Inside a hotel lobby in the heart of Adams Morgan, the coffee shop The Cup We All Race 4 serves up specialty pastries and a long list of beverage options.
The Line DC, located at 1770 Euclid St. NW, is a multistory building with a grand front staircase and sandy-colored stone columns. Once a church, the hotel has remnants of the former place of worship, including yellow, pastel orange and baby blue tinted stained-glass windows, high ceilings and an open lobby.
The Cup We All Race 4 is one of four restaurants inside the hotel. Located in the downstairs dining room past the lobby, Brother’s and Sister’s offers Italian and American dishes with an Asian flare. A Rake’s Progress occupies the second floor of the building and serves vegetable-heavy dishes with produce and seafood sourced from the Mid-Atlantic ocean. At Spoken English, which dishes out Japanese cuisine, customers can enjoy their meals in a tachinomiya standing room.
The Cup We All Race 4 is placed just inside the doors of the hotel, attracting several passersby who stop to admire the hotel’s church-like architecture and golden rods that hang like a chandelier over the main lobby.
Customers can walk up to the coffee bar’s small counter and order from a selection of pastries behind a glass case, including whole grain and chocolate croissants ($4), a jam-filled pastry ($4), seasonal fruit muffins ($3) and country ham and cheese croissants ($6).
But there was one pastry that stood out from the rest of the pastries. The shop’s “cretzel” ($6) – a croissant shaped and flavored like a pretzel – is served toasted golden brown and comes in two flavors. You can get your cretzel dipped in cinnamon sugar or sprinkled with sea salt and sesame seeds.
The shiny exterior and familiar pretzel shape reminded me of the kind of snack purchased at a ballpark, but the pastry’s flaky crust and chewy, moist dough brought out the best in a croissant.
The layers of the pastry are sweeter and softer than a typical pretzel, but it’s baked to a crisp to mimic the crunch of a pretzel. The dough’s sweetness was masked behind cinnamon sugar but stood out on the plainer sea salt and sesame version.
After trying both versions, I would have enjoyed the cinnamon sugar cretzel more as a warm dessert served with a glass of milk. The sea salt and sesame cretzel would have paired well with any beverage and could have been enjoyed as a breakfast, lunch or snack.
You can accompany your cretzel with a selection of coffee and other beverages posted in red and white letters on a black marquee-style board behind the counter. If you’re looking for something simple, try a plain “quick cup” of coffee ($3) or espresso ($3). If you’re in the mood for fall, sip on the shop’s maple latte ($5.75), which is sweetened with maple syrup.
If you’re stopping by the coffee shop for lunch or on an evening adventure to Adams Morgan, The Cup We All Race 4 offers an afternoon menu with dishes like the hot brown sandwich ($12) with smoked chicken, bacon, cheddar and pickles on a potato roll. For a vegetarian bite, the vegan greenhouse sandwich ($12) is served with sauerkraut, pickles, kale and Russian dressing on rye bread.
Next time you’re in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, stop by The Line DC and check out The Cup We All Race 4. You can enjoy a quick cup of coffee and specialty pastries like the cretzel before exploring the fascinating interior of the hotel.