Recovery brunch at Old Ebbitt Grill (and etc)

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Unlike the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, the morning of the Cherry Blossom 10 mile race was absolutely beautiful outside. It was the perfect running weather: 50’s, sunny, with no breeze and not a single cloud in the sky. The course was flat and fast, and I ended up running over 30 seconds faster per mile pace than the half marathon. After the finish, I was full of adrenaline and endorphins, and after waiting for everyone else to finish, a group of us headed to Old Ebbitt Grill for a recovery brunch. Old Ebbitt is actually Washington, D.C.’s oldest bar, and is now owned and operated by the Clyde’s Restaurant Group. While I have enjoyed Old Ebbitt’s oyster happy hour, and perhaps have gotten tipsy off a few martinis at the bar (for some reason, all the taxidermy and wooden furniture inside make me feel like sipping on a martini instead of bourbon), I have never been there for brunch.

We got there around 10:30am, and since our reservations were made for 11:30am, we posted up at the bar upstairs to wait. By this point, I was getting relatively hungry so got a Blue Moon (instead of my normal go-to Bloody Mary) to start. We all realized by the time our name was called by the hostess an hour later that drinking on an empty stomach after racing ten miles meant that we were all starting to feel slightly buzzed. We were seated in the back, and our wonderful waiter, George, introduced himself to us. At this point, I felt like I needed some form of nourishment immediately and decided we needed to put in at least an appetizer. George suggested splitting the Breakfast Club, a fried French toast sandwich consisting of bacon, ham, strawberries, maple syrup. I mean, that obviously sounds like heaven in sammy form. We put in two orders of this, and I basically had to remind myself to keep breathing until I finally had food in my mouth (overdramatic much?). The sweet and savory combination of the Breakfast Club was amazing and I immediately felt like a new person as soon as I had some sugar in my blood again.

When it was time for us to put in our entree orders, I turned to George for some help. I was having a difficult time deciding between the Steak Frites, and the Fried Chicken and Waffles.  George recommended the Fried Chicken and Waffles, which I immediately ignored and told him I would be getting the Steak Frites. For some reason, I was feeling incredibly carnivorous, and intensely craving a giant piece of red meat. The Steak Frites came with a watercress salad and garlic French fries. I also requested some sriracha mayo to dip everything in. The steak was tender and definitely hit the spot. The watercress salad made me feel slightly less guilty about housing all of the French fries along with a bowl of spicy mayo (see picture above), and before I knew it my plate was almost completely empty. I looked around at the table and realized that everyone else had cleared their dishes fairly quickly as well. We all agreed that this was a great post-race brunch, with enough options to satisfy a diverse group of people.

With a slight buzz in our heads, and bellies full of food, SM and I decided to make the most of the beautiful weather outside and engage in some outdoor activities. By outdoor activities, I mean “day drinking.” We headed back to our apartments after brunch and I changed (not showered, just changed) into another pair of running shorts and threw on another tee shirt before walking over to the Standard beer garden (like the rest of DC residents, I still refuse to call it “Garden District”). Since it was still early at this point, we managed to find some seats and were joined by KBS and my old co-worker, Johanna. After a few refreshing beers here, we headed over to Barcelona Wine Bar where we grabbed a table on their patio. By this point, I was hungry again (of course), so in addition to some wine, we also put in a few orders for food: patatas bravas, the chorizo with sweet and sour figs (one my favorite tapas here), roasted cauliflower. In addition, the general manager, an incredibly good looking man I wish would break up with his 22 year-old trashy girlfriend so that one of my friends could date him (looking at you SM), sent over a few dishes: the grilled Iberian pork shoulder and the Tuscan kale salad. As usual, the chorizo with sweet and sour figs was delicious. The pork shoulder was incredibly tender and seemed to melt right into my mouth, and the hearty kale salad was the perfect light, spring dish with a citrus dressing and sharp white cheese. The patatas bravas and roasted cauliflower were also solid, but relatively unmemorable (maybe due to my second glass of wine at this point). While I have yet to be wowed by any meal that I have had at Barcelona, I love the ambiance, the staff and the patio here which makes me a repeat customer of this bar.

You would think that by this point, we would have given up on the daydrinking, but the incredible weather, and the high from running sub 7:45min/mile pace for the race was still in my head so after closing out our bill at Barcelona, we hopped on down to Pearl Dive to continue our Sunday Funday. After half of a beer here and a dead phone, I decided it was probably time to call it quits and go charge my phone, as well as give my legs a rest. The next day, I felt like I had been completely run over my a train. But it was one of those glorious Sundays where you are surrounded by friends, food, and sunshine so I would say the painful 30 hours that followed were completely worth it.

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