I love H Street for one key reason: all the bars and restaurants are slightly quirky. Each bar and restaurant has its own unique theme, and you’ll be hard pressed to find somewhere similar in another DC neighborhood, or anywhere for that matter. You have the Argonaut, with its tacos and trivia. You have Star & Shamrock, with its Irish Jewish theme. H Street Country Club is, of course, not a country club, but a Mexican restaurant with skinny margaritas and skeeball on the first floor and a minigolf course on the second level.
A personal favorite, CopyCat Co, is a takeout Chinese spot with a speakeasy on the second level. There’s also every hipster’s wet dream, Maketto, which is a restaurant, coffee shop, and sneaker store. It’s unique, that’s for certain.
We headed to H Street to brunch at a new spot, Ten 01, after receiving an invite from the restaurant to try a complimentary brunch. I’d never heard of this spot, which was nestled on the second floor above the Ben’s Chili Bowl.
Walking up the stairs we passed cheeky DC-themed paintings and entered a bright, open and sunlit restaurant that was still decorated for the holidays. (It was, after all, the first week of January.)
Ten 01 is a quirky Southern sports bar, with high top tables lining a rectangular bar in the center of the space. The staff was incredibly friendly, and the space just made you feel welcome.
One thing that’s not unique about Ten 01: the name, which is, if you hadn’t guessed, its address. I guess that’s better that any of the hipster bar names—if you can’t think of a good name for your restaurant or start-up, just use the generator.
We started with coffee, water, and cocktails as is routine. A mimosa for me, and a Bloody Mary for my lady date, Emily. She’s always good to try the Bloodys for me, and is a deft judge. She found this one to be lackluster—so much so that she barely touched it.
For our appetizers, we knew it was our duty to try the restaurant’s noteworthy appetizers: the Captain Crunch granola and the sweet potato sticky buns. The sweet potato honey buns were topped with brown butter, maple glaze, and fried peanuts. Served hot in a skillet, the white bread buns were a little too dry to be anything phenomenal. They were good when soaked in the brown butter and Maple glaze blend, but without them it wouldn’t have been good.
The “Good Morning Sunshine” was a layered cup of granola with thinly sliced fresh strawberries and bananas between whipped Greek yogurt, layered with pomegranate molasses and topped with tons of Captain Crunch. The dish was saccharine, but I also don’t eat a lot of sugar or cereal nowadays. The cereal was a fun touch and I liked the freshness of the fruit, so I liked this appetizer!
Emily and I both chose healthy entrees. Emily chose the cauliflower omelet, made with caramelized cauliflower, onions, peppers, white cheddar, and other shaved veggies. It was served with herb gravy.
I wanted to try a bunch of items, so I chose the make a plate: two eggs any way, your choice of meat, cheddar grits, and a crunchy arugula salad. For meat, you can choose between crispy pork belly, a grilled half smoke from Ben’s downstairs, or pepper-seared salmon. I chose the pepper-seared salmon. The salmon was delightful, and the cheddar grits were flavorful and well-done. The crunchy arugula salad had a little bit too much crunch (fried bits) and not enough arugula.
It should be said that our server was friendly, smart, and generally delightful. He checked in regularly without being intrusive, which I always appreciate.
Some of the dishes were better than others, but nothing was particularly mind-blowing or impressive. Ten 01 is a casual bar with decent food and good service. We’d go back for drinks before heading out on H Street or recommend it to locals in the neighborhood.
The Bitches say: B. A fun, cozy place for brunch on H Street with both healthy, hearty options and fun, sugar-filled concoctions with a bit of quirk.
1001 H St. N.E.
Ten 01 serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.