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Dinner at Founding Farmers

There has been a lot of buzz about Founding Farmers restaurant in Washington DC. Some of the buzz has been good, some of it has been not so good. Some people love the food, others are disappointed by it. Service seems to be a problem in this new-ish restaurant located in the International Monetary Building. And some people think the whole thing is just overrated.

That's why I was so happy when Rhea invited me to her birthday dinner at Founding Farmers. Not was I only going to hang out with her and meet her two other friends, but I'd finally have a chance to judge the restaurant for myself.

Let me just say that the restaurant is absolutely gorgeous. Everything from huge jars of corn and lychees to impeccably designed bathrooms, to comfortable booths and low-key and homey wooden tables. I could live in that space!

We did, however, right away had a few issues with service. At first they wanted to sit us at a two person table. That wasn't going to work! Then our poor waiter, who also happened to be managing the restaurant that day, had to go back and deal with a cut in his hand. Etc, etc, etc.

I started the meal with Fraise Fling--A unique blend of fresh strawberries, lychees, Snow Queen Organic Vodka, and finished with Charles de Fere Brut. Perfect on a hot summer's day! It was such a pretty drink, but did not have too much alcohol: perfect. Rhea had Nice Coat!-- A little fresh basil, a little fresh lime juice, a little Blue Coat American Dry Gin, and a little love. Nice!

We decided to start with two appetizers: fried green tomatoes and cornbread. I've only had fried green tomatoes once, when I was in Atlanta (Flying Biscuit restaurant), and I wasn't too impressed. They reminded me of Granny Smith apples. What I loved about Founding Farmers' green tomatoes was the fried coating and the awesome goat cheese spread that came with them.

The cornbread was amazing! It really tasted more like a souffle than your typical cornbread. And look at the adorable presentation: it comes in a little skillet! I chose not to use the honey butter that came with the cornbread, and instead used the goat cheese spread from the fried green tomatoes. Delicious!

Unfortunately, my fried chicken and waffles entree wasn't as great. The portion size was overwhelming. And I must be honest: I really think KFC's fried chicken is better (I used to work there for a few years when I was in High School...a long time ago). The mac&cheese wasn't really cheesy, and the waffles were just too much. Really, the best part of this dish was broccoli. I really should have ordered something else. [Rhea had one of the fish specials that came with mashed potatoes, and those were creamy and rich, but I wish they were a bit hotter, instead of just warm.]

Sarah, Rhea's friend brought 4 adorable home-made mini rhubarb and peach pies and candles to celebrate Rhea's birthday. I was very surprised and happy that the restaurant did not make a huge deal about this. The pies were awesome: too bad we were missing ice cream.

And that's us: Ellen, me, Rhea and Sarah.

I would not be coming back to Founding Farmers for dinner any time soon, but their brunch menu does sound tempting.


Angie's Recipes said...

That huge cocktail glass is adorable!
hehe...fried green tomato reminds me of Fried Ice Cream...Besides delicious, it's still delicious.

And Happy Birthday to Rhea!
Angie's Recipes

Rhea said...

Very good review of our adventures and misadventures! Let me know when you want to do brunch :)

Angie, thanks for the birthday wishes!

Simones Kitchen said...

Ok, now there is one thing I have GOT to ask you first... You are saying "huge jars of corn and LEECHES" Aren't leeches the little bloodsucking monsters?? I am sure it must probably have been something else, as well, it doesn't really make sense for a restaurant to have a jar of leeches I guess.. But what is it I wonder..?
Too bad that the dinner wasn't all you had hoped it to be but that dessert looks very cute and delicious!

Velva said...

We have something in common.....My first job was at KFC while in high school ( a very long time ago) too. To this day, I still love KFC chicken.

Definitely give the restuarant a second try with brunch.

♥peachkins♥ said...

The dinner looks good...

Anonymous said...

The fried green tomatoes sound good, at least. Well, now you know what the buzz is all about :)

pigpigscorner said...

The individual pies are so cute!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review!

I went to Founding Farmers for brunch and although, I liked their food, I was not as blown away as some friends were who strongly recommended the restaurant.

However, I am curious to see how its sister restaurant, Farmers & Fishers matches up.