Dish of the Week: Calico DC’s barbecue brisket sandwich

Media Credit: Diego Mendoza | Staff Photographer

Check out the Calico DC for barbecue and drinks to beat the D.C. heat.

There’s nothing more satisfying than grilled food and an ice-cold cocktail on an especially stuffy July afternoon.

Luckily, the “urban backyard” Calico DC at 50 Blagden Alley NW offers a number of trendy drinks and flavorful barbecue bites you can enjoy in outdoor seating or order for pickup or delivery. Nestled among the street art in Shaw’s Blagden Alley, you can sit outside for a scenic bite to eat and drink.

The food menu is not extensive, but it offers great variety to suit your taste. For a refreshing starter, I ordered the watermelon salad ($11) accompanied with fresh arugula, feta and a basil vinaigrette. 

If you’re looking for something more indulgent, there are a few snacks to choose from, including loaded tater tots ($10) and a homemade mac and cheese ($7). The restaurant also offers a $22 barbecue dinner meal that includes the watermelon salad, mac and cheese, slaw, your choice of brisket or ribs and a brownie. 

I wasn’t famished, but I was looking for something a little bit more filling after the salad, so I ordered the barbecue brisket sandwich ($15) with fresh coleslaw, sweet pickles and chips. 

The sesame bun was toasted crispy on the outside but still fluffy inside, and it held together the meat of the sandwich without falling apart. The sauce was tangy and had a kick to it, but it didn’t overwhelm the fatty flavor of the brisket. The meat itself was perfectly cooked – tender but not so soft that it had no texture.

I didn’t order desert, but Calico DC sells $2 cookies and dark chocolate brownies if you’re looking for a sweet bite after your meal.

The “take meowt” drink menu does not disappoint and includes several specialty concoctions, draft beers and wine. Keep in mind that per D.C. regulations, you need to purchase a food item in order to buy alcohol. 

Calico DC also makes sure to introduce botanical flavors into its two $12 signature cocktails – the bourbon and ginger based “Fight Club” and the vodka and elderflower mixed “Queen Bae.” If you’re looking for something more classic, the bar also is stocked up on $12 frozen piña coladas and strawberry margaritas. 

The adult juice boxes ($12), served inside of a squeeze pouch, stood out to me the most. I chose the lavender lemonade and gin adult juice box, which packed a punch but was needed to combat the D.C. heat.

The delicate lavender taste was only more delicious when accompanied by the zinginess of freshly-squeezed lemons. The drink also includes cassis, a red liqueur made from blackcurrants, that adds a bit of sweetness. 

For outdoor dining with a view, head to Calico DC for a refreshing bite and evening drink. 

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