When the loudest voice in the restaurant is the voice of the food critic exclaiming, “That’s it! I’m going to give them a horrible review,” it’s easy to imagine how all the heads in the room will turn.
In this instance, during an inopportune moment for me, I was annoyed that a brisk gust of wind splattered shards of my light and flaky Belgian waffles – and the accompanying topping of powdered sugar – all over my Minnesota Twins navy shirt!
Honestly, I didn’t mean to cause a scene. I meant to be funny. But the room went quiet; the wind came down; and my voice went up. Oh well. At least, the scene was well worth it!
Located in the U Street corridor
, the modest exterior of Tabaq Bistro belays the lively interior. If you go online to www.tabaqdc.com
, you will get a glimmer of the tasteful and arty decoration. Then, upon traversing up the winding steps to the third floor, it reveals an outdoor patio with a sliding glass roof displaying a panoramic view of the city. Very cool.
Thankfully the menu lives up to the view. I went for Sunday brunch. With its bottomless refill of coffee, as well as $3 Mimosas and Bloody Marys, the liquid imbibing at Tabaq is a steal. The coffee was strong and dark, not watered down. I didn’t have either alcohol drink, but my friends Juli and Lauren said the drinks were good for the price.
I had French fries as an appetizer. I know. Ridiculous to eat French fries as an appetizer at brunch, but it is my singular goal to eat French fries at every D.C. establishment before I die. Out of a rank of 10, with 10 being the top score, I would give Tabaq a solid 6. Not greasy, spry; with enough potato flesh that you could discern it was a French fry, some natural salt seasoning, the fries were okay but arrived lukewarm.
For my meal I ordered the Belgian waffles and the seasonal fruit salad. The waffles came with a side of Nutella and the seasonal fruit salad had blackberries, cantaloupe, melons, strawberries and grapes. Fresh and filling, the fruit salad was a bargain at $3.95.
Other items on the brunch menu include omelettes, benedicts, soups, sandwiches, and variations of classic breakfast meals such as steak-and-eggs or egg casserole. The prices are quite reasonable and the service impeccable. Even before my announcement of being a food critic, my coffee cup never went empty -- nor did my water glass.
So if you are looking for a peaceful venue for a Sunday brunch, travel over to emerging U Street for some al fresco dining at Tabaq.
1336 U. St. NW
Published at 11:05 AM EDT on Jul 15, 2009 | Updated at 6:00 AM EDT on May 7, 2009