When the Uber first dropped my friend and me off at Crisp Kitchen and Bar, located near Howard University, we couldn’t even find the restaurant.
Crisp, which opened in late November, is located in a small, discrete townhouse at the corner of Rhode Island Avenue and First Street. And while it may not look like a restaurant at first glance, its street appeal is far surpassed by its food.
Crips serves up southern classics like fried chicken, stewed okra and macaroni and cheese. It also offers some non-southern options like poutine. If you’re looking for something lighter, try avocado toast with egg, chili pepper and veggies for $9.
When we first sat down, instead of bringing bread to the table as most basic restaurants do, Crisp served us a clever alternative of lightly salted kettle chips, which were devoured in five minutes flat.
Everything on the menu was very affordable for college students with the items ranging from $7 to $15.
I decided to get the fried chicken with a side of chopped slaw and french fries ($15). My friend went for the OG Chicken Sandwich ($10) with hot chicken, pickled vegetables and garlic mayonnaise. We shared an order of the mac & cheese ($9), which came out first, hot and steaming.
It was quite possibly the cheesiest dish I’ve ever consumed in my entire life. The noodles were drowning in the cheese sauce with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. The best part of the dish was the fact that the chef also incorporated a bit of truffle oil in it, giving it a distinct, smokey flavor. If you visit Crisp and only get one thing, let the mac & cheese be it.
I was a bit underwhelmed with my main meal. The breading is key to any fried chicken dish and Crisp did it perfectly – the chicken had a nice satisfying crunch and a bit of a kick whenever I bit into it. However, I would skip the chopped slaw next time, as it wasn’t very creamy or flavorful. The french fries were standard, a little crispier than the ones at “Burger Tap & Shake,” but just as thin and delicious nonetheless.
My friend liked her OG chicken sandwich, but said it was extremely spicy. So if you like it mild, beware – Crisp is not afraid to use its spice rack. (Crisp’s menu even warns that food runs spicy.)
We finished off our meal with a banana bread pudding ($9). The dish was heavenly – with bits of banana throughout and whipped cream and caramel slathered on top. It was the perfect way to end our quick stint down south.
So while Crisp was a bit of a trek off campus, it’s well worth the trip if you’re looking to indulge in some home-cooked, southern-style food for the night.