21 October 2017
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Busboys and Poets (MVT)

Busboys does a lot of things right and only a few things wrong. The best asset, however, is how comfortable it is. Busboys is a great spot to post up and relax. It consists of huge windows that let in lots of sunlight (unlike the other dungeon-type coffee shops spread around DC), and over the summer the doors to the patio are left open, which brings in a breeze and makes working on the weekends all the more bearable. There are outlets all over the place and a few communal tables that make for more than enough room to post up with a laptop and grab a cup of coffee and something to eat. I’ve never had a problem posting up regardless of the time of day or day of the week. This is in contrast to Tryst or Starbucks, where you have to show up before the place opens to grab a seat somewhere and plug in.

The food is what they don’t always get right, but it’s getting better. At least it’s not overpriced. The sandwiches and burgers are the safest bet. The nachos are decent. I went for dinner and got the pan-fried chicken, which was surprisingly good, too. I’m a huge advocate of brunch, and I get a little miffed when these places can’t make a decent plate of eggs and toast. That said, I just tried a new dish this morning called Mekhleme (Iraqi Hash), which is really just two poached eggs on top of chili. I ate it in a little under 4.5 minutes, so it obviously couldn’t have been that bad. It was pretty D*MNGOOD®, actually. The one thing that did freak me out, though, is that it literally came out of the kitchen less than 5 minutes from when I ordered it. There’s no way that dish wasn’t just sitting there already. In general, Busboys and Poets use great ingredients. They taste fresh and the combinations are fantastic. It’s the execution and consistency they need to work on. It has been getting better though.

Let’s talk about drinks.

They make the best bloody marys in DC. Get one. Old Bay in my mouth. The coffee is ok. But again, nothing spectacular. I still think Marvin and Brasserie Beck brew the best coffee in Washington, DC.

The other thing they do well is entertainment. Now I say this without actually ever going to any of the open mic nights or shows that are put on at Busboys. But I can respect it. Whenever there is an open mic (usually spoken-word), it’s always packed. And it’s always diverse, which is great. Spending too much time on 14th Street or the Penn Quarter neighborhood can make you forget that Washington, DC, is actually a pretty diverse town. But over at 5th and K, Busboys is definitely a melting pot.

Busboys and Poets on Urbanspoon

Neighborhood: Mt. Vernon Triangle
Address: 1025 5th St., NW (K St.) Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-789-2227
Web site: www.busboysandpoets.com
Parking: Street
Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown and Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center
Serves: Breakfast (Daily); Lunch (Daily); Dinner (Daily)
Specials: Monday-Friday (4-7 PM): $4 draft beers; $5 featured wine by the glass
Go for: Bloody marys; burgers; nachos; pan-fried chicken; blackened-fish sandwich
Price: *****
Rating: *****
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  1. Mike says:

    Looooooove the coffee, bloody mary’s and steak salad, but not all at the same time, except sometimes all together.
    Nachos are best at 1am after Saki bombs.
    Great place to bring a book and get hit on by gay waiters. Love it.