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Compass Rose Brunch

There are only a few people I let tell me what to do. Co-Bitch Becca often knows what’s good for me, and just often enough I stop yapping long enough to listen.

Similarly, my boyfriend takes unprecedented levels of concern in my emotional, professional, and general well-being and provides thoughtful advice—whether I want to hear it or not. He might call me “The Boss,” but when he’s talking, I’m listening.

And then there’s Lauren—she’s the bossiest of all. Lauren is a dear friend and sorority sister from our days in college at UNC-Chapel Hill. She arrived in town from Raleigh for a girl-power business school conference, of course. By the end of the weekend, she had orchestrated the redecorating of my apartment and provided frank, much-needed advice on career, love, and life.

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We also spent time by the pool, ate four-dozen oysters and caviar at Rappahannock Oyster Bar, drank boozy milkshakes at Satellite Room, and danced our tails off to White Ford Bronco at 9:30 Club. It was an amazing weekend, and just what I needed after a lot of work and stress as of late. (Adulthood, blah.)

We concluded our weekend with brunch—I was excited to take Lauren, who is quite the foodie, to Compass Rose, the international hole-in-the-wall on 14th Street. I love any business with a story. As such, I think it’s charming that Rose and her husband opened the restaurant to highlight global street food inspired by their travels as diplomats.

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We walked up the stairs into the row house, passed the small patio, which has about four tables. That would be a great place for an evening dinner—but at noon in the dead of summer it was too hot for us.

We entered the dimly lit row house, which is decorated with string lights and pink, orange, and yellow paper lanterns. There are beautiful wooden booths adorned with international-looking throw pillows. The whole experience pulls together nicely—it sort of makes you feel like you’re in a really charming hostel—perhaps in Morocco. Or even in Spain.

Like at dinner, Compass Rose offers a small brunch menu, with the location of each dish alongside the description.

We began with cocktails—a traditional mimosa for me and the Kachin for Lauren. This cocktail was made with Botanist Gin, poppy and jasmine liqueur, and fresh grapefruit juice. It was light and delightful.

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Per Bitch regulations, we ordered the Zeppole, as doughnuts (or their Italian cousins) must be ordered when on any menu. The menu touted the Italian douhnuts as having lime vanilla syrup, cinnamon and ricotta. So, I expected them to be syrupy and sweet, but they were quite the opposite. Fluffy, warm and dry—but not in a bad way. The Zeppole had a light flavor and a soft texture that was supremely satisfying. Plus, they were covered in powdered sugar. Different, delicious, and worth an order.

I selected the Chivito, an Argentine cheese steak on a buttered loaf of bred, served with Provolone, caramelized onions, Chimmichuri, wilted lettuce, tomato, and topped with two perfectly fried eggs. This was a great breakfast sandwich.

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Lauren went with the Isreaeli Shakshuka, baked eggs in a tomato and piquillo pepper sauce, with yogurt and feta cheese. Served in a cast iron skillet with warm, white buttered toast, this dish was both beautiful and delectable. It was hot, ooey, gooey, melty and deliciously flavorful—a welcome change from your typical brunch dish.

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We sat side-by-side on a charming bench for two—perfect for date night or a brunch date—finishing our cocktails and recapping our successful weekend. We may have even each had a second Zeppole.

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The Bitches say: A-. This restaurant has received quite a lot of hype over the past few months. While it’s not the end-all be-all of brunch or food, it’s a charming space, with great food and cocktails and a strong brunch offering.

Compass Rose
1346 T Street N.W.
Washington, D.C.
(202) 506-4765

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Cori Sue

Co-Founder, Pro Bruncher

The co-founder of Bitches Who Brunch, Cori Sue loves brand strategy, social media, red wine, and pink lipstick.

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