Counter Intelligence

Out to Lunch

Posted in District of Columbia by melissamccart on March 7, 2009

Or breakfast, as the case may be. I’m hanging out  in Charleston for the Food and Wine Festival, where I’ve been eating and drinking like a glutton for a couple days. Down the street from where I’m staying, a line forms early for breakfast and continues during the lunch hour outside of Jestine’s Kitchen. Jestine was over 90 when she opened her place. Though she passed away in ’97, she left her legacy in a quirky little spot filled with character and good eats. So while it’s a rarity that I’d even go to brunch let alone wait in a line, there’s something fun about it when the place is dedicated to the meal and offers a compelling story. 

After reading Esquire’s breakfast rankings, Ben on IFA asks this week, where are DC’s breakfast places? Sure, I’m a fan of the meal at Tabard Inn and St. Ex. I’m wishing for a place with an eclectic past, a spot that has character, that’s day service only, along the lines of  Jestine’s, or my very favorite ever, Big Bad Breakfast. Owned by John Currence, the diner features  homemade sausage, bacon cured in house, local milk and eggs, fresh squeezed juices, homemade jams and preserves, and local cheeses. I was also  in love with the brulee’d grapefruit. Who wouldn’t like  ruby red with a candied crust?

Maybe breakfast places are like wine bars for DC: we’re among the last cities to hop on board, but we’ll get there. Or maybe breakfast joints with character aren’t in the cards for our city, just as mini restaurants such as New York’s Prune, The John Dory or similarly charming little spots are missing from our restaurant landscape. After all, as Gus DiMillo said when I asked him why smaller restaurants and gourmet diners hadn’t arrived in DC, he said, “They’re great, but they don’t pay the bills.”

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One Response

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  1. lisis77 said, on March 8, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Hi! I love reading your blog – if you are ever in Europe, why don’t you come and visit us? http://theshychef.wordpress.com/

    Best wishes,
    The Shy Chef!


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