This weekend I’m heading up to Northern Virginia to visit my sisters and celebrate one of their birthdays. I’ve found that most people either hate or love this crazy, hectic area. It’s a bit too crowded and fast-paced for my taste, but with so much of my family up in that area, I have to admit that it’s starting growing on me. Also, D.C. happens to be the home of the the best brunch OF MY LIFE.
I know. That’s a big claim.
Before I go any further, I want to take a moment to distinguish between my definition of breakfast and brunch. Breakfast: A morning meal that includes classic breakfast food, coffee, small groups, and a peaceful-easy feeling. Brunch: A morning or mid-day meal that includes massive amounts of delicious classic & creative food, drinks, big groups of friends and liveliness. My Founding Farmers experience definitely fell into the latter category. My first and only visit (back in the fall) was crowded and loud, yet graceful and mind-blowingly delicious.
Founding Farmers on Pennsylvania Avenue manages to find a balance between the bustling activity of a city at the center of the American universe and the intimacy of homegrown, edgy town. Like most places in Northern Virginia, you need to make reservations a few weeks in advance, but the food and atmosphere is worth premeditated effort!
To brunch at Founding Farmers like its your last meal on earth, I suggest ordering the following:
- A beverage with freshly squeezed juices. When we first arrived, the waitress didn’t hesitate to tell us that all their juices are freshly made at the restaurant. Two of us ordered mimosas and the other two, bellinis. They were certainly the freshest tasting I’ve ever had. My only gripe is I wish they had been bigger…or came with bottomless refills…whichever.
- A plate to share with the whole table. Beignets or Banana Fluffer Nutter? You certainly can’t say no, but how do you choose between the two? When in doubt, pick the fried option. Who cares about clogged arteries or fruit when its your last meal on earth. The beignets were hot and hollow; and the dipping sauces perfectly complemented the sugar dusted dough.
- A side of artisan thick-cut bacon. With glazes. With four flavors, you might have a hard time choosing one (Black Pepper Maple, Joe’s Texas BBQ Sauce, Buck’s Hot Sauce, Golden Boy Sweet & Sour). I opted for black pepper maple and was–duh–not disappointed. It was, by far, the THICKEST bacon I’ve ever had…like borderline super-smokey ham. Really fabulous stuff.
- One dish for yourself and one to split. There are two reasons why this is a good idea: If you order one sweet and one savory dish, you have all your taste buds covered. And by ordering and intentionally sharing, you are actively avoiding food envy. Take it from experience, food envy can ruin a nice meal. My choices? Blueberry pancakes (no-brainer) and a “Drag Through the Garden” pan scramble.
If you live in the area or are planing a visit, I suggest making a reservation now.
Where are YOU brunching this weekend?