The last time we went to Eatonville was back when it first opened over two years ago, so we were long overdue for a return visit. With Rachel’s friend Dave in town for the day, we were looking for a restaurant that offered brunch on Saturday, something that is obviously more difficult to find as opposed to the traditional Sunday meal.
Fortunately, Eatonville offers brunch on both days, and considering that Dave was staying at his friend’s place at the condo building next door, it made for a particularly easy meeting spot. We also met up with our friends Alicia and Matthew who are in Shirlington, so this was a nice middle ground between there and Bethesda.
While Eatonville is focused on Southern cooking, it’s easy to overlook their excellent beer selection. While several varieties of Abita grace the draft line, Troegs, Ommegang, and North Coast Brewing Co. can also be found. Luckily for us, Schlafly Pumpkin Ale was featured as their seasonal draft. For those that are fans of pumpkin beer, this (along with Southern Tier’s Pumking) is one of the best you will come across. Rachel’s Bloody Mary was also quite tasty with a generous amount of horseradish and spices.
As for brunch itself, Eatonville servers up several comfort food classics such as shrimp and grits, gumbo, and po’ boys. We decided to share an order of fried green tomatoes for the table to start things off. Topped with avocado and a micro-greens salad, the tomatoes were delightfully crunchy and had just the right amount of breading on them without being too heavy or greasy.
For our entrees, I went with a hearty order of steak and eggs. The description pretty much matches the title of the dish: a petite filet (I asked for it medium-rare), scrambled eggs, and “Eatonville” hash (a mixture of potatoes and bacon). When it arrived, my steak was so rare that it was nearly inedible. I informed my waiter how undercooked the beef was and he swiftly apologized and brought it back to the kitchen. Ten minutes later, he came returned with a new plate of freshly cooked eggs, potatoes, and most importantly, a medium-rare steak. This time, the kitchen got it right and overall, it was pretty good. Tender, flavorful, and while not the biggest portion, it did the job.
Rachel couldn’t make up her mind (surprise, surprise) so she decided to get the Eggs and Fixings. She chose the scrambled eggs with a buttermilk biscuit along with chicken andouille sausage and mac and cheese. Not her typical breakfast choices, but she had just completed a 13 mile training run earlier that day, so she felt that mac and cheese was a perfectly acceptable choice for breakfast. And it was definitely a good decision as we both couldn’t stop eating it.
Outside of the undercooked steak snafu, we had a lovely time at Eatonville. Their fried green tomatoes are some of the best you will come across in the District while their mac and cheese is highly addictive. The fact that they offer Saturday brunch is a nice touch as well. One of these days I’ll order The Callahan (fried chicken on biscuit with sausage gravy), but you’d have to convince me to run ten miles beforehand.