It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Outdoor Brunch Weather

Last Friday’s nice weather was such a tease, and remind me just how ready I am for springtime! Spring means running in shorts and a t-shirt, drinking a beer at the Georgetown Waterfront, wine tasting in Virginia, avoiding tourists on the metro, and…BRUNCHING OUTDOORS!

As if brunch weren’t a lazy enough meal on its own, brunch at an outdoor table on a beautiful day takes laziness to epic proportions. I’m talking 2, 3, 4 hour brunches…

Where, you may ask, can I find these epic outdoor brunches you speak of? Lucky for you, I’m starting to put together a list. This is just the beginning (which I’m typing up during a few free minutes at work), so please add additional suggestions in the comments section and I’ll put them on the list!

What’s your favorite spot for an outdoors brunch?

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Blue Duck Tavern Birthday Brunch

Wow and Mmm may well have been the only two words/sounds Dan or I said during our brunch at Blue Duck Tavern a few weekends back. It really was that good–and I couldn’t be more pleased that we wound up there to celebrate my birthday.

Blue Duck is a bit pricier than some of the DC hot spots, but it’s worth the extra expense for the amazing food and ambiance that it provides.

The open kitchen is such a cool touch to a restaurant, and adds an inviting atmosphere to an upscale eatery. We loved how you could watch the chefs and actually walk through part of the prep area.

But let’s be honest–the real winner here was the food. Hands down. And it doesn’t hurt that Blue Duck Tavern sources much of their food from local farmers and butchers.

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Weekday Pancakes. Why Not?

The other day, my boss and one of our clients were talking about strange pregnancy cravings. For my boss, it was waffles. For the security guard at our client’s building’s wife, it was 7-Eleven hot dogs and pickles. As someone who has not been pregnant or had a pregnant wife, I didn’t have much to contribute to the conversation–but I expressed a concern that I already have odd cravings; what is going to happen to me when those cravings are intensified via pregnancy??

This week, pancakes were one of those cravings. After having cold pancakes at Emily’s apartment a few weeks back, the fluffy breakfast treats have been on my mind. My original plan was to make them last night, but I didn’t get home from Spanish class until 9:30–and opted for some carrots & hummus and apples & cheese.

Sooo…after my morning run today, I decided that I was going to make pancakes. Yes, on a weekday. And yes, from scratch.

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Fosters: On Every Durham Trip

Rachel and I both ventured down to Durham this past weekend — for separate reasons, but we drove together, which is way more fun than 4.5 hours alone each way.

No trip to D-town is complete without a stop at Fosters Market, the lovely little spot founded and run by Sarah Foster. It’s turned into quite the local favorite, and it’s inevitably crowded at all hours of the day. They serve brunch faves like pancakes, omelets and breakfast burritos; wraps, sandwiches and salads for lunch; and hot meals, along with the entire deli menu for dinner. There’s also a wide assortment of beverages (alcoholic and non-) and baked goods. And it wouldn’t be a “market” without all the extra goodies — cookbooks, pepper jelly, biscuit mix, a plethora of candy and plenty of other regional fare.

I can guarantee that every Duke student has a Fosters fave (or five) — I’m particularly partial to the veggie and Thai wraps and the granola bowl. The scones are delish too. I would say that not everything on the menu is a huge hit, but the overall experience is absolutely worth the trip.

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Weekly Brunch Round-Up

From DC with love:

  • Blue Duck Tavern goes above and beyond the call of duty with their Donut French Toast dish now served at brunch. As if their brunch wasn’t good enough last weekend.
  • What a clever idea! Omelet in a bag! Why not?
  • TBD has a list of their top brunch spots, but they’re missing Birch & Barley and Blue Duck Tavern–two of my favorites.
  • These New York transplants are also trying to identify the best DC brunch spots, but they haven’t been quite as successful as TBD. It looks like they’re missing a bunch, so leave them a comment with your faves.
  • Another take on the breakfast quesadilla I know and love.
  • I am a big quiche fan (what a great way to use leftover vegetables!), so I full support this article‘s thesis that “brunch is better with quiche.”
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Exposed Brick Brunch at Ulah Bistro

We each downed a few of these

This was my second attempt at making it to brunch at Ulah Bistro–and I made it to the restaurant this time around. In my defense, my first reservation was for January 1, 2011. It turns out that making it to brunch was not the top priority for my friends and me on New Years Day.

A few weeks back, though, I tried again. Dan and I rounded up our friends Kristen & Dave for a pre-Superbowl brunch. Because who doesn’t need a few Bloody Marys before a beer-filled football game?

Like Bitches Who Brunch, I immediately fell in love with Ulah Bistro’s great decor and vibe. I’m telling you, I’m a sucker for exposed brick!

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Weekly Brunch Round-Up

From DC with love:

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A Little Taste of the Bayou

Claudia over at Brunch and the City is making a list of D.C. donut spots, and when I expressed my love of all kinds of fried dough, she asked if I would be interested in checking out the beignets at Bayou Bakery. Duh.

We met there for late morning brunch on Saturday. The cafe is located in Arlington just across the street from the Courthouse metro station. It actually doesn’t have much of a brunch menu besides biscuits and granola, but it’s the kind of place you go to for the ambiance, a cup of coffee and a good lunch.

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Potato Gratin

Potato gratin is a decadent, luxurious food–full of butter, cream, and delicious calories! But sometimes, you don’t want a brunch food to weigh you down quite that much. Sometimes, you need that hangover grease without a second food hangover.

That’s where this gratin recipe comes in. You still get the silky texture and smooth flavors, but without some of the heaviness that normally comes in a gratin. Once you take your first bite, you’ll hardly remember that you didn’t add any cream.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Brunch

Emily already shared with you the official Emily Post do’s and don’ts for foods that you might eat at brunch, but this list is less about etiquette and more about ways to get the most out of your brunch experience:

DO: Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy your brunch. What’s the point of having a nice weekend meal if you’re just going to rush through it en route to activity #2?

DON’T: Order the same dish at every single brunch. Sure, I love Eggs Benedict, but I don’t get it every weekend. After all, you don’t want to get tired of your favorite food–and who knows what new favorite you might stumble upon when you’re ordering something different?

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