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Evening Star Café Brunch

I want to give a shout-out to my bitches!

Mostly because they’re amazing friends who join me for brunch every weekend. But also because I’ve always wanted to say that on here.

Since moving to DC a year and a half ago, I’ve gathered a quite an amazing family around me. They go along with my crazy, sporadic weekend adventures. They let me dress them. They allow ridiculously embarrassing Facebook tags. They bring me Sprite and crackers when I desperately need it. The list goes on.

They also pick me up for brunch every Sunday. And take photos with my enormously embarrassing camera. And email me their serious thoughts on the food. Basically, I just have to add something witty at the beginning, and the rest is done. This is because they love me, people.

Last Saturday we went to Evening Star Café in Del Ray. I was hung over, per usual, so my bitches picked up the slack and made rezzies, sweet-talked us in, plunked us down, took photos and notes, and escorted me out. I enjoyed myself. Ate ridiculously amazing food, drooled over the beefcake waiter, and giggled at the conversation. Who said blogging was hard work?

Photo credit: Becca Clara Love
Photo credit: Becca Clara Love

Evening Star, you are adorable, and so are your waiters (did I mention that already?). And if I lived in Del Ray, I would be there every brunch, I swear. But for those who care enough to drive out to Del Ray (Do you have a dog? Good. Because they’re dog people out there), here are thoughts from my bitches who could be bothered enough to respond (Derek, you suck):

Johni had the eggs Benedict, made with poached eggs and Canadian bacon (though she asked for it sans bacon – she’s a veggie, you know) on English muffins with roasted potatoes and house-made hollandaise.

Photo credit: Becca Clara Love
Photo credit: Becca Clara Love

Johni says: Ambiance (and company) were a major plus. Plus, it’s not that expensive – at least for brunch. I think the food was OK, but I tend to feel like everything was a bit too much on seasoning. Too much oregano on the potatoes and way too much garlic in the grits. I like garlic, but I was pulling out chunks, and that was a bit much.

I was just there a month or two ago, and the menu had changed, so is that the sign of an ever-evolving and adapting restaurant? Or one that hasn’t figured it out just yet?

Brooke had the huevos rancheros, made with fried tortillas, Andouille sausage, diablo tomatoes, braised black beans, peppers, cheddar and eggs.

Photo credit: Brooke
Photo credit: Brooke

Brooke says: As an Arizona native, I am a bit picky about anything that even pretends to be Mexican – but I’ve come to accept that there can be Mexican- and Tex-Mex-inspired food that is tasty, even if far from authentic. Exhibit A: these huevos rancheros.

The crispy tortillas were a nice textural touch, and the black beans were surprisingly good with the egg yolks. The major disappointment was the lack of heat. I ordered my dish without the Andouille, but I thought the “diablo tomatoes” would provide suitable spiciness. I was wrong. Where was the chile? Where was the salsa? What was the point of it all if my mouth didn’t burn a little bit afterward? Despite this, it was filling and tasty and not overly heavy.

Joanna had what all of us wanted: the ratatouille and goat cheese omelet with zucchini, tomato, squash, garlic, caramelized onions, and roasted potatoes. (This photo is obviously not of the ratatouille, I couldn’t find a good shot of it. But, hey, here is the delish bread they serve!)

Photo credit: Tammy Portnoy
Photo credit: Tammy Portnoy

Joanna says: It was delicious. There were huge globs of warm goat cheese (what is better than that?), however it was a little light on the ratatouille. I thought more chunky vegetables would have been present. The potatoes were a nice surprise, grated Parmesan cheese and herbs really spiced a usually bland oily dish. Service was quick and cute.

Tammy had the special. Who knows what THAT was…

Photo credit: Tammy Portnoy
Photo credit: Tammy Portnoy

Tammy says: I had the chicken fried steak with rosemary roasted potatoes and eggs a little over easy. I had NO effin idea what to order. Saturday morning was pretty rough, even after a very large glass of mimosa in hand. I couldn’t decide between the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, the eggs Benedict, the sausage and biscuits or the lemon pancakes with blueberry compote on the side. I am a sucker for good, tasty Southern breakfasts, especially ones that start off with moist (yep, I used THAT word) spiced pumpkin bread, which is the flavor I am guesstimating, but don’t know for sure.

So, when push came to shove, and I asked the waiter about his favorites, he mentioned their special of the day: chicken fried steak with eggs. SCORE! I needed no further pondering. Somehow the waiter – who told me at least twice that I looked like I had a good time the night before – knew exactly what I needed. The portion wasn’t huge, everything was scarfed down. The chicken fried steak wasn’t greasy at all – to me. And, best of all, if you put it everything on the plate on the same fork, it tasted AMAZING.


Photo credit: Becca Clara Love

Did I try to convince Becca that we should order three dishes between the two of us and we could always take leftovers home? Yes. Did the table order two sides of cheesy garlic grits and not tackle much of them? Yes, though worth the try. Do I want to go back and order BOTH the sausage and biscuits and the lemon-blueberry pancakes? PLEASE (there’s something about that blueberry compote … it is stuck in my brain as probably being AWESOME on those pancakes). Was I SO entirely, very, completely disappointed when our waiter told us they didn’t have dessert? Yes.

Consensus? Bitches say: A.

Evening Star Café
2000 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301
(703) 549-5051

Evening Star Cafe on Urbanspoon


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