3/18/10

Brunch at Birch & Barley

Remember my dinner at Tallula? How about my lunch at Bourbon Steak? Both dining experiences were a result of being invited to test out new menus by Sangeetha and Amber of Pfau Communications. And so when last month Sangeetha emailed me to see if I'd be interested in joining her and a few other DC food bloggers to try a new brunch menu at Birch & Barley, my response was YES!

This was my first time at Birch & Barley, although I've heard a lot of positive chat about this stylishly modern restaurant from area food lovers and food critics. Despite having less than 6 hours of sleep, and having to deal with a cold rainy Sunday morning, I was looking forward to brunch-ing with Sangeetha, Adventures in Shaw, The Arugula Files, Capital Spice and Brunch and the City.

First things first, coffee! And unlike another place I wrote about, this one was good :)

The brunch menu fit on one page, which is a good thing for someone like me, who doesn't like to be overwhelmed with too many options early in the morning (or ever).  The dishes included favorites like fried chicken and waffles, omelets, and French Toast, but also had a few surprises: Italian sausage flatbread, Truffled Croque Madame, and Corned Beef Hash. Oh which one to choose?


Before making our choices, we ordered a pitcher of Brunch Punch (Chamomile tea, orange juice, triple sec, old overhold rye whiskey): and what a punch it had! I was happy I did not have to perform any important tasks later on the day, because the punch went straight to my head.


Another awesome thing about eating out with Sangeetha is that she always "makes us" order a few things to share on top of our individual choices. This time, we started with dessert: sticky buns and freshly fried donuts.

Look at this beauty! It wasn't overly sweet, or overly sticky, but just a perfect combination of both. I'd be happy to have one for breakfast daily. {By the way, to learn more about the pastry chef in Birch & Barley, check out Jenna's post on Modern Domestic.}


The donut trio included a cinnamon-sugar donut, a chocolate glazed donut, and a lemon poppy seed donut. The last one was my favorite: the amount of lemon flavor that hit you with each bite was refreshing, surprising and had you asking for more.

Oh, and I'm not nearly done! Check out this photo I took of all the food we ordered. Does this look like a medieval painting, or what?


For my entree, I ordered Corned Beef Hash with Fried Duck Eggs and Parsley. This was my first time trying duck eggs, and I was not disappointed. The yolks were rich in both the yellow color and the buttery flavor. And I was happy to taste the perfectly cooked through potatoes (one of my biggest pet peeves is when breakfast potatoes are under-cooked). And if the amount of beef on my plate wasn't enough, I also had a few strips of bacon (you can see it better on the photograph above).


Others ordered Truffled Croque Madame with Canadian Bacon and a Simple Salad,


We also shared a plate of fresh oysters,


Hash Browns,


Chicken Flatbread, etc, etc, etc.


Needless to say, there was a lot of good food to go around, and we did our best to finish as much of it as could possibly fit into our stomachs. But we could not finish it all.


This by far is one of the best ways to spend a Sunday morning: strong coffee, strong punch, delicious/innovative/unpretentious food and entertaining company. At least four of us had the same Canon Rebel SLR cameras: you should have seen us trying to outdo each other in the photo-taking tasks (Sangeetha promised that the best photo will win a prize....I'm on pins and needles).

18 comments:

@floridagirlindc said...

Definitely going to check it out... perfect for upcoming parental Easter brunch too. Esp with the Brunch Punch!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Wow, it all looks positively stunning. I'm hungry now.
*kisses* HH

5 Star Foodie said...

Quite a feast there! The corned beef hash with duck eggs looks excellent, I would have ordered that too :)

Lauren (Healthy Delicious) said...

that "medieval painting" photo is stunning. Like, I want framed poster size version.

K said...

Wow- looks delicious! Will have to put this on my Restaurant Wish List!

Jenna said...

Man, I'm so sad I had to miss this - looks amazing! Thanks for the link to my interview with Tiffany. Can't wait to try her those donuts.

YBR said...

The photos alone are enough of an endorsement for B & B. Bravo!

Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog said...

I saw this post first at Foodbuzz and I get thrilled with all this food! Now again at SU..

Cheers,

Gera

Chow and Chatter said...

wow looks amazing

grace said...

that croque madame could not possibly look more exquisite. what a spread!

Cindy said...

Darn, I was hoping you were going to order that wild mushroom omelet...I was looking forward to eating it vicariously through your photos.

Lele said...

That medieval painting comment made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! It does! Except in medieval times they didn't really have sanitation, so it was medieval painting food that DIDN'T contain salmonella!
I'm definitely going to have to hoof it to Birch and Barley, it looks *awesome*

Megan Carroll said...

Now that is a brunch... all looks so delicious... and I will take pitcher of punch.

iEatDC said...

I love Illy coffee. I was happy to see that they serve it, and not surprised: same at Tallula.

Patrick said...

Looks like they got some good publicity! Hope the FTC doesn't mind: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125475547130664753.html

Valeria said...

OMG, the food looks beautiful!

Junglefrog said...

It definitely does look like a medieval painting! Wow, love all the food!!

Paige said...

Boy I love that photo of all the food at the table.

Maybe I'll try Birch & Barley again for brunch. Any place that has fresh donuts is a win. Definitely not going back for dinner anytime soon...