cake-in-a-cup was topped with fresh fruit, berries, whipped cream and a candle on top—a thoughtful, delicious gesture.
We ordered her shots of tequila, passed around a bunch of scratch-off lottery tickets that one of the Bitches brought, then snapped photos of our empty bottles of champagne and waddled off into the afternoon. Happy Birthday, Brooke!
The Bitches say: B+ Great bottomless deal, beautiful restaurant space, fun brunch entertainment, but just slightly better than average food.
1110 Vermont Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
Lincoln serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.