Pulpo Brunch

As this website enters its third year, the co-Bitch is a business partner, best friend, and increasingly more like a sister. Therefore, our families and lives have become very intertwined.

I’m blessed that Becca’s God-sister, Stephanie, has become a part of my life. Stephanie’s baby shower was the first I’ve ever attended. Now, I’m blessed that Stephanie’s new little nubbin of adorable chubby cheeked joy, Mina, is a part of my life, too.

However, as both Bitches have limited experience and limited excitement in the baby arena, we were both a bit hesitant being dubbed “aunties.” Uhhhh, Aunty Bitch?

In a show of bravery, Becca was first to brunch with Mina, and did so with success, so I decided to give this whole “Brunch with Babies” thing a go, too. I mean, one day, in a galaxy far far away, it may be a new column, right?

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Miss Mina is three months old. She was asleep when she was wheeled in by her uber-hip city mom. Then, Momma Steph went to go fill the parking meter, leaving Mina alone with me and Schramie, who is of my Team Brunette family. Schramie is married, but that has absolutely no impact on her maternal abilities.

We sat. We stared. We were in fear. What if we break her in a matter of minutes. What if she wakes up? What if she cries?

Neither of us knew what to do.

Actually, that’s not true. I knew exactly what to do. I ordered another round of mimosas for me and Schramie—and one for La Mama, along with a decaf coffee (for reasons obvious to the Moms out there but one of the many things I learned at this brunch).

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We were at Pulpo, a fairly new restaurant in Cleveland Park, an appropriately family friendly neighborhood in Northwest Washington. The folks behind Pulpo, a Spanish tapas restaurant with a great atmosphere and fun decor, invited us in to try its new unlimited prix fixe brunch.

Pulpo’s deal may be the best endless brunch option in the city right now: $25 for endless food and bottomless supply of mimosas, Bloody Marys, and champagne. But, if that’s not strong enough for your liking, the bottomless option also includes house vodka, gin, rum, and tequila. It’s limited to two hours, but still beyond a steal of a deal.

The coffee was hot, rich, and flavorful. More importantly, our coffee cups were always full.

Upon our arrival, the server placed on our the table a plate of complimentary olives, a delectable spicy favo white bean dip, a yogurt tztazki dip, and wedges of warm, fresh pita bread. This was one of the best parts of brunch.

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The menu is tapas style, small Spanish plates, and we began with gusto, beginning with lots of carbs: the home-made muffins and olive oil pancakes serve with wild flower honey and fresh berries.

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The home-made muffins were good, but nothing remarkable. In fact, they are not unlike the ones I make myself, which I guess says little about my baking skills. (Gentlemen, take note.) That said, they were served warm and loaded with blueberries. I hate it when blueberry muffins lack their namesake fruit.

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Spanish restaurants, such as Jaleo, skew towards olive oil pancakes with honey in lieu of syrup, and it’s a welcome change for us regular brunchers. Moreover, Stephanie hates syrup so she was thrilled to be able to enjoy the pancakes.

We ordered patatas bravas, a popular and typical Spanish side dish. The potatoes were served with garlic aioli and topped with the creamy brava sauce. Las patatas were a hit with everyone at the table.

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The other side dish, the wild mushrooms, was filled with flavor and popular with the table.

As we continued through out appetizers, Mina was the perfect little lady. It was also not long before I noticed she was wearing 7 For All Mankind jeans and a Ralph Lauren pink-and-white striped sweater. Pretty sure I own the same sweater and jeans in adult size. Next time, I’ll be sure to coordinate ensembles with her mother.

On to the entrees, when we were less taken by the Salmon Benny and the frittata. The smoked salmon Eggs Benedict was served on a rice patty rather than a muffin. This could have been a unique, innovative take on a Benny, but instead the rice lacked any and all flavor and crumbled in an instant. So, you were left with rice covered in egg yolk. Rather odd, indeed.

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The frittata, made with Spanish Serrano ham, vidalia onion, red peppers, and moli cheese was also relatively flavorless. Not sure how ham, cheese, onions and peppers can turn out so bland, but it did.

We hoped for more with the fried shrimp sliders, served with heirloom tomatoes and chili aioli. And more w did receive. The bun of the slider was hot, crispy, oily, and fluffy, just like a a good slide bun should be. The shrimp were fried in a light tempura batter and, while surprising, the tomatoes were a lovely complement to the shrimp.

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The crostini trio was both beautiful and unique. Served on a wooden cutting board, the trio had three different crostinis: (1) smoked salmon with capers and cream cheese, (2) white anchovy with roasted red pepper and sheep’s milk ricotta, and (3) grilled shrimp with roasted corn and tomato salsa.

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Lauren says, “I’d go back, but not really for the food. More so, if I wanted to make it a boozy brunch with some decent substance.” Meanwhile, I counter: improve the brunch entrees, as the tapas, apps and service were spectacular.

The Bitches say: B. A great bottomless deal with spectacular service. The side dishes and pancakes are great, but Pulpo needs to work on their brunch entrees.

Pulpo
3407 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C.
(202) 450-6875

Pulpo on Urbanspoon

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