The Perfect Brunch Spot
Not too long ago, my roommate and I played host to two sets of friends visiting just a few weeks apart from each other. There were a lot of things to coordinate with the impending arrival of our closest friends, but the singular most important detail of any trip involving any of my best friends is: where will we eat?
I talk a mean brunch game, and our visitors were expecting nothing less than the best. Not wanting to disappoint the out-of-towners, my roommate and I decided to take them to a restaurant we were sure would impress: the ever popular Le Diplomate, 1601 14th Street NW.
Neither of us had been there before, but relying on the numerous food critic appraisals, positive ravings of our coworkers and recommendations of our D.C. friends (one even got engaged here!) we knew there was no way Le Diplomate could let us down.
The minute we stepped through the doors, we felt transported to a European café. The music, the high ceilings and the open dining areas made it the perfect backdrop to catch up with old friends and rehash the activities of the night before. We all ordered from the brunch menu, which is offered Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. After going back and forth between no less than seven different items, I finally settled on the duck sarladaise. Comprised of confit, a sunnyside up egg and roasted potatoes, it was definitely the right choice. The combination of great company, delicious food and a convivial atmosphere made this occasion one of my favorite meals to date … until we came back two weeks later with our next group of visiting friends.
We had such a great time we knew better than to mess with a good thing and made a second reservation. It wasn’t even a decision. You know how it goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
For round two at Le Diplomate, we started off with a traditional Vietnamese-style coffee (which I grew up drinking) and flutes of mimosas (which I also grew up drinking … just kidding). After eating our way through the endless varieties of baked goods from the table’s bread basket, I ordered the burger Americain. Yes, of all things to order at a French restaurant, I opted for the item named “American burger” and it was quite possibly the best burger I’ve ever eaten.
I had read numerous reviews, saw endless pictures and noted all of the times this dish made it on a “must-eat” list. It was time for me to see what all the fuss was about and it certainly lived up to all of the hype. Two burger patties, pickles, onions and a special sauce, it was juicy, messy, and if I’m being completely honest, tasted a little bit like a Big Mac, but in all the best ways. As in, this Big Mac jet-setted to Paris and got all dressed up in the finest of ingredients.
I can honestly say this dining experience ranks high up on my list of best brunches and I’ve been dreaming (and drooling) of it ever since. I’ve got a group of friends slated for a visit in November and I know exactly where we’re going for brunch…