Archive | November, 2010

District 2, More Like District 9

2 Nov

We have been to District 2 on two separate occasions, and both times, the food and service has been abysmal at best. This space has been a revolving door of restaurants and bars for several years as nothing ever seems to find success on the corner of Wisconsin and Macomb, and frankly, I don’t see its latest occupant bucking that trend.

This past Sunday, we decided to get brunch in the Cathedral Heights area and had originally planned on eating at Café Deluxe. Unfortunately, even thought it was beautiful and sunny day, they weren’t seating people outside. Because our friends had a dog, we were specifically looking for outdoor seating.

Nearby was District 2, so the group decided to eat there as there was no wait as well as tables available outside. Now Rachel and I were immediately pessimistic about the selection since the first time we went, we had an unpleasant experience, but since there weren’t too many options for brunch around that area, we just hoped for the best.

Granted, when we went the first time it was mostly for drinks and bar food, but since we had to go to a concert right after, we decided to get a quick dinner as well. We chose the black bean veggie burger, and after waiting a ridiculous amount of time for it, what arrived was some sort of black, pasty substance smeared on an overly-buttered bun. I couldn’t even finish it. On the flipside, the sweet potato fries and fried pickles were pretty good, and we had fun celebrating a friend’s birthday and new job.

Back to Sunday… since the place had recently opened, we gave the venue the benefit of the doubt thinking that they had ironed the kinks out and that the food and service would be much improved from our last visit.

Boy, were we wrong.

When the waiter took our drink order, most people ordered Bloody Mary’s while Rachel and I just got coffee. When they brought out the drinks, the waiter realized that he made an extra Bloody Mary and proceeded to ask if anyone wanted it. Rachel took it, saying, “I just hope he doesn’t charge me for this.” More on that later…

When he brought out the coffees, we were missing spoons in our roll up, but didn’t bother asking for some since they seemed swamped, so we used our forks to stir instead.

I ordered The All American Breakfast. Nothing fancy, just your typical eggs, home fries, bacon, and toast platter. Hard to mess up, right? The eggs were extremely runny, the home fries were undercooked, and the bacon was just meh. It made the Original House of Pancakes look like The Source.

Now, Rachel can be a picky eater as she likes to ask for things slightly different from the menu. But restaurants should be used to these types of requests.

She ordered the Eggs Benedict, but asked for it to be served without the sauce, with Canadian bacon on the side, and the eggs poached well. When it came, the eggs were cold, the yolks were runny, and the slabs of bacon were, low and behold, right there on the English muffin tops. It just wasn’t worth sending back since it took so long to come.

As for the service? It was adequate at first, but our waiter gradually disappeared as the meal progressed up to the point where the table was in dire need of clearing.  As a former waiter, it is one of the biggest faux pas in the book to leave a table full of dirty dishes for such an extended period of time. The waiter apologized as they were understaffed, but the restaurant should know better nonetheless.

When the bill finally came, we realized he did in fact charge for that extra Bloody Mary, but for five dollars, they weren’t overly expensive to begin with. It was just the principal in that we shouldn’t have been charged at all.

This place has so many strikes against it that we will not be returning. Between the underwhelming food and mediocre service, there are a plethora of better options out there in the neighborhood. If only Cafe Deluxe had realized it was one of the very few warm days left this year instead of leaving us out in the “cold.”

District 2 Bar and Grille on Urbanspoon

Our New Love Affair with Red Hook Lobster Pound

1 Nov

It has been hard to ignore the recent surge in food trucks in the DC area over the last few months. We’re not sure if the popularity has grown from the Food Network show, or just the fact that DC is usually a few months (or even years) behind other major cities when it comes to the latest food trends, but it appears that food trucks are hugely popular, and hopefully they are here to stay.

The one food truck that has stuck out in our minds as a “must visit” is the Red Hook Lobster Pound. Word spread quickly when the truck debuted back in August that this was a big deal as they already had an established truck in New York City and were known for using fresh lobster meat shipped daily from Maine.

Lining up for Red Hook Lobster PoundWe had been dying to try this truck, except the only problem is that neither of us works downtown, and it doesn’t seem like they are going to be traveling to Bethesda or Hyattsville anytime soon. We didn’t even bother trying to score some lobster rolls at the Curbside Kickoff as the lines were ridiculously long and barely moving. Luckily, we both have the same flex day schedule, so after learning on Twitter that their Lobby One truck would be set up by Farragut North, we made it our mission to finally have some lobster rolls for lunch.

The plan was for Brett to get there a little early in order to start waiting in line while I finished my final long run before my upcoming half marathon. Their Twitter announcement said that they would get there at 11:30am, and by the time I reached Brett just ten minutes later, there was already a line almost down the street. Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long, but it was a sight to be seen nonetheless.
Maine Root soda fountainThere was a camera crew set up from ABC News interviewing the employees, while next to Red Hook was Curbside Cupcakes, which barely had a line. This was pretty smart for them since many people, including us, decided to purchase a cupcake while waiting in line.

When we finally got to the front to place our order, we decided to get one Traditional roll meal, as well as one Connecticut roll. The Traditional roll consisted of cold chucks of lobster meat mixed with light mayo and scallions in a buttery roll. The meal also came with Cape Cod chips and a choice of Maine Root soda.

Traditional Lobster RollBrett decided to try the Connecticut roll, which consisted of lobster steamed with butter in a roll. We also got a root beer to go with it from the truck’s built-in soda fountain, and took our sandwiches and carrot cake cupcake to the nearby Borders to eat. The one drawback in regards to not working nearby was that it was tough to find a place to eat given the chilly fall weather.

Finally, the time had come to try these infamous rolls. Just looking at mine, you could see huge, full lobster claws stuffed inside as the meat was pouring out of the roll. There was so much lobster that it was hard to keep it from spilling out. Every bite was to die for as the mixture of the lobster with the celery and mayo was perfect while not being too heavy. I was in heaven and did not want the sandwich to end.

Connecticut Lobster RollMeanwhile, Brett devoured his Connecticut roll and was impressed with not only the quantity of lobster meat stuffed inside, but how succulent it was. It turned out to be a double-edged sword as the plethora of butter found inside the roll instantly made it soggy and hard to eat with his hands without it falling apart. He wound up having to use a fork in the end but it didn’t matter as he still came away impressed despite the bread-related difficulties.

Curbside Cupcakes (Carrot cake)I’ll flat-out say that I was a little skeptical that the Lobster Pound was worth both the time and money. Considering that this was a food truck, our lunch was certainly no bargain. My meal, which consisted of a roll with chips and a drink, came out to $18, while Brett’s sandwich alone cost $15. On top of that $33 bill, we still needed to find a place to eat.

Overall, we were glad that we were finally able to try these and have to say, if we worked nearby to where they routinely set up, this blog would suffer from a lack of non-lobster truck-related content.

Red Hook Lobster Pound on Urbanspoon