Back in March, General Motors let Becs borrow a Chevy Cruze and she joyfully scooted around town then headed out to Frederick, Maryland, to experience heaven known as brunch at Volt.
Because I’m a spoiled little Bitch, I said I wanted a car in May, not March, strategically delaying the loaned vehicle for Memorial Day weekend. And, I want it for two weeks, not one, I continued. Oh, and I want a Camaro. A Camaro convertible.
To everyone’s surprise, they obliged—dropping off a fire red and fast-as-hell vehicle at my door Friday before the long weekend.
I took one look at the car and said to the woman, “I have two questions. (1) Do you know what you’re doing? And (2) If I crash it, who pays?” To which she replied, “I’m not sure, but here you go” and “We do.” Alright, then, we’re off!
Despite the fact I could barely see over the hood of the car, I drove that Camaro everywhere—with the top down. And with the XM radio blasting ridiculous pop tunes. I had friends in the back who had squirt guns and sprayed innocent bystanders. Yeah, we were pretty obnoxious.
We drove to the Eastern Shore. We drove to Sugarloaf Mountain. We went to the outlets. We went to Target. I drove friends to Dulles. I picked friends up in Bethesda. I was determined to conquer all areas of the D.C. metro area that I can’t do on foot (and pay back favors of those who had chauffeured me around town). And I did.
That thing is fast, getting from zero-to-sixty in a matter of seconds (I counted). It handles beautifully. The sound system is amazing, and XM radio is life-changing. Best of all, it has a video camera that pops up in the rear view mirror when in reverse so I actually managed to not hit anything over the entire loan period.
Monday of Memorial Day, we decided to go to the most distant point in Washington—the end of H Street. I picked up Becca, and we dragged along my pal Evan, skeptically taking this shiny new vehicle through the sketchville known as H Street.
The Argonaut is a really chill, cozy wooden tavern on the far end of H Street—all the way down 15th Street. We’d heard about it many times, but never ventured that far. The place is relatively small, and the bar even smaller. The ceilings are low and paneled, and there’s beautiful Middle Eastern lamps hanging from above.
The walls are brick, the tables wooden. The wooden chairs are rickety—so rickety we worried we would break them. It’s a great ambiance, like a grungy neighborhood bar. A tad hipster, a tad metal, all good.
The place looks like it would be filled with husky men with tattoos who drink dark beer. Our waiter, Steve, was such a man. Steve had a gruff smoker’s voice, a ponytail and lots of tattoos—and I’d imagine a motorcycle out back. He was brief and efficient without being rude. I feel that Steve is representative of an Argonaut person—just a pretty cool dude.
(Steve kept our mimosas, waters and coffee filled to the brim, so in addition to being cool, he was also an excellent waiter.)
The Argonaut’s ambiance carries over to its food—which is decent—fine, even good, but they don’t put a lot of effort into it, it seems. The focus seems to be on cheap, delicious alcohol that causes you to linger for a while. And linger, we did.
The bottomless mimosas at Argonaut will run you a whopping $9 and the bottomless Bloody Mary bar is similarly priced. This is an awesome price tag. Evan and Becs slurped down the mimosas while I behaved like a responsible designated Camaro driver.
We shared a basket of fries, which were served with remoulade and mayonnaise dipping sauces.
Evan opted for the classic ham Eggs Benedict that was served with cheese grits. He said nothing stood out in particular about the eggs. But, the cheese grits were awesome, and, being from the South, he’s usually pretty picky about grits. They were piping hot and there were plenty of them.
I had the French toast, which was $8 and came with a full plate of food, a hard-to-beat deal. It was served with scrambled eggs, bacon (which I gave to my Bitch), and the same delicious cheese grits that Evan had. The French toast itself was average—soft, flat Texas toast, but they did slap some brie cheese on there for an added twist.
Becs had the fish tacos—also known as Argonaut’s “Famous tacos.” They came with pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, cabbage cilantro slaw, and remoulade served on your choice of corn or flour tortillas. The fish was strips of an unidentifiable white fish fried perfectly in a light batter. Deliciously good grub.
She asked for gaucamole on the side, but the server also offered up some unique hot sauce. Just a drop of that stuff and those tacos were fabulous. She says, “I hope they have those tacos on the dinner menu, too, because they’re great for meals other than brunch. But on that hot, hot Memorial Day in D.C,. cool, fresh tacos were the perfect thing for brunch.”
All in all, worth the trip if you’re looking for a relaxed, delicious and wildly affordable brunch.
The Bitches say: B+. Hard-to-beat bottomless and affordable, decent food in a chill tavern ambiance.
1433 H Street N.E,
The Argonaut is open for brunch Saturdays and Sundays.