On my last day of my visit to Washington, winter gave one last beating with a miserable ice storm. A brunch that was warm, cozy and merely a puddle jump away was in order. We nipped to St. Arnold’s in Cleveland Park.
The Belgian beer bar is known for its mussels and frites, and a couple of locations have popped up in brick basements scattered around the District. Reliably chill, they’re staffed with friendly people and the beer is cold on tap.
The Cleveland Park outpost is hidden away behind the space that used to house Dino. It’s filled with high tops and floor-to-ceiling windows that open up in the spring and summer. Underneath, there’s the Abbey, its dim and wooden tavern.
The cocktail menu, as expected, was impressive. It offered mimosas, bellinis, and even a Belgian mimosa (cava cristalino, lambic framboise). Plus, an Eastern Shore cocktail and Belgian cocktails.
We went for the Belgium house bloody, made with Absolut and rimmed with a smoked bacon salt. It was deliciously refreshing, strong and spicy. Amazingly, cocktails are only $5. I think I’ve become too accustomed to the $15 wonders in New York.
I was hankering for the Full English Breakfast. Who doesn’t want breakfast bangers, black pudding, fried eggs, and beans on a cold winter morning? But the Wafflezooi came highly recommended and my curiosity got the best of me.
The dish arrived looking like a huge plate of soup. Indeed, it was like a deconstructed chicken pot pie, with a classic Belgian Liege waffle, chicken, and vegetables all sitting in a rich, piping hot Waterzooi. Truly filling and perfect for winter.
The brunch menu was filled with other interesting options. The Drug Opera? Such a unique name serves up a ham and cheese sandwich covered in fried egg and sauce. My cohort went on the safe side with the French toast. It was a beautiful dish, served traditional with fruit and syrup.
Beyond our little brunch, there is an entire menu of Belgian waffles, and beyond B Too it’s probably the best I’ve seen in the District. You can get them with fruit, whipped cream, Nutella, or honey. Hell, you can even get a waffle burger if you’d like!
The brunch was quick, cozy, and comforting. The service was friendly, and the food was generally good. I really had no complaints.
The Bitches say: A. A solid no-frills neighborhood brunch for a cold, rainy day.
St. Arnold’s Cleveland Park
3433 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington D.C. 20008
St. Arnold’s serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.