950 15th Street
Georgia Brown’s is traditional Southern food with a gourmet twist. The ambiance is warm and homey. During brunch hours, live jazz is performed. The menu is divided into “acts,” the pre-show boasts drinks like “low country” Bloody Marys, white chocolate and Georgia peach Martinis. Act one is the buffet, or the “chef’s picnic table.” Guests can fill up on applewood smoked bacon, sausage, hash browns, biscuit-battered French toast and, of course, the best stone-milled grits in this part of the south (a closely guarded recipe of Georgia Brown’s). There’s also an omelet station and a dessert table laden with Southern-style mini cakes, pies and brownies. Georgia Brown’s doesn’t expect you to make it past Act One and Two in the same sitting; they happily pack entrees like Gumbo, fried chicken, meatloaf, salmon, catfish, or shrimp and grits to go. Breakfast with the parents and dinner when they leave – two meals for the price of one. Georgia Brown’s brunch is about the price of two meals as well, at an expensive $26.95 per person. Brunch is Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
3000 M St, NW
This French cafeteria on M Street cuts traditional brunch time in half. You order in line and the food comes to you when it is prepared. The ambiance is that of a casual French bistro, kind of kitschy, with little knicknacks everywhere. It’s a really warm and friendly place, even if it gets insanely crowded and difficult to maneuver around in on busy weekends.
The menu has something for everyone. They have traditional French onion soup, quiche Lorraine and crepes for the Francophile of the family. They also have huge omelets, French toast, croissants and pastries. And for the low-carb lover in every family they have new low-carb turkey and ham sandwiches (somewhere a French guy is rolling over in his grave).
Bread and Chocolate
2301 M St., NW
A self-described European bakery, Bread and Chocolate is great because it doesn’t have the frantic crowds of the restaurants in Georgetown. Its most attractive part is the gigantic dessert case you see when you walk in. One can’t help but marvel at the miraculous things that can be done with marzipan. If there is a wait, (and I have never had to wait more than a minute or two) admire the baked goods; it really is absurd what people will do to create a cute-looking dessert.
It’s not called bread and chocolate for nothing: they have amazing chocolate French toast. For adventurous eaters they offer “very berry pfannkuchen.” Everyone else at the table can laugh as you try to pronounce it. These very berry. uh. with sweet cream and berries.
Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th Street N.W.
For parents who seriously enjoy “old D.C.,” or if your grandparents are tagging along, consider Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington’s oldest saloon, founded in 1856. It was originally started as a boarding house and bar where presidents Cleveland, Grant, Johnson and Roosevelt were rumored to have stopped in for a drink. Following tradition, the design of the restaurant is a salute to historic D.C.
Famed for their hamburgers, Ebbitt’s also offers a sizable brunch menu changed daily to showcase certain seasonal products. The entrees are also somewhat more eclectic than one would expect. If you’re feeling a little Mexican they have Norwegian tacos, which is smoked salmon topped with asparagus, salsa and sour cream on a bed of greens. Or for the Italian food lover, try the cannelloni.
660 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
(202) 546 5228
Murky coffee is not your average Starbucks. Even their slogan demands attention: “Proudly serving the best damn coffee in Washington. Yes, we said damn.” The attitude of the establishment fits right into the quirky feel of Eastern Market, where it is located. The d?cor is a blend of traditional neighborhood coffeehouse – there is a mural of an old school neighborhood market covering one wall. But where the mural stops, there is a Napoleon Dynamite poster. Go figure.
Though the coffee machine was broken when I visited, they did serve a wide selection of espresso drinks. But they are supposedly famous for their “as-seen-on-TV-world-famous-no-questions-asked- $5” cup of hot chocolate. Arguably this was some of the best hot chocolate I have ever had that wasn’t homemade. When I asked how they made it the employee behind the counter huffed, “it says no questions.” At any rate, the hot chocolate was perfect for dipping biscotti into. Though murky isn’t a traditional brunch place, it’s a nice place to stop in, grab a drink and pastry and hang out before wandering around Eastern Market.