If one could have a crush on a restaurant, then I would have a big fat crush on Satellite Room. The U Street spot, with its unapologetically weird and impossibly cool ambiance, is like the middle school bad boy with the shaggy hair and Converse.
Nearly hidden behind the 9:30 Club, Satellite Room is yet another venue by the Hilton Brothers, those elusive men behind Marvin, Eighteenth Street Lounge, The Brixton, Den of Thieves, and a handful of other favorite District haunts.
When you walk into the long, dark space, the word Satellite is illuminated behind the bar, a scene that has undoubtedly been Instagrammed by many a yo-pro on a night out, yours truly included.
The tiled bar, the tables with purple leather stools, and the shiny booths all give an air of a dark, edgy version of a diner. And like a diner, it’s open seven days a week and late into the evening.
The space is decorated inside and out with enormous Warholian paintings of famous characters, both fictional and cartoon. The patio is covered, with high walls, and has a sparse feel, like it would be better placed in Mexico or Arizona. The tiles give it a Southwestern flair that is an aesthetic departure from the Goth diner vibe inside.
I have frequented Satellite Room for delicious boozy milkshakes before and after concerts, for lazy afternoons eating delicious fish tacos, and even on a first date. But, I had never been to brunch.
On this particular occasion, we were kicking off an epic Saturday of brunch, rosé and canapés on a friend’s patio, and an Uber limo to Sweetlife. Much of the group had opted to rest and skip brunch, but I was able to convince Adrienne and Salman—my hip geek-chic, well-traveled and all-around-awesome married friends—to join.
It was raining—no, pouring—as I stepped out of the house excitedly and began my trek to brunch. Dressed in a romper, Converse sneaks, and a new backpack, I was attempting to fit in with the teenagers at the Sweetlife music festival later that day.
When I arrived at Satellite Room, Adrienne and Salman were already seated outside sipping mimosas.
“Adrienne wasn’t going to let me drink my mimosa until you took a picture but I told her you could just snap a picture of my second,” said Salman. Like any good married couple, they only bicker about the smaller things in life.
I was soaking wet and thirsty for mimosas. I was also dressed like a teenage hippy on her way to Woodstock. The waiters are oh-so-hip with their tattoos, beards, and piercings—and oh-so-nonchalant with the service. When our waiter did show, he was incredibly kind and competent; it’s just that he was never around.
Satellite Room offers bottomless “Wu Tang Mimosas” for $15, a la carte mimosas for a mere $4, and Bloody Marys in spicy or “jerkface” for $9. The menu is diner food with a Tex-Mex flare. There are pancakes, French toast, quesadillas, fish tacos, burgers, huevos rancheros and other options.
We three opted for heavy, delicious dishes. For Adrienne, the croque madame, a plate of enormous cheesy, eggy deliciousness. It was Canadian bacon sandwiched between two slices of white bread, and topped with melted Gruyere and a fried egg over easy. She gave me a good bite (what are friends for) and I was able to aptly see what she was raving about.
Salman ordered the Eggs Benedict, and he was pleased that it came served on biscuits, rather than an English muffin. The Hollandaise was perfectly done and both Salman and Adrienne loved the Canadian bacon.
Meanwhile, I selected the chicken and biscuits, which were pleasingly petite. The chicken was moist and crispy, and the biscuits were soft, hot, and buttery. All in all, a really great Southern dish from a Washington restaurant.
All of our entrees were served with a large helping of fresh mixed greens tossed in a light dressing. Feeling guilty about our gluttony, we all forced ourselves to eat them.
I had already fallen in love with Satellite Room’s boozy milkshakes and cool vibes, but what I liked most about brunch was cheap mimosas by the glass, gourmet junk food, and healthy and fresh side and fruit salads. It’s a nice combination of good and evil.
As I was happily the third wheel, we concluded brunch by sharing the peanut butter, bacon and marshmallow fluff sandwich, served with a side of fresh fruit. The sandwich, grilled on white bread, looked kind of boring when it arrived, but in fact it was anything but. Inside the comforting white bread was melted peanut butter and marshmallow, and crispy bacon, that came together in the most perfect way with each bite.
Reluctant to stop there, we also shared a boozy milkshake, the Vincent Vega with Bourbon, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream– with three straws. Their milkshakes are just as good as your favorite childhood diner, but loaded with liquor. They are deceivingly strong, even when shared between three people. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The Bitches say: A-. Satellite Room has an awesome vibe, great gourmet junk food as well as healthy options, and a killer patio, rain or shine. The service knocked it down a notch.
The Satellite Room
2047 9th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
The Satellite Room serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 11 a.m.