There are a few crucial components that make or break a dish – the combination of ingredients, the quality of ingredients, the execution of the dish, and the presentation of the dish itself.
Personally, I could care less about the presentation. Dan, who is a very good graphic designer and a very good “dish presenter” as well, would probably disagree with me, and rightfully so. It’s not that I don’t respect a good presentation, but I’m a Jewish-Italian. I grew up in two similar culinary cultures, where you cook the food, throw it on a plate, and eat it as fast as humanly possible without coming up for air. Many times, I’ve finished a meal so quickly that I never even saw it hit the plate. In a nutshell – presentation was non-existent in my family.
But I digress.
At Founding Farmers, the quality of ingredients and combinations of those ingredients are fantastic. It’s what makes the food so great. Founding Farmers prides itself on using fresh, organic ingredients from local sources, and it shows. The menu is quite diverse. It consists of everything from chicken wings, sliders and ribs to fried green tomatoes, pastas, flatbreads, seafood, salads and country classics.
We’ve been a handful of times, and each time has been D*MNGOOD. A few dishes of note to try are the Devil-ish Eggs, featured on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate”; Straw and Hay Pasta, which is a slight twist on a classic Carbonara (long noodles, asparagus, bacon, mushrooms and peas); the Spicy Ahi Tuna Poke (raw Ahi tuna, napa cabbage, avocado, fried wontons and ginger–sesame vinaigrette); and the Oven–Roasted Cracked Black Pepper Wings. I never would have thought that wings that aren’t fried could taste so good, but they do. And with the small plates all ringing in under $10, and the entrees averaging $13-16, it’s pretty affordable, too.
The restaurant itself has a great scene without actually looking trendy (aka Masa 14 and Barcode). The decor is an upscale-farmhouse look with wooden tables and an open, airy feel. The one nitpicky detail I have is that I wish the bar itself is actually bigger. It’s pretty small and fills up fast. Either way, not a make or break for the three of us.
But the best part of our last trip to Founding Farmers is not something you find on a menu. After many failed attempts, we finally found (no pun intended) two beautiful and very cool ladies to talk to at the bar.
They even helped join in on the review by ordering two flatbreads and providing their opinions – the Salami, Ricotta and Pesto, and the Brie, Onion Jam and Sliced Apples. Both of which are very good and also very affordable ($8 vs. the $14 that ChurchKey charges). They both gave two thumbs up.
And we can’t forget the MVP of the night, our bartender, Devon. The five of us ended up staying at the bar for almost 4 hours. So that’s a lot of drinks to serve.
And serve he did.
Our favorite drink of choice is what one of the girls liked to refer to as the “Cucumber thing.” It’s actually called the Organic Cucumber Delight, comprised of Square One organic vodka, cucumbers and cantaloupe. I normally drink my alcohol straight (not a fan of fruity drinks), but this one is pretty good. You could literally drink 10 of these at one sitting; they go down so easy. And we did.
Somewhere around our 3rd hour at the bar, Devon mixed it up a bit and served us what he referred to as an “Old Fashioned” – Old Fashioned followed by a Zombie. I am a fan of the Old Fashioned. The Zombie is a bit hard to put down. I can’t even tell you what’s in it – he poured in so many ingredients. The main ingredient is Bacardi 151. Enough said.
After a 4-hour marathon of eating and drinking, we had to move on. As Neil likes to say, “D*MNGOOD was closed. D*MNGOODTIMES was now open for business.”
Even after our failed jokes, obnoxious behavior, and average looks, the two women actually hung out with us for the remainder of the night, at Tattoo. One of the best nights out we’ve had in a long time. Thank you, ladies.
See, I told you I’d write a positive review one of these days.
|Address:||1924 Pennsylvania Ave., NW (19th St.) Washington, DC 20006|
|Parking:||Public Lot and Street|
|Serves:||Breakfast (Monday-Friday); Brunch (Sunday); Lunch (Daily); Dinner (Daily)|
|Go for:||Heirloom-pimiento-cheese puffs; 17-vegetable salad; chicken pot pie; deviled eggs; cornbread|