Treat your parents to a beer garden brunch

Media Credit: Craig Hudson | Hatchet Photographer

Take your parents to Shaw for a hearty brunch at Dacha, and enjoy the crisp fall weather while you're there.

A 15-minute drive from main campus, Dacha Beer Garden is a little corner spot you might ordinarily pass by were it not for the wafting aroma of fresh Belgian waffles and the joyful sounds of laughter from families and professionals alike. Trust us, it’s worth it to skip the long lines in Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle.

Walk to the bar and one of the many personable staff members, all clad in authentic German lederhosen and dirndls, will take your order.

When it comes to drinks, aside from the most popular $15 bottomless mimosas, there are about 20 draft beers to choose from at about $10 per person. But since I’m underage, I stuck with a $5 orange juice.

You might know Dacha for its outdoor, string-light-dotted beer garden. But this past May the Shaw hangout added a weekend brunch, which is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every weekend. A beer garden might not seem like the place for your parents, but they’re sure to be swayed by the massive, colorful mural and the garden party vibe.

A solo meal is plenty to fill you up, but if you are particularly famished, for $5 more every meal can be turned into a platter which will include scrambled eggs, home fries and jalapeno mac and cheese.

Almost every time I go to brunch I get a waffle. I consider myself an expert and Dacha’s $9 Belgian waffles are some of the best D.C. has to offer. The aroma of fluffy, buttery dough fills the air and the stacked slices are topped with warm, fresh berries and a sweet dollop of whipped cream. The moment I took the first bite, it was already melting in my mouth, mixing gracefully with the berries and cream.

If you are someone who prefers a heartier breakfast, try the $12 bagel sandwich. A sunny-side-up egg is served on a grilled poppy seed bagel, and it’s piled high with thick-cut bacon, a fried green tomato, a lentil and barley cake, onions and beer cheese. The bread is just soft enough, the bacon is crispy and the lentil and barley cake has plenty of texture to keep things interesting. But just one warning: Eating this can get messy.

If you’re hungry for more, test out the brunch snacks like a $6 grilled pretzel or the $11 paprika-infused schnitzel strips. While these snacks are definitely on the heavier, less healthy side of the menu, they satisfy a craving for crunch. I recommend trying the $7 gluten-free potato pancake, called a kartoffellpuffer, which is served in a lemon peppercorn dressing and topped with red onion marmalade. A creative twist on the traditional breakfast hash brown, the kartoffellpuffer has an added kick of spice that ties together the flavors of fried potato, onion and lemon.

This busy outdoors-only (heaters and blankets are always available) eatery has more to offer than just mouth-watering cuisine. Almost immediately after we sat under blue umbrellas at one of the outdoor communal tables, my friend and I started chatting to the people seated around us.

While guests may come to this restaurant for its selection of drafts and exceptionally delectable brunch, they keep coming back because of the welcoming atmosphere and friendly attitudes of locals and staff alike. Although a beer garden may not sound like a conventional place to take your parents, many of the people there were regulars or families with little kids who live in the area.

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