Brunching in Columbia Heights
A few posts ago, I mentioned that I would be playing host to a large group of friends coming into town the first weekend of November. Well, that weekend came and went and I couldn’t let my best friends visit me without taking them to Sunday brunch in D.C. Of course, I tried getting reservations at Le Diplomate, but apparently everyone else within a 10 mile radius had that same idea because there was nothing open. I took a gamble and got us a table at a restaurant I’d never eaten brunch at: Maple , 3418 11th St. NW.
I always feel responsible to thoroughly vet a restaurant’s brunch menu before taking out-of-towners there, so it was with apprehension that I led my group to this Columbia Heights eatery. There was a slight glitch in our reservation, so we had to wait about 15 minutes before our table was ready. I was getting a little nervous. The day before had been filled with tailgating, football, being exposed to the cold, windy elements and a late night of celebrating our team’s win. This was very much a recovery brunch. All we required was a warm room, endless coffee and good food: we needed brunch like we never needed brunch before. The extra wait time was not what I had in mind.
Finally, the hostess led us upstairs where we grabbed the menus and immediately ordered a round of coffee and peach bellinis. As with all meals (and decisions, really) I went back and forth on what to order until I ultimately went with my gut and settled on the Eggs in Purgatory, Maple’s signature brunch dish: two poached eggs swimming in spicy tomato sauce with onions, Italian sausage, peppers and Fontina cheese arrived with two slices of toasted baguette for dipping.
It was good, but nothing to write home about, and I was slightly disappointed with the portion size. Great minds think alike, because half of the table ordered this dish.
The resident sweet tooth of the group ordered the Nutella panini … which is exactly what you think it is: Nutella, smashed banana and toasted hazelnuts on brioche.
Another friend opted for the savory version of the panini, which came with eggs, Fontina and pork belly, and a side of roasted potatoes.
Lastly, my roommate chose the pork belly and polenta, served with eggs over easy, kale and pork jus, which I stared at enviously.
Overall, the food was good, the company better, and we left Maple with our tummies content. It was just what we needed to cap off our reunion weekend.