Here’s the dish! Since moving back to D.C. just over two years ago, there are a few restaurants that repeatedly come up when I ask for brunch recommendations. One of those restaurants is Founding Farmers. With more and more people being more conscious about the food they put into their bodies, the farm-to-table concepts have taken off. Founding Farmers is no exception. When a friend invited me to brunch this past Sunday, I happily accepted, but when I found out we were going to Founding Farmers, I flipped!
While we had a 2:00 p.m. reservation, we thought we’d head over to the D.C. location (1924 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006) early to see if we could get a table before then. As we exited the car on 20th Street and rounded the corner, we saw them—the crowd of approximately 20 people waiting for a table (it was worth a shot)! As we made our way through the revolving door, we entered another crowd of people in the restaurant waiting for a table. This is a great sign of what was to come.
I normally like to explore the decor of the restaurant while I wait to be seated, but there was an overwhelming amount of people waiting, so I just found a seat in the back corner of the lobby and waited patiently with my friend until our table was ready at 2:00 sharp. After being escorted to our cozy upstairs table, we were greeted by our cheerful server, Madison. She immediately informed us that we were dining at the perfect time because we had the option to order from both the brunch and lunch menu.
We took a few moments to peruse the menu and ordered drinks. The Scratch Soda ($5) from the “Farmacy” immediately caught my eye, but I couldn’t decide between the grapefruit and hibiscus flavors (it also comes in orange, lemon-lime, ginger, vanilla, and a seasonal offering), so I asked Madison for a recommendation. She recommended the hibiscus flavor, so I ordered it because I have grown fond of hibiscus thanks to the Spiked Augua Fresca at El Centro D.F.’s bottomless brunch. My friend ordered the Corpse Reviver ($12) with Bombay gin, Kubler absinthe, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, and lemon. Neither disappointed. The refreshing Scratch Soda was a nice contrast of sweet and tart, and the Corpse Reviver was “tasty and provided a good balance of Cointreau and gin,” according to my friend.
My friend already knew he wanted to start the meal off with some Fried Green Tomatoes ($8) from the lunch menu, so who was I to object? The perfectly fried southern delicacy was served with herb goat cheese and an avocado green goddess for dipping. Then we did something I wouldn’t normally recommend doing when dining with someone—we ordered the same thing—Chicken & Waffles. Now, before you get your panties all in a bunch, there’s a catch—I ordered the lunch version, and he ordered the breakfast version.
The Breakfast Chicken & Waffles ($12) comes with a full waffle, three boneless fried tenders, and eggs cooked any way you like them; white gravy is served on the side. The signature Chicken & Waffles ($16) on the lunch menu is a boneless, batter-dipped thigh and breast, half of a waffle, macaroni and cheese, and choice of a crop side; I ordered the Mint Watermelon with sea salt. Fried chicken and watermelon?! (I know!) They were two very different takes on the same meal, and we enjoyed them both. I was skeptical about the macaroni and cheese at first glance, but was immediately blown away from the blend of seven different cheeses, including white and yellow Cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan, Swiss, and Muenster.
At the end of the day, I’m glad I went with the lunch version of the Chicken & Waffles. While I always prefer bone-in over boneless chicken, the serving size of the lunch version was much more generous than the breakfast version, enough to share in fact. I also didn’t mind the smaller version of the waffle. I liked the fact that I could have two other sides with the lunch portion instead.
After all the hype, Founding Farmers did not disappoint. I’ll definitely be back to taste more of what they have to offer.
Until next time, folks. Keep dishing!