I judge restaurants (and especially brunches) like I would judge a potential suitor. Do they treat me well? Are they presentable? What makes them stand out among the rest? Would I go out with them again? I know I’ve only brunched at Sixth Engine once, and I might be moving a little fast, but let’s just say that if Sixth Engine’s brunch sent me a relationship request on Facebook, I would gladly accept.
Let’s start with what makes Sixth Engine stand out. Not only is the restaurant beautiful and tastefully decorated, it’s actually an old firehouse. The top floor has exposed brick walls with personalized murals and branding on each side, and is lined with large windows that just the right amount of light in to compliment the dark, rich, wood floors. The hole where the fire pole was is still there but is covered by a steel plate in order to keep that firehouse feel. The downstairs is a quaint bar with blue walls and chalkboard paint to display the specials of the day.
We came prepared for this brunch, Cori Sue with her DSLR, and Diana and I with our intense appetites. I have to warn you, that we were not just hungry, we were ravenous, which is why we ordered practically the entire menu. We started with the potato and leek quiche, which was to die for. It was the perfect combination of warm, gooey, eggy inside and a buttery flaky crust, cooked perfectly to satisfy our rumbling tummies.
Our attentive (and might I say good looking) waiter returned frequently to refill our carafe of water and check on us. We each went on to order our main dishes.
I chose the Chorizo, Potatoes, and Egg entrée. It was the delightful layering of hashed potatoes, chorizo sausage, and eggs with crema verde. Tortillas accompanied the dish, but I chose to just commit and dig in without the tortillas. The dish was delicious and the perfect combination of all my favorite breakfast foods.
Cori Sue ordered the shrimp sandwich, which we were expecting to arrive similar to a burger, or on a roll, but instead were surprised to find that they were actually more similar to tacos than a sandwich, which is perfectly fine with us because the dish was executed wonderfully. It was composed of masa crust, Guajillo pesto, crema fresca, jalapeno, lime slaw, grilled bread, and served with fries.
Diana was torn between ordering the Deviled Ham Eggs Benny and the Duck Confit Scrapple, which sounded incredibly tempting. She opted for the Duck Confit Scrapple, and she couldn’t have been happier with her decision.
What were we to do whilst we waited for the chocolate chip pancakes we ordered and the other surprise dessert that was being sent our way? Order more food, of course. I love nothing more than cheese, well maybe chocolate and Adam Levine, but cheese is definitely up there. The S.O.S Fondue does not disappoint—made up of bresaoloa, black truffle mornay, and served alongside fluffy pieces of bread with perfectly crisped crust.
The chocolate chip pancakes and the apple fritters were last to arrive, and the perfect ending to our meal. The chocolate chip pancakes were as big as my head, and if you haven’t seen me in person, I actually have a rather large cranium, so you can only imagine the size of these babies. They were smothered in whipped cream and syrup, packed full of chocolate chips, and promptly devoured all while we vowed never to eat again. That was until we each bit into the apple fritters sitting in front of us.
Oh, my, god, people. The apple fritters are little pieces of heaven. I don’t say that frequently about desserts that don’t contain chocolate, but my goodness they were tasty. Crispy balls of dough with sweet apple filling covered in cinnamon sugar….it couldn’t get much better.
Sixth Engine treated me, and my lovely lady friends, well. (They also asked us out, i.e. invited us in, so this brunch was on-the-house. But, we’ll be back either way).
The eatery was presentable and well-decorated, and the quirkiness and charm of the firehouse made it stand out. Would I go there again? Definitely. In fact, since I love it so much, I might just marry it.
The Bitches say: A+ for great attentive service, impeccable food, and fabulous ambiance and décor.
438 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Sixth Engine serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays.