I love the gay dining scene in DC. There’s so much personality. I mean, who can top brunch at Freddy’s in Crystal City, where you dine surrounded by pink flamingos and glitter? Or Perry’s in Adam’s Morgan, where the drag queens serenade you over your eggs? Well, I have found a new fav: Disco Brunch at Level One, which might be the most satisfying hangover brunch in the area—in one of the best people-watching locations on 17th.
We picked the most gorgeous spring day to try this brunch spot, which sits underneath the gay hotspot Cobalt. With reservations, we snagged a table on the outdoor patio, as the inside of the restaurant seemed quite cavernous and dark. The patio is right on the corner of 17th and R, which provides fabulous Dupont people-watching. Not to mention lots of sun!
First up, of course, were the “I Will Survive” bottomless mimosas or bloody Mary’s (just $13). And, indeed, I definitely needed a few of those to survive this hangover. But you don’t need to commit to either mimosa or mary, you can switch back and forth (for the contrary bruncher!). Plus, the drinks were well strong— “the bartender has a limp wrist so the pours are heavy,” coos our server—and our glasses were never empty. I could already feel my hangover melting away.
Then, onto the food menu, and what a delightful menu it is. The owners totally got carried away with the theme and named each dish with adorable disco references. How about the “Studio 54 Eggs”? No? Let’s try the “Ahhh! Freak Out! French Toast.” Or how about the “It’s Raining Quiche of the Day”? Too cute.
The dishes were solid comfort food. Lots of greasy bacon, sausage, eggs, and biscuits to go around (though the eggs were all a bit too runny). Nothing extraordinarily gourmet or tasty, but definitely the type of brunch food that hits the spot. And sometimes that’s exactly what you need. The homefries were heavy on the rosemary, which seasoned up an otherwise bland side dish nicely.
But the best part of brunch was our lovely server, Mitchell. Full of personality and life, he skipped around in his springtime happiness, wooing me out of my headache. And he was totally patient with our rather large and loud party (some of which had our heads on the table, some of which were yelling for more mimosas and make it snappy). He attended to all our requests with a smile (though he did forget my bacon, but alas, you are so forgiven, dear Mitchell).
I do have one complaint, however. The bathroom was a bit foul. The women’s toilet didn’t work at all. I actually nipped across the street to use the loo!
The bitches say: B-, solidly satisfying grub, great patio, lovely service, good bottomless deal, but seriously lacking in the gourmand factor.
1639 R St NW (between N 16th St & N 17th St)
Level One serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays.