Where We Keep Drinking: Beuchert’s for Brunch
People often ask us what our favorite place for cocktails in DC is. While we have plenty of answers to give of great places to go for a drink, the truth is that we haven’t had much of a chance yet to develop a favorite. We came to DC about 18 months ago with a whole new city to explore, a city in the middle of a food and drink explosion, to boot. With new restaurants, bars, and distilleries opening all the time (and a whole back catalog of places having opened in the few years before we arrived), going someplace a second time is a luxury we can seldom afford. There’s always someplace we haven’t visited yet, waiting to be tried, enjoyed, and written about.
In our preference for the as of yet untasted, we make an exception for Beuchert’s Saloon. Beuchert’s is the place we go when we want familiar and comfortable, when we just want to put ourselves into safe hands and be taken care of. A necessity for such a place is, of course, that it be within a short walk in our beloved Eastern Market neighborhood. Add to that the excellent, solid but creative bar, and a special knack for fresh, updated comfort food, and you have the perfect place to go after a long, hard day at work when there’s nothing in the fridge.
For the first time, we stopped by good, old Beuchert’s for brunch last weekend. The food was just what we hoped for: rich, delicious, and simultaneously reliable and interesting. The smoked bluefish hash was decadently down home, and the otherwise standard eggs and bacon Beuchert Breakfast was made special by its lovely cheesy grits.
Their brunch menu contains only the standard brunch option, but thankfully they offer their full cocktail menu at brunch, and it’s a menu diverse enough to contain plenty of brunch-friendly options.
What We Ordered
What We Thought
One of the things we enjoy about Beuchert’s is their use of local, craft liquor in recipes that are inspired by the classics but tweaked to highlight the liquors’ uniqueness. So, a drink containing both Don Ciccio’s espresso liqueur and Cotton and Reed’s spiced rum was an easy sell. Having enjoyed our straight sip of it so much on our visit to the distillery, we were especially eager to taste the rum in a cocktail.
As it turns out, the M-B Flip, while a very pleasant, brunch-friendly drink, didn’t give us much insight into the local liquors. The excellent spiced grenadine and Meyer lemons played the starring roles in this cocktail, creating a nicely balanced sweet, tart, and spicy mix. The unadvertised egg white froth was a welcome addition; when we’re drinking at brunch, we almost always appreciate the light texture brought by egg white. We couldn’t really taste the coffee liqueur, though we could see its influence in the drink’s interesting purple-brown color. The rum provided a nice solid base to the drink. If you’ll remember, when we tasted the rum, we found it gin-like, while the bar manager described it as a whiskey substitute in cocktails. That’s exactly the role it played in this drink: a rum that splits the difference between a gin cocktail and a whiskey one.