I love my neighborhood. I straddle trendy Logan Circle and edgy Shaw, and that quite fits me. “Hispter Chic” is what Baby Bitch Amanda Jean labels me, and I’m OK with that.
So I’m looking for a local watering hole and brunch go-to near my house, and have been taking applications (Drafting Table decidedly failed, against all my hopes).
After a few nightcaps at Veranda, which is only a block or so away from my house, I thought maybe this was it. It has a lovely patio, super-friendly bartenders, and a cozy dining room. The food is Mediterranean, a mix of Italian and Greek dishes.
I arranged for a rather large and eclectic brunch group to meet there for brunch: old friends, new friends, friends I hadn’t seen in ages, friends that I’m with all the time. Most of them didn’t know one another, or hadn’t seen each other in years. That’s the way I like my brunches.
We snagged three high-top tables by the bar and the windows and pushed them together. This made for some awkward seating around three rounds, but we made it work.
First, drinks. The coffee was good and constantly refilled. The cocktails were bottomless for $13 (as opposed to $6 for one mimosa). The Bloody Mary was simply average, nothing to speak of there.
It was a pretty laid-back ambiance, which made it a chill brunch. The service was accommodating with keeping the music on and being attentive to us. I do remember being puzzled by the music selection, though. It went from Middle Eastern beats to ‘90s ultimate dance party and back again.
We started ordering our food. There’s a nice selection of omelets, which we sampled quite a bit. Saro had the Parisian omelet with country ham, caramelized onions, and Gruyere. The waiter allowed him to substitute mushrooms for the onions, but even with that substitute, he was still piling on the ketchup for flavor. Where were the chives, pepper, and spices?
The Farmer’s Omelet is pan-roasted vegetables with blue cheese. A bit flavorless, as well, though everything was cooked nicely. I had the Yiayia’s omelet, which was spicy lamb sausage, caramelized onions, and creamy feta cheese. The spices here were in the sausage, so this dish was delicious.
On the side of the omelets there’s a stack of toast, potato cubes, and fresh fruit. The sides are like a meal unto themselves, which was rather impressive.
The pancakes are buttermilk and come with caramelized apple compote and—get this—adorable mini Veranda-branded maple syrup bottles. Made me feel like I was back at the Lafayette brunch at the Hay-Adams hotel.
The eggs cooked to order come with those same substantial sides. Three eggs, choice of apple wood smoked bacon or sausage, then a stack of toast, home fries, and fresh fruit. A great deal of fresh food. But, again, rather boring.
The winner of the table was the steak and eggs. Three big hunks of flat iron steaks were served with shallot sauce. They were thick and juicy, tasty and insanely big for a brunch dish. Again, the massive sides (eggs, toast, fruit, potatoes) made this a dish to be envied.
The Bitches say: B- A decent brunch, nothing amazing. It’s cozy and nearby.
1100 P Street NW
Veranda serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays.