For a caffeine buzz and upscale cafe pastries and sandwiches, look no further than Dog Tag Bakery.
Dog Tag Bakery is nestled right in the heart of Georgetown, on 3206 Grace St. NW, kitty-corner to Wisconsin Ave., just a 20-minute walk away from campus. Hidden inconspicuously in a plain, white brick building, I was pleasantly surprised when I entered the cafe on a sleepy morning and was greeted by strong aromas of cinnamon and espresso.
The cafe is larger than expected, clad in red, white and blue furniture and scattered with faux-pumpkins, fall-themed wall-art and photos of smiling staff. With plenty of seating available – along with free wifi for paying customers – I quickly found a place to set down my laptop and get to work.
Dog Tag Bakery, which was founded in 2014, also offers a fellowship program that connects veterans and military families with career and education opportunities to aid them in the transition from military service to civilian life.
The bakery’s menu offers a wide range of meal options for both breakfast and lunch, as well as a plethora of tea and espresso-based, Compass Coffee-brand coffee. They’ve got your classic cafe basics: croissants ($3.95), cinnamon rolls ($3.95) and chocolate chip cookies ($1). In addition, the menu features some well-known fan favorites, like the bakery’s award-winning oreo-cream pie ($5).
If savory is more your beat as opposed to sweet treats, Dog Tag Bakery still has your back. In the morning it sells two different types of breakfast sandwiches and in the afternoon it offers two traditional sandwiches available, both of which can be paired with chips or a drink.
I decided to try the french toast waffle ($4.95), which was on Dog Tag Bakery’s seasonal menu options. With the prolific presence of D.C.’s brunch culture, just the promise of this dish is nothing short of a technological revelation. So when I visited, I knew this was the dish I had to try.
While the seasonal menu offers specialty drinks like a pumpkin chai and apple spice latte, I decided to pair my sweet breakfast with a black americano ($3.50). As an ex-barista, I know the importance of a quality espresso as a complement to breakfast and luckily, I was not disappointed. The espresso was fresh and was completely enjoyable without needing cream and sugar.
Now for the main star of the show: the french-toast waffle. Handed to me in an underwhelming cardboard container rather than more attractively presented, I tried to keep my expectations low, but after one sniff of the nutmeg and maple syrup that wafted from the box I knew that I was in for a treat.
The waffle was a sight to behold, golden brown and crispy all over. I was disappointed to see that the promised whipped cream that was supposed to be sitting atop the waffle was not present, but that proved to be not at all necessary upon cutting in.
The inside of the waffle had the airy texture of fresh-baked Challah, a traditional Jewish bread, and the soft chew of classic diner french toast. The waffle comes with syrup and butter but neither was necessary, because the waffle itself was incredibly flavorful. Scattered among the dough were pieces of cinnamon-coated apples, which radiate a delicious taste throughout the dish that can only be described by the word “holiday.”
Simple, but rich and satisfying, this Dog Tag Bakery dish elicited feelings of nostalgia, which is sometimes all one wants when it’s fall in the District.