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Brunch at Napoleon

19 Dec

While I had never been to Napoleon since it opened in Adams Morgan several years ago, I have now been for brunch twice in the last few weeks. I can now say that it is a great place to catch up with a close friend as well as a fun gathering with a group of girlfriends.

Walking into the restaurant, it definitely has a fun and classy vibe, with the red and black walls, chandeliers, disco ball hanging from the ceiling, and French music playing in the background. I was told that this place is known for fun coffee drinks, champagne cocktails, and of course, croissants, crepes, and Croque Monsieur.

Blood Orange Mimosa

The first time I went with my friend Livya, she insisted I share the chocolate croissant with her, and what a great decision that was! Buttery, flaky, and with just the right amount of chocolate inside, it tasted like something straight out of Paris.

We then chose from some of the decadent-sounding coffee drinks, and I went with the mocha cappuccino while Livya ordered the French vanilla latte. And what would brunch be without mimosas? We got the blood orange mimosa with Sicilian blood orange juice and prosecco. If the drinks were any indication of how the food would be, then this was a good start.


For my entrée, I ordered the Bolivar, which consisted of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs rolled into two crepes and topped with a citrus caper sour cream. I loved the lightness of the crepes, and the fact that they were filled with salmon and eggs made for a great bite, especially with the cream on top. I generally avoid filling up on potatoes during brunch, but these were too good to resist.

As I mentioned, I didn’t have to wait too long, as a group of us went again and warmed up from the cold this past Sunday. Again I got the blood orange mimosa, as well as the tropical green tea that came in a nice individual pot. I wanted to try something different this time, and was torn between one of the crepes or getting a benedict. In the end, I went with the smoked salmon Benedict, and was very happy with my choice.

Smoked Salmon Benedict

The portions of smoked salmon beneath the nicely poached eggs were generous, and with those lovely potatoes it was just a satisfying dish all around.

Napoleon may also be known as a champagne bar at night and a fun lounge in Adams Morgan, but I would highly recommend it as a great brunch option that won’t break the bank but will make you feel like you’re in a Parisian cafe in downtown DC.

Napoleon on Urbanspoon

Breakfast at Brennan's

14 Dec

As you may have guessed from our Twitter posts over the last week or so, I was just in New Orleans for nine days for my company’s annual meeting. Our meetings are so large (20,000+ attendees) that we can only rotate between a handful of cities. Let’s just say that the years we go to New Orleans and Las Vegas are a little more anticipated than our conventions in Anaheim and Orlando.

Anyway, it’s become tradition that Brett has tagged along either in the beginning before things get too crazy or at the end after the storm has passed. We’ll get to some places that Brett and I went together later this week, but for me, I have to start at the end with one of the most decadent meals I had in NOLA. There are of course several places like this to choose from, but I decided to end my New Orleans week with the famous Breakfast at Brennan’s.

Oysters Benedict

Brennan’s on Royal Street has been home to gluttonous breakfasts and dinners since 1946. I went in with three other colleagues fully prepared to roll ourselves out, and that we did.

We each decided to go with the three-course prix fixe menu for $36, because, well, when in Rome, right? Everything sounded so good that it was difficult to choose. I started with the Creole Bloody Mary and decided to try the Southern Baked Apple with double cream as my appetizer.

Southern Baked Apple

I got the cream on the side just so it wouldn’t overpower the apple, and I have to say dipping the apple in the cream was a fun way to eat it. The apple was huge and tasted more like a dessert than a breakfast starter, but I was in heaven. If this was any indication of what was to come, then we were in for a treat.

For my entree, I ordered the quintessential New Orleans breakfast dish, Eggs Sardou. If you’re not familiar with the dish, it’s poached eggs on artichoke bottoms atop a bed of creamed spinach and covered with Hollandaise sauce. Again, I got my Hollandaise on the side, because I’m just not a big fan of Hollandaise. Other dishes ordered at the table were the the Oysters Benedict, Eggs Houssarde (another famous dish), and the Eggs Bayou.

Eggs Sardou

I was in love with the dish itself. The yolk of the poached eggs ran into the already creamy spinach and stacked with the artichoke, making for a perfect bite. The dish also came with a grilled tomato with Parmesan cheese, which we all enjoyed. The spinach wasn’t too heavy or overly creamy, and I had to resist finishing every bite in order to save room for dessert.

Ah yes, dessert. While there were many tasty options on the menu, it took five seconds to make the decision to order the Bananas Foster. One of the things Brennan’s is most famous for is the Bananas Foster as the dish was actually invented here.

Bananas Foster Table

Our waiter Ron was quite the ham and enjoyed putting on a show of flambéing the bananas and strawberries for the crepe dish. How did it taste? It was divine. The bananas were of course sautéed with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and banana liqueur, and then served over vanilla ice cream. It was the perfect end to an incredibly decadent meal and a foodie’s dream week in New Orleans.

Brennan's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Bluestem - Kansas City Brunch Done Right

6 Sep

During our travels in Kansas City, we didn’t just partake in barbecue. Shocking as it may seem, we put the ribs and brisket down for a day and instead went out for brunch.

Bluestem, located in the vibrant Westport neighborhood, is one of Kansas City’s top dining destinations. Similar to CityZen, Bluestem offers a prix fixe menu where diners have their choice of three, five or ten course dinners that range from $60 to $100.

On Sundays, however, Bluestem also offers an a la carte brunch that is very reasonable, and as we experienced, very delightful.


We started our morning off with an order of mimosas while looking over the menu. Being in Kansas City, I had to continue my infatuation with all things beef, so naturally I ordered the Wagyu corned beef hash. Rachel, opting instead for a slightly healthier meal, ordered the omelet of the day.

Corned Beef Hash

The corned beef hash was served with a thick, spicy tomato sauce along with a pair of sunny side up eggs. Between that and the tender, flavorful chunks of corned beef, I was in heaven. I love when corned beef hash has a kick to it as it gave a certain life to the dish as opposed to other places where it’s just missing something. This had all the elements I was looking for and I loved every bite.

Omelet with heirloom tomatoes, basil, oyster mushrooms, and goat cheese

As soon as Rachel heard the description of the omelet of the day, she knew she had to order it. Filled with heirloom tomatoes, basil, oyster mushrooms, and goat cheese, it was light and airy as she savored each forkful. The roasted potatoes and side salad rounded out the dish.

Overall, Bluestem is a gem and should not be missed if you are looking for an excellent brunch spot. Given how great our meal was, we might have to splurge for dinner next time we are in town.

Bluestem on Urbanspoon

Brunch at Chesapeake Room

8 Jun

This past Memorial Day weekend, Brett and I decided to head down to Eastern Market to walk around the area and check out the Top Chef Tour Challenge. We met up with our friends Kim and Brian, as well as their newborn baby Micah. After seeing some lesser-known contestants battle it out (Spike was stuck in LA while Carla competed the day before), we decided it was time for brunch.

With an ever-increasing number of restaurants now available on Barracks Row, it was just a matter of choosing which one to have brunch at. The Chesapeake Room won out over the others based on the menu, and more importantly, the fact that we could be seated outside right away with enough room for a stroller.

We sat down and had a hard time deciding what to get since many of the choices seemed so unique and enticing. I was torn between the spring frittata, seafood omelet, and the Eggs Chesapeake. I ultimately decided on the , which appeared to be their specialty and was by far the most distinctive dish.

Eggs Chesapeake

Instead of a traditional Eggs Benedict, this entrée consisted of two poached eggs sitting atop fried green tomatoes with a layer of Maryland blue crab and a spiced tomato jam in between. There was no hollandaise with this Benedict, but I actually preferred that since I usually ask for it on the side anyway.

The dish came with mushroom home fries as a side, which I thought were amazing. They were essentially roasted potatoes mixed with sautéed mushrooms and cheese. The egg dish itself was delicious, and I savored each bite of it as all of the components really fit together.

Brett ordered the shrimp and grits, although The Chesapeake Room’s version had its own interpretation of the classic dish. The grits were served in coquette form while the shrimp was topped with blue crab and spring onion-green tomato chow-chow. It was also accompanied with a small house salad.

Shrimp and Grits

While Brett really enjoyed the grit coquette, he felt that the shrimp were rather underwhelming. In fact, there was too much going on between the chow-chow, crab, and shrimp to justify naming this dish “shrimp and grits”, especially since the shrimp were somewhat soggy from the aforementioned ingredients that were placed atop. He felt that the version found at Acadiana was far superior and wished he had ordered the fried green tomato crab stack instead.

In regards to the service, we had one slight hiccup when Kim had asked to swap the potato fritter that came with her frittata with home fries instead. The waitress said that this was not a problem, however, when we received the bill, we were charged an additional three dollars for this substitution. This would have been okay had the waitress informed us of the charge when Kim made her order, but she didn’t, so this caught us by surprise. They ultimately removed it from the bill, but the restaurant really needs to be more upfront about this in the future.

From the looks of things, it looked like brunch was a draw between the two of us as I came away pleased while Brett, well, didn’t. He just wasn’t crazy about his dish for the exception of the grit coquette, though he did agree that my home fries were rather good. The service was also a little off-putting, but not enough to completely write off the place. So all and all – good, not great.

The Chesapeake Room on Urbanspoon

Mardi Gras Brunch at Acadiana

7 Apr

After Rachel and some other friends completed the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, a group of us headed over to Acadiana for their Mardi Gras Brunch.

We were trying to find a brunch in DC that met certain criteria: a) it was prix-fixe, b) had something for everyone, c) was well-received, and most importantly, d) had either unlimited or highly discounted libations. Acadiana met each and every one of these prerequisites.

We have been craving New Orleans cuisine since our trip to the Big Easy last November, so we were literally counting down the days until brunch. I myself shied away from any food before our 1pm reservation just knowing that we would most likely be stuffed once we finished.

Fried Gren Tomatoes

Acadiana features a three-course brunch for $29. For $9 more, diners have access to the raw bar where they can feast upon unlimited shrimp and oysters. The kicker, of course, were the dollar Bloody Marys and blood orange Mimosas. Yes, you read that right. Each cocktail during brunch is only one dollar!

Once we were seated, the table received a few baskets of freshly baked buttermilk biscuits served with a side of red pepper jelly. After one bite, I knew we were in for a great meal. It was the quintessential biscuit: flaky on the outside, soft in the inside, and still warm when it reached the table.

Turtle Soup

For the first course, I went with the turtle soup. Having eaten this for the first time at Commander’s Palace and fallen in love with it, I could not pass up another opportunity to try it again. Acadiana’s version had a thicker consistency than that of Commander’s as well as a significant amount of turtle meat. In comparison, Commander’s Palace was more of a bisque and featured a subtle combination of turtle and pork. Overall, I preferred the version I had in New Orleans over Acadiana’s, but don’t let that discourage from you ordering it as it was still very good.

Rachel went with an old favorite – fried green tomatoes, topped with Zatarain’s spice boiled gulf shrimp rémoulade. When eating southern food, you can’t go wrong with that dish. Her only issue was that while each component may have worked separately, as a whole it was too much as the sauce overpowered everything else. The shrimp was a nice touch, but in the end, the fried tomatoes were left a little soggy.

Shrimp and Grits

After sipping on a few mimosas (and some of Rachel’s Bloody Mary), I ordered the southern shrimp and grits for my entrée. They were simply outstanding. I have had shrimp and grits before (notably in Charleston), and while it wasn’t prepared in a traditional style last Sunday, these were still the best. I’m not sure if it was the delicately-prepared cheddar cheese grit cake, Tasso ham, or the rich sauce poured on top, but I cannot recommend this dish enough. Just wonderfully executed.

Eggs Acadiana

Rachel ordered what appeared to be their specialty, the Eggs Acadiana, which consisted of two poached eggs, Louisiana crawfish crab cakes, and Tasso ham hollandaise. She got the hollandaise on the side, and it came with a side of diced potatoes. She could have done without the potatoes because they didn’t add much to the dish, but the crawfish cakes were delicious with all meat, no filler, and a perfect blend of spices. It wasn’t a wowing dish, but it was a great spin on the regional Chesapeake Benedict.

As if it could not get any better, it did. I ordered the pecan tart for dessert and it was absurdly delicious. I’m dead serious: if you ever go to Acadiana, you have to order this. Describing it as rich would be an understatement. While the chocolate ice cream scooped on top might be a tad overboard, the bourbon and caramel glazed on top made every bite worthwhile.

Pecan Tart

Rachel was torn between the traditional beignets with chicory coffee crème anglaise or going a little lighter with the sorbet trio. At first she ordered the beignets, but that was before the first two courses. Halfway through the entree, she switched out her dessert to the sorbet, which featured caramel apple, pineapple, and Abita root beer flavors. Having been to the Abita Brewery and trying their root beer, I can attest that its like likeness was uncanny. Each scoop was incredibly refreshing and was a great way to conclude the meal.

To top things off, the server dropped off turtle pecan fudge bites with the bill. We could barely eat the small morsels given how extraordinary full we were, but the whole table managed to try one and left Acadiana that much fuller.

Sorbet Trio

Overall, Acadiana served up an outstanding brunch. The food was delectable, the service was exceptional, and the price was just right given the portions as well as the highly popular dollar mimosas. Throw in the live jazz that was being performed throughout the day and you have yourselves quite the experience. Well done, Acadiana.

Acadiana is located at 901 New York Ave NW in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Acadiana on Urbanspoon

Unlimited Pre Fixe Brunch at Masa 14

10 Jan

Daily Petite QuicheI recently heard about the deal at Masa 14 for Sunday brunch, and upon first glance, it seemed too good to be true. My friend Livya and I decided to check it out for ourselves and indulge on unlimited tapas and drinks for $35.

We decided to order some drinks first, with Livya choosing the Masa Mimosa while I got the Lychee Bellini. Both were very refreshing and we hardly noticed when they would come by with pitchers to refill. I think we each had about four glasses, but it was hard to tell since the servers never let our glasses go empty.

To start, we ordered the Daily Petite Quiche, Hijiki Seaweed-jicama Salad, Petite Mushroom Escabeche Omelet, Veggie Benedict, Black Bean Puree, and Spiced Tuna Steak. Granted, this may appear like an excessive amount of food, but Masa 14 specializes in Latin-Asian tapas, so these smaller plates are meant to be shared.

Masa Mimosa and Lychee BelliniHijiki Seaweed-jicama SaladPetite Mushroom Escabeche Omelet

Overall, everything was delicious, with some standouts like the seaweed salad, tuna, and omelet. Some of the dishes were definitely heavier than others, and before we knew it, we were getting full with all the plates in front of us.

The rare tuna steak came on a sandwich bun along with a small but thick piece of bacon, avocado, and wasabi. The bread wasn’t really necessary so we discarded it to focus on the high quality piece of fish. The Veggie Benedict was actually a variety of roasted vegetables with a poached egg atop a piece of challah bread. Again, a nice dish but the bread seemed to overpower the rest of it. The black bean puree was a perfect bite with a scoop of the puree with poached egg on a tortilla chip.

Black Bean PureeSpiced Tuna SteakVeggie Benedict

We decided to order a few more items to stretch out our relaxing and gluttonous Sunday. Up next was the Fruit and Granola with yuzu yogurt, the Pan Dulce with ancho whipped cream and pineapple syrup, and to top it off, the Crunchy Shrimp. I know looking at these selections, you might think, “dessert, dessert, and shrimp?” Yes, it definitely did not belong, but with unlimited options to choose from, it was simply too hard to resist. The sesame crusted shrimp came with a chipolti aioli sauce that went perfectly together. We only ate one or two, and then it was on to dessert.

The fruit, granola, and yogurt combo was nice and light, and definitely the healthiest thing we ate all day. The large chunks of homemade granola were nice and crunchy and elevated the dish to more than just a bowl of fruit. The Pan Dulce tasted just like French toast and was a perfect way to end the meal.

Crunchy ShrimpPan DulceFruit and Granola with yuzu yogurt

All in all, brunch at Masa 14 is a great opportunity to try lots of different items on the menu without feeling limited by price. It’s hard to tell how much of a deal it was, since we didn’t individually add up each dish to see if we would have spent as much or less compared to ordering a la carte.

However, the unlimited drinks alone makes the $35 brunch worthwhile. If we went with a larger party we would have been able to try more dishes, but regardless, we undeniably left satisfied. I could potentially see us going with a group of 10 and basically ordering the entire menu, with everyone being able to have more than their fair share of food while already knowing up front what the bill would amount to. Hmm, this year’s birthday idea perhaps?

Masa 14 on Urbanspoon

Brunch at Mon Ami Gabi

30 Dec

While we have dined at Bethesda’s Mon Ami Gabi several times in the past, this was our first time eating brunch at the French bistro.

We had some friends in town and thought it would be a great place for brunch choice given the reasonable prices and expansive menu selections.

Even though the entrees on the menu sounded appetizing, I ordered one of the daily specials instead.

Open-faced Duck Confit SandwichThe restaurant offered an open-faced duck confit sandwich served on a slice of toasted brioche, greens, bleu cheese spread, and a side of frites. Combined with the fact that it was only $9.95, I was sold.

The sandwich was as delicious as it was described. The duck was succulent and really worked-well with the “open-faced” presentation.

The only thing I was not prepared for, however, was the overflowing cone of frites. It was clearly quantity over quality as I have had much better frites at other establishments, but that of course clearly did not keep me from shamefully finishing the entire portion.

Rachel ordered the Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon. She likes to have the Hollandaise sauce on the side to dip, and usually asks for the eggs to be poached well so that they don’t run. The waiter took note of both requests and said, “No problem.”

Eggs BenedictHowever, there was a problem. When everyone’s food arrived, it was evident that both requests were ignored, prompting Rachel to request a new dish.

The waitress profusely apologized and said that they would bring her another one right away. She didn’t mind waiting, but there is always that awkward time when one person is missing their food while no one else knows what to do because they want to be polite despite their food getting cold.

Rachel kept insisting to our friends that they go ahead and not wait for her, but it is honestly never fun when that sort of situation occurs. Fortunately, the new dish didn’t take too long to come out of the kitchen, and she was happy with the result.

Overall, we were very pleased with Mon Ami. Outside of Rachel’s Eggs Benedict snafu, the food and service was great. The waitress truly seemed apologetic regarding the error and continuously made sure that our waters and coffees were refilled. It’s definitely one of the better brunch spots in Bethesda, especially given the reasonable prices.

Mon Ami Gabi on Urbanspoon

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

A Decadent Brunch at Birch and Barley

27 Oct

Rachel and I have been fans of Birch & Barley, as well as its upstairs counterpart ChurchKey, since it opened last year. The food has been outstanding while the beer selection clearly speaks for itself, yet we’ve heard rave reviews regarding their brunch for some time and have been dying to try it.

So, what better way to celebrate Rachel completing the Army 10 Miler that morning than eating at a venue that offers toffee-bacon donuts? We felt it was due time to see what all the Sunday afternoon hype was all about.

Their infamous special is called the Boozy Brunch, which for $30 includes donut holes, two drinks, any entree, and unlimited coffee or tea. This is quite a deal, but considering it was still early and we knew that we would be drinking later that day to watch some football, we ultimately passed on the offer. We did get some tasty Bloody Mary’s and mimosas though.

Freshly Fried DonutsWe started our meal off with a plate of their freshly-fried donuts which ranged from lemon-poppy glazed to bittersweet chocolate to the aforementioned toffee-bacon. All of them were delicious, but the bacon donut might have been our favorite given how well the sweet and salty combination worked. Everything tastes better with bacon, right?

One strange thing that happened was that several of us ordered coffee, and it seemed that the coffee that our friends Jim and Livya received was brewed without using a coffee filter as the bottom of the cups were full of grinds. We pointed it out to the waiter and he apologized and seemed embarrassed by it, and quickly replaced the coffees with fresh ones.

House-Brined Corned Beef HashFor our entrées, I went with the house-brined corned beef hash. Topped with fried duck eggs, the corned beef was succulent yet was lacking a kick. In my opinion, it really needed some spice to bring out the flavor. I’m not one to ask for hot sauce, but I was nearly compelled to which was rather unfortunate.

On the other hand, the duck eggs were fantastic. The egg whites were not runny at all, and because duck eggs are larger than your typical chicken egg, the presentation nearly covered the entire plate of hash! These could honestly be a meal in themselves, and then when you factor in all the corned beef hash below it, you have yourselves quite a meal.

Rachel ordered what seemed to be their signature brunch offering,  chicken and waffles.  Brett had this dish at nearby Marvin a few years ago for dinner, and it does seem like a heavy meal to start the day off with, but she simply could not resist. After running 10 miles in a great time (under 90 minutes!), she felt she deserved it.

Chicken and WafflesAnd it was quite the reward indeed. A full waffle cut into four pieces with lightly drizzled syrup and pecans on top, next to three boneless pieces of perfectly fried chicken. It was a completely indulgent and delicious dish. She made sure to eat every forkful with a piece of chicken and waffle together, and it was the perfect combination of sugar and salt.

We were stuffed after that and didn’t eat much the rest of the day. Many hours later, we were still thinking how good our dishes were, and if only we lived slightly closer to this beloved establishment.

Birch & Barley on Urbanspoon

Brunch at Mussel Bar

29 Sep

We’ve dined at Robert Wiedmaier’s Mussel Bar several times since we first ate there on opening night, and honestly, it’s instantly become our favorite restaurant in the entire Bethesda area.

Between the excellent selection of craft brews (Delirium Tremens on tap!) and high-quality yet reasonably-priced food, Mussel Bar has filled a niche that Bethesda residents such as us have craved for.

Sunday was no exception as we decided to venture over there and see how brunch would fare over our earlier dinner experiences.

I went with the Huevos Rancheros and they were, by far, the best I’ve ever had in regards to that particular egg dish.  Served atop a grilled tortilla, the poached eggs were accompanied with some very delicious spicy pork, spinach, peppers, and a creamy hollandaise sauce.

Huevos Rancheros

The combination of flavors was excellent as the pork added just enough kick to the eggs without having to ask for some hot sauce. Letting the yolk drizzle throughout the dish made it enjoyable to savor each bite. What’s left to say? It’ll be my go-to from hereon out for brunch at Mussel Bar.

Rachel was debating between a traditional breakfast dish, like an omelet with goat cheese, chicken, and spinach, and a mainstay on the menu, the highly-praised lobster roll. She had already heard good things about it from friends, and after the craze of the Red Hook Lobster Company food truck, lobster had been on her mind. So, lobster roll it was.

And what a great decision it turned out to be.

The giant size roll was overstuffed with huge chunks of lobster meat, bonded together with only a touch of mayo and spices. The dish was accompanied with the now infamous Mussel Bar sweet potatoes fries, which we have to say, are like crack. They are crispy, with a hint of vanilla and a tad of salt, and are very, very addictive. The plate also came with a side lettuce, of which we originally thought was garnish, but turned out to be a small salad as well.

Lobster Roll

While we’ve generally never had a problem with the service at Mussel Bar, I had to track down the hostess to ask for some sugar for my coffee since the waiter forgot to bring it out when our drinks arrived. I also had to ask another waitress for a refill since ours couldn’t be found for a brief period of time.

Rachel ordered a Diet Coke with her meal, and as soon as we saw the waiter bring it in a small glass bottle with a glass of ice, we knew what that meant – no free refills. That is always a pet peeve, as soda costs are generally low and if a restaurant is going to bring individual bottles and charge for each one, it should be stated upfront. But other than those minor issues, the service was generally very good.

Now the biggest question we will have to face when going back to Mussel Bar is… lobster roll, or mussels? Decisions, decisions.

Mussel Bar on Urbanspoon