21 October 2017
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Redline: Wings with Jicama?

Let me start off by saying that I like Redline. I say this because it is very possible that some of this review may come across as negative. I wouldn’t call it negative. I would call it constructive criticism.

First- the positives. Redline is finally a sportsbar in Chinatown where it’s worth watching a game.  The alternative, Bar Louie, is gross. It’s loud, crowded, the TVs are small, there’s no windows, and the food blows. Green Turtle is ok, but it’s a chain usually found at strip malls in the boonies. Not ideal.

Redline succeeds for 2 reasons, in particular:

  1. The number and location of its TVs. You can see virtually every game from any spot in the bar. They also have two electronic-display boards – a la Vegas sports book – showing all of the lines. That doesn’t really matter since you can’t actually place bets at the bar (someday hopefully), but it’s still a cool addition.
  2. The other aspect of Redline that sets it apart from other sportsbars in Washington, DC, are the taps at the booths. Most sportsbars in DC (Public Bar, Blackfinn) provide those big-ass plastic beer tubes that you can split with your friends. The downside to that is the beer tastes like, well, like you’re drinking it out of a plastic tube. At Redline, you have your own tap, and you can just pour yourself beers all-day long and drink yourself into oblivion. Even better, the taps keep track of how many ounces you have consumed, so you can actually see how disgusting you are or, even better, compete with your friends.

So those are the upsides. The downside is the food. The food isn’t terrible, per se, but it’s a bit too “fancy” and overpriced for being a sportsbar. I give credit to Executive Chef Fabrice Reymond for putting a slightly different spin on classic American bar food, but there are some staples you just don’t touch. Wings being one of them.

Wings are served with celery and blue cheese (or ranch if you went to Virginia Tech) for a reason – it goes together like peanut butter and jelly. At Redline, the wings are served with Jicama and sour cream. If you don’t know what Jicama is, it’s because it doesn’t really taste like anything. And it tastes even worse with chicken wings. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Aside from that little mishap, the quesadillas and nachos are pretty good for your dollar. I got the Peruvian chicken once as well as the hangar steak. Both were good, but for a price tag of $26, I wouldn’t recommend them.

All in all, Redline is a much better concept than Indebleu ever was. Verizon Center is a sports arena, and it should be surrounded with sportsbars. I think management needs to dress up the outside a bit. The red velvet rope and the logo still make it look more like a club than a sportsbar. Practically everyone I ever take there usually get to the front door and say, “This is a sportsbar?” Either way, my guess is Redline will be there for a while. I’m glad the ‘hood got a respectable sportsbar.

Neighborhood: Chinatown
Address: 707 G St., NW (7th St.) Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-543-1724
Web site: www.dcredline.com
Parking: Public Lot and Street
Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown
Serves: Lunch (Saturday and Sunday); Dinner (Daily)
Specials: N/A
Go for: Watching a game; pouring your own beers from table taps; chicken nachos; caesar salad; quesadillas
Price: *****
Rating: *****

Redline Gastropub on Urbanspoon

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