Now I wouldn’t make the claim in the title of this post lightly, I hope you know. In fact I pride myself on the fact that I know from bacon having ordered it up and down the Eastern Seaboard to say nothing of in a $350-a-night country house hotel in Ireland. But I can honestly say that the best bacon I’ve ever tasted was served to me at Open City (it calls itself not a restaurant but a “coffeehouse, diner, and bar”) in Washington, D.C.
I like this breezy neighborhood joint, a mix of all things that is right in urban casual dining these days. The diner part is covered by a menu of traditional favorites, all with a twist (brioche French toast; hot dog with chili lime tartar sauce; halloumi grilled cheese) and stuff you wouldn’t find at a typical diner like mussels and handmade pizza. The coffee is impeccable and the beer and wine lists carefully culled. It’s got some boulangerie mixed in too, with wonderful pastries that are made on the premises.
We were there for breakfast and I’m still trying to recover from the fact that I did not order the Red Velvet Waffle (I know – I’m deeply disappointed in myself too). Instead I went for the buttermilk cornmeal pancakes with warm blueberry compote. They were delicious, but it is the bacon that stands out in my mind – smoky, thick (but not too thick), chewy (but not too chewy) – it had a rich flavor that stood up to everything around it and yet was also a perfect complement. I’m sure other people I was with ordered other things and ate them, but the bacon and I were too intent on each other to notice.
I’ve sampled a few other things here on other visits and can report that the carrot cake and palmiers stand up to the bacon as well, but none truly has the superlative quality that it does. Let me put it you this way: If I were single, I’d marry that bacon in a heartbeat. We’d have a beautiful future together.
If you are staying at the Omni Shoreham, Open City is right across the street and would make a perfect place for an early dinner with kids after a day of sightseeing, no less because you can order a fab artisanal draft beer to accompany your food. If you’re visiting the National Zoo, Open City is an easy walk from the zoo entrance; it’s also just feet from the Woodley Park Metro stop, so you could hit it easily on the way to or from if you are arriving via public transportation. Since it is pretty much open all the time for every meal, you don’t really have to have a plan, which is another beautiful thing. It does always seem to be packed and its one flaw is service that’s on the slow side but my recommendation is just to deal with it.
Remember – they serve that bacon all day.
I share this as part of Wanderfood Wednesday at Wanderlust and Lipstick which always includes lots of yummy posts.
And have you entered to win a Shutterfly photo book yet? Well what are you waiting for?