It’s quite obvious that the Bitches are city girls. We are both Logan Circle residents, sans-automobiles. And, that’s just the way we like it.
Unless, of course, we need to do normal things like, say, go to Target or Home Depot, purchase furniture, buy in bulk, or get anywhere a MyTaxi can’t take you. Then, we’re in trouble. This kind of limits our ability to be real people, or brunch outside the District.
Our friends over at General Motors save us from this fate. Back in the spring, they loaned us each cars—I got to zip around in a red Camaro convertible over Memorial Day and Becca drove a Chevy to food heaven in Frederick—enabling us to accomplish adult tasks and errand-running. Hallelujah.
In February, G.M. reached out and loaned another car, this time, an electric Chevy Volt. (I’m a super nerdy environmental and clean energy geek, so I was excited, to say the least.)
I also consider it my Bitch duty to troop outside of my geographical comfort zone. A few months back, I had gotten an e-mail from the owner of Quench, a restaurant in Rockville, Md., touting the spot’s brunch as worth the trip and inviting me in.
OK, I thought, I’ll venture to Rockville, dragging along my British friend Jack. He’d already flown across the Atlantic, surely he could stand a 30-minute ride to Rockville.
We were both terribly hungover, and it was snowing. After allowing the GPS to do everything but drive, we pulled into a strip mall. “Oh no,” I gasped. “A strip mall? What have I gotten us in to?”
We walked into Quench, which has an industrial coffee house feel, with large chalk boards, wooden tables, and metal chairs. It’s sparse, but deliberately so. There were groups and families of all different shapes and sizes, eating brunch.
There was a live acoustic guitarist who played two sets throughout brunch. She was talented, but our hungover heads had truthfully wished she was either acoustic or not there at all. (We’re sorry we’re not terribly sorry.)
The waitress was quick with the coffee, waters, and fresh-squeezed orange juice and provided helpful guidance with the menu.
Each coffee came served in an individual petite French press, which was a unique touch. Plus, it was delicious.
Quench’s brunch is gourmet comfort food, which happens to be my brunch weakness. It’s pretty much salads and sandwiches, with an veggie egg omelet, biscuits and gravy, and the Quench burger.
There were plenty of vegetarian options: a vegetarian sandwich, veggie omelet, grilled cheese, and salads. There were healthy options, too: Caesar salad, Mediterranean lamb salad, and beet and arugula salads.
We began with house-made biscuits, served with whipped honey butter and strawberry preserves. The biscuits were melt-in-your-mouth moist, unlike any biscuits I’ve had to date. Typically, they are so dry, you know? I later learned that’s because the chef imports special flour for the biscuits from South Carolina. But of course.
Jack opted for the most fun dish on the menu: the chicken and waffles sandwich, which is exactly what it sounds like. Waffles en lieu of bread, with crispy fried chicken, honey-maple butter and country gravy in the middle. It was enormous, delicious, and very very heavy and between that and the hangover all he wanted in life was a nap after brunch.
As for me, I opted for the grilled cheese (brie, slow-roasted herbed tomatoes, and truffled mayo) but I added caramelized onions and a fried egg. People, let me tell you two things (1) you can put a fried egg on nearly anything and (2) the breakfast sandwich is a beautiful, beautiful thing. (Even more so when you’re hungover.)
There is nothing about this meal that doesn’t make it perfect: It was a grilled cheese, it was enormous, they used brie, they lathered it in truffled mayo, they topped it with caramelized onions and a fried egg. This sandwich will set the standard for all the future breakfast sandwiches I will ever eat.
Both dishes came with house-made French fries with three gourmet dipping sauces: house-made chipotle ketchup, truffle mayo, and regular ketchup. The fries were awesome.
We forced ourselves to have dessert: the beignets. (Rule No. 1 of brunching with the Bitches: If there are doughnuts or beignets on the menu, they must be ordered.) The enormous beignets were fried and fluffy and covered with cinnamon sugar. They were served in a fresh mixed berry compote of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. The fruit was very fresh, only putting the icing on the cake of my claim of Quench’s attention to fresh, quality ingredients.
As we were having dessert, the Chef, Chris Mack, came out to chat about his brunch philosophy (fresh ingredients, hit-the-spot food that can be understood by the Maryland locals (nothing too complicated but still really good), and some salad and veg-friendly options). Turns out, he was the former chef at Policy, one of the Bitches favorite spots, hence the striking similarities between the amazing French fries and delectable beignets at both restaurants.
The Bitches say: A+. This little gem in a strip mall in Rockville is a true find. Laid back coffee shop ambiance, quality ingredients, and kicked-up comfort food hits the spot.
9712 Traville Gateway Drive