On our first trip to DC, we tried to stop for brunch at Founding Farmers. It was at the top of every brunch recommendation list we saw, and it was personally recommended by Ashley’s brother Kendall. Even Aunt Sue had great things to say about it. But when we stopped by, to say the lobby was crowded was an understatement. It was spilling into the street. All of the tables on both floors were packed. We ended up at District Commons.
This time though, we were determined to see what the fuss was all about. So, Ashley, being the planner that she is, made a brunch reservation about .003 seconds after she registered for the Rock ‘N Roll Marathon. On Sunday, with Ashley’s mom, brother, friends and Aunt Sue, we made our way to Founding Farmers for a post-marathon, celebratory brunch.
When we got there, it was just as packed as the first time. People were shoulder to shoulder in the tall open lobby. Off to the left when you walk in is a small seating area with a couple bookshelves featuring a variety of organic cookbooks and farming books. Off to the right is one dining room. And in the center is a staircase heading up to the second level. We waited about 10 minutes, and were then shown up the stairs to our table, walking past jars of various infusions.
Brunch started with the Ashley trifecta…coffee, water and a very good spicy Bloody Mary. And when things start with a very good Bloody Mary, you know it is going to be a great day. The menu was filled with fresh, seasonal and delicious looking options. My mind kept going back and forth between savory and sweet, unable to decide which direction I wanted to go. So I went both.
On the savory side was the pastrami hash. Plenty of peppers, onions and potatoes mixed with the pastrami to provide a salty and slightly sweet bite. Perfectly poached eggs and a bit of hollandaise made a nice sauce that brought everything together without being overwhelming.
The sweet side was the carrot cake pancakes…which tasted exactly like carrot cake. They were sweet, but not overly sweet. Light and fluffy. And ridiculously delicious. I actually had to pause my eating of the hash for a little bit to make sure that I got my half of the pancakes before they disappeared.
For more than two hours we talked and laughed, and absolutely enjoyed each other’s company over another round of Bloody Marys and Intelligentsia coffee. The staff couldn’t have been more accommodating, and the venue couldn’t have been more perfect for our celebration. The food was fresh and flavorful and great. All-in-all, Founding Farmers was worth the wait. It’s easy to see why it is a top brunch spot, and I definitely recommend it. Just make sure you make a reservation.