I’ve frequent Old Ebbitt Grill in the District of Columbia many times over the course of several years, and several weeks back as I was attending a work reception there, one of the servers recommended checking out the restaurant’s brunch. He said it would be worth it. and I was in the bathroom. Two little old ladies tottered in, dressed in Chanel tweed and fabulous pearls.
The business has been a DC institution since 1856, being listed under different names (Ebbitt’s House, Ebbitt’s House Hotel, Old Ebbitt, Ebbitt Grill, and eventually Old Ebbitt’s Grill), different owners, and different locations before settling at its current spot, 675 15th Street NW (across from the U.S. Treasury Building).
Some people describe the historic establishment as having a stood for the last But, I digress. As I was saying, we weren’t appropriately attired for this very traditional DC brunch. In fact, we were surrounded by post-church crowds in navy suits and pearls. Oh, and ducks. We were surrounded by ducks. Old Ebbitt is like a ” hunting lodge” vibe about it, which may in fact be true. Patrons are quick to see the old hickory wood mahogany walls, oil canvasses, hardback books on display, and unique feel.
With that being said, some may not imagine it being a great brunch destination (and I might have thought that too – before taking the advice of a server). Before I was to head to Miami, I stopped by on a Sunday to check out it’s brunch menu, and I was impressed. Their brunch menu is really good. They hooked me up with Fried Chicken and Waffle (A Belgian waffle, buttermilk fried chicken, smoked maple syrup). As a guy born and raised in the South, it took me back to my roots. We Southerners know how to fry some chicken.
I was watching other patrons receive various meals (bacon and ham stuffed french toast sandwiches, different seafood combinations, and of course, more chicken and waffles). It didn’t appear that anyone has any complaints with their food. The crowd is ever-changing (depending on the day and time you arrive), but one thing is for sure: the quality of service and food doesn’t change. The place listed as DC’s oldest bar and restaurant has a great eye for food, and perhaps an even better eye for it’s brunch. But if you’re going to go on a weekend, remember there might be a lengthy wait, due to its popularity and location from several tourist destinations.
Old Ebbitt Grill…I’ll definitely be back, and I’ll be bringing more of my fellow Washingtonians.