A New Take On “America Eats”

3 Mar

(Image via.)

Last weekend, I had my first “Jose Andres” experience.

It was a cold, dreary Saturday. I was juuuust about to settle in for a few chapters of The Hunger Games (guilty pleasure) when suddenly, I heard brunch calling my name.

And that’s a call that you just can’t refuse, am I wrong? So, with boyfriend in tow, I ventured out into the wind and rain to a restaurant that I have been dying to try for quite a while – America Eats Tavern in Penn Quarter.

This little gem is celebri-chef Andres’ latest offering. It’s in the former location of Cafe Atlantico, and the infamous Minibar is located in the same building, a “restaurant within a restaurant”, if you will. It was opened last year to celebrate the “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” exhibit at the National Archives – which for an agriculture and food geek like me, was just amazing. The exhibit offered an inside look at how the government has impacted our food choices, from the first food guide pyramid (butter was its own food group) to war time food propaganda posters.

Alright, already, back to the food.

Here’s the thing: I am sucker for a good themed restaurant, ESPECIALLY one that offers legitimately delicious food. All of the menu items included the date the recipe was first invented and a little bit of back story. Example: my “Ramos Gin Fiz” was invented by one Henry C. Ramos of New Orleans in 1888 and “was traditionally shaken for 12 minutes by a line of 25 shaker boys”. Good to know. (Side note – TRY IT.)

(Image via.)

My oyster po’ boy (invented by Clovis and Benjamin Martin, again in New Orleans, in 1925) featured what could be the best fried oysters that I have had in D.C. – not greasy at all, just crispy enough, delicate flavors, yum. My boyfriend’s fried chicken with catsup (which, if you are interested, originated from a recipe dating back to 1889 in Gordonsville, Virginia) was similarly well made. Also – America Eats offers a veritable spectrum of catsup flavors. Try the blackberry and the Jack Daniels. (Wink.)

(Image via.)

Check out the brunch menu here: http://www.americaeatstavern.com/images/content_images/AEmenu_brunch_120213.pdf.

The restaurant itself is divided into four floors set up around a winding staircase. The decor includes famous foodie artwork like Norman Rockwells’ “Freedom From Want” and tons of fun food posters from WWI. Our waitress was helpful and attentive, even if the service was a bit slow. Our check was delivered in a Hardy Boy’s book. Fun.

In conclusion: I would heartily recommend a visit to the America Eats Tavern to anyone who enjoys good food with a little history sprinkled in for good measure. I know that I will be back!


5 Responses to “A New Take On “America Eats””

  1. Milena March 3, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    You always have the best recommendations, adding America Eats to my list!

  2. Matt March 3, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Mmmm… Sounds tasty. I like how the menu includes eight different “catsups” to try.

  3. winniechao March 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    I’ve read mixed reviews about America Eats Tavern, but the flavored catsup has me sold! The brunch menu looks delicious and I need to stop by before it closes on July 4th. I just added to my graduate school bucket list. I’ve had lovely experiences at Cafe Atlantico and Zaytinya, and hope my trip to America Eats is as good as yours.

  4. Allee March 5, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Oh no–I had no idea it’s closing on July 4th–I need to make it there soon! I’ve been meaning to try it and now want to even more. Especially since your check was in a Hardy Boys book, because, that’s….awesome. I actually saw Jose Andres in dupont circle just recently, and I tried to play it cool, until my lovely roommate basically yelled in his face “OHMYGOD ITS JOSE ANDRES.” Very exciting celebrity spotting. Also, after watching Shit DC Says one too many times, I find myself saying “is that one of jose andres’ places?” at every mention of a restaurant.

  5. District RestauRANT March 5, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Again with the food— I’m STAH-ving here!!!

    It’s funny ’cause I’ve been in DC for 2 years now and when that “Sh*t DC people say” video came out a few months ago, it was the FIRST TIME I’d heard the name Jose Andres… Everyone around me was DYING at the reference and I just nervously chuckled and looked around to make sure I hadn’t been made as a DC Fake.

    I still have yet to try one of his restaurants (I’m a Stephen Starr girl, myself, being from Philly and all– http://www.starr-restaurant.com/), but this restaurant actually looks right up my alley! I might have to make the trek!!

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