But I’m not one of those people who is always searching for the food of their homeland. Actually, I really like to experience new food traditions and I also appreciate some of the American ones, of course. For example, I deeply love – or better, I adore – having brunch on Sundays.
Both Washington DC and New York, which are the cities that I know best in the States, have amazing places for brunch. It’s definitely easier in DC to find a spot for brunch than a taxi on Sunday (or in any other day of the week or time of the day, but that is me complaining about transportation and nobody cares!). I have to say that my favorite place to have a tasty, cool and special brunch is actually in DC. Sorry New York, I hope you won’t be angry with me!
Surprisingly, you can get the best DC brunch not in a restaurant or a café, but in a hotel. It is very close to Dupont Circle, it’s old – built in 1922 as a Romanesque-revival row house – and the rooms smell of years of lit fireplaces. As you can read in the well-known Lonely Planet guide, the Tabard Inn is an unusual and very DC spot. Yes, it is a hidden gem, but Lonely Planet discovered it before me and many other people as well. In fact, the only annoying thing is that reservations are practically required. But it’s well worth the call!
To get straight to the point: the food is to die for. The menu sticks to the classic mid-Atlantic fare: crab, fish and beef with eggs are a must, as are pancakes and waffles – but there is one thing, no matter what kind of day you’re having, that you cannot miss. The homemade donuts. Yes, you read correctly, HOMEMADE. And terrific. Don’t ever make the mistake to share one of them with your mates: you’ll regret it!
I usually go for a sweet brunch, so I ordered pancakes more than once. They serve them with fresh homemade jam (a different flavor every time, it depends on the season and on the mood of the cook) and whipped cream. Honestly, I crave them even now. But I’ve also snatched some bites of my friend’s dishes and the only thing I can say is: mmmmmmm!
The place is awesome as well. The Tabard Inn has a charming décor inside and a beautiful, intimate and quiet patio in the back. It is one of the great hidden patios in all of Washington DC and it’ll make you feel like you’re spending the day in a great tucked away spot. It’s perfect for long hours spent chatting and drinking coffee. Yes, coffee – because while we enjoy trying out American traditions, I really cannot have brunch with a Bloody Mary. It’s my first meal of the day and that means: coffee.
So boringly Italian…
PS: The Tabard Inn is the setting of numerous novels, including John Grisham’s Pelican Brief.