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Café Dupont Brunch

Dupont Circle
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The heat and humidity this summer make it seem as if the bundles of layers we were all sporting a few short months ago were simply a dream. Snowpocalypse, you say? A literally cold and distant memory.

When the brutal humidity lets up for just a morning moment, I am the first to be running to a D.C. rooftop or patio to enjoy it. My fellow Bitch Cori Sue feels the same way, and so we made plans to brunch on the beautiful patio at Café Dupont, right on Connecticut Avenue.

We arrived around the same time and briefly debated on whether the humidity would return, wondering if we shouldn’t risk it by brunching inside the restaurant’s glass atrium that overlooks Dupont Circle. The hostess was patient and friendly as she waited for us to make up our mind and had no qualms about leading us to a small iron table that sat right outside the bar’s windows. Al fresco it is.

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Cori Sue and I made ourselves comfortable while we waited for our server to arrive. Never ones to rush brunch, we started off our Bitch date with a catch-up session, hardly paying any attention to the menus that sat in front of us. When our server arrived she seemed in a bit of a rush asking us if we were ready to place our order, skipping the anticipated drink order. After mentioning that we needed more time, Cori Sue ordered a coffee, and I had a simple unsweetened iced tea.

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We decided to start with the fresh fruit plate sans honeydew (we Bitches hate honeydew) and a side of bacon. Both dishes arrived promptly and perfectly timed before our entrees arrived. The bacon was served as thin, crumbly strips on a small porcelain plate. The dish was average and unmemorable but did its job of keeping us satisfied until our main courses arrived. The fruit plate on the other hand was beautifully arranged, fresh, and incredibly satisfying. Pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, and strawberries were sliced and laid on the plate in sections for easy sharing.

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After placing the order for our entrée, we rarely saw our server, even in passing. Instead we had other members of the staff refilling our glasses of water, tea, and coffee. They even delivered the appetizers we had ordered. When our entrees arrived, the delivery was no different.

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Finally, our entrees were placed before us. Cori Sue had a paleo cheat day, selecting a waffle from the extensive waffle, pancake, and French toast selection. Cafe Dupont offers chocolate waffles, chocolate and strawberry waffles, peach waffles, regular Belgian waffles, blueberry pancakes, brioche French toast, banana rum French toast, and more.

CS selected the Bourbon apple waffle. Surprisingly, the waffle was moist and not as boring as your regular hotel waffle—it must have been the batter. It was certainly the highlight of the meal—aside from the outdoor seating and fresh fruit. But, when it comes down to it, it was just a waffle, and nothing that out of the ordinary.

I tried my best to find the most interesting gluten-free dish that Café Dupont had to offer, but unfortunately that was hard to come by. I opted for the corn beef hash, complete with crispy potatoes, caramelized onions, peppers, and two eggs any style. I asked for my eggs poached, but the eggs that came with my dish were simply poached posers—completely congealed on the inside with absolutely no run to them. Regardless of how the eggs were cooked, the dish itself was unmemorable and rather bland.

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We were disappointed with the food, and still had no sign of our waitress. Café Dupont, while charming for evening cocktails, might be nothing more than a tourist trap during brunch hours. It has a lovely patio but mediocre food and terrible service.

The Bitches say: D+. Disappointing service and subpar food. The patio was the only redeeming quality that saved the resto from receiving a solid D.

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