Dinner and a movie has been a classic date combo since the dawn of the silver screen.
Ted’s Bulletin, an old-fashioned Eastern Market restaurant, channels old-world Hollywood to enhance the traditional tryst, playing film classics like “Casablanca” as diners nosh on heaping portions of food.
The restaurant’s décor follows a pre-Depression theme, displaying ornate ceiling tiles, brick walls, large hanging lanterns and spacious wooden dining booths, creating a unique cross between a diner and a speakeasy. While the restaurant transported guests to another era with its ambiance, the dishes were only mildly flavorful attempts at classic American that left our party full, but not quite satisfied.
With a Prohibition-era feel, Ted’s Bulletin offers a tantalizing forbidden fruit of the dry decade in its adult milkshakes. Adding a twist to the chilly dairy treat, the concoction ($8.99) comes in interestingly named options, from the “Nutty Professor,” a hazelnut liqueur creation to a “Dirty Girl Scout,” made with peppermint schnapps. I opted for the less alcoholic, more traditional chocolate shake, and even with my four years’ experience serving up shakes at Lickety Split Ice Cream in upstate New York, the chocolate shake ($6.49) was the richest, thickest and by far best shake I have ever tasted.
But the menu was more limited than I had hoped. The all-day breakfast with equally creative menu items, like “The Walk of Shame Breakfast Burrito” ($11.79) with sirloin steak, scrambled eggs, hash browns, cheddar and green chile sauce served with a side of hash browns and “Nana’s Beer Biscuits and Sausage Gravy” ($9.79), seemed to be the menu’s premier options.
Other menu options included variations on burgers, salads, steak, ribs, fried fish and chicken – not a great place to take a picky vegetarian.
I was stuck between ordering the “Fish and Taters” ($14.99) or the “Tzatziki Greek Burger” ($13.29) with grilled pita, lamb burger, feta cheese, pepperoncini and tzatziki sauce, but our attentive waiter told me I had to try the fish. While crispy fried in all its greasy glory, the fries, fish and coleslaw were not as wow worthy as a friend’s gigantic whole rack of ribs ($24.99), which came out on a platter resembling what I can only imagine to be a meal fit for a caveman.
Another member of our table ordered the “7:00 AM Breakfast Burger,” ($12.29) which our waiter said was a house specialty, prepared with an English muffin, country ham, hash browns, fried egg and chipotle ketchup.
While the food was good – nothing incredible but still good – the portions were enormous. No one in our five-group party managed to clear their massive platters, despite our group arriving ravenously hungry. Even the ambitious member who opted for the full rack of ribs instead of the half rack, assuring us he could finish, ended up asking our waiter for a to-go box for his well-seasoned array.
My advice would be to go to Ted’s for a weekend brunch and pair an adult milkshake with a breakfast of epic proportions. Between the massive servings and sweet but spiked treat, it is the perfect cure for any ail the night before might have caused you.