***Restaurant of the Week*** FOUNDING FARMERS, Washington DC
I had the pleasure of spending Christmas Eve catching up with friends over meals and drinks in my hometown of Washington DC, but I ended the day with my brother and sister over dinner at Founding Farmers, a suggestion by my brother and one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to!
Located on Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital, Founding Farmers is only blocks away from the White House, and features farm-fresh food, ingredients and recipes in an eco-friendly environment. This place is spacious, hip, and, quite frankly, a singular sensation! From what I hear, even Martha Stewart is a fan!
The old-fashioned farmhouse wood tables that flank the floor-to-ceiling windows and the overall restaurant provide a cozy and pleasant setting with a communal and rustic feel. The dim lighting creates a sexy in-door glow and the distinct design is undeniable. Oversized jars of fresh fruits and pickled vegetables line the shelves and urbane meets country in this quaint environment. It’s quite an impressive dining hall, and upon sitting down and inspecting the menu, its hard to miss the food selection is just as marveling!
To call the Founding Farmers menu extensive or diverse would be an understatement. We started with the fried green tomatoes. They were thick and cornmeal battered and served with a chive goat cheese that gave the crispy tomato a quite a kick. The wings, served with fresh lime juice, were fantastically flavored and juicy and the deviled eggs were grand, gorgeous and glorious! The egg combo included fresh crab meat, lobster and salmon mixed with the egg that made for a superb combination of flavor, consistency and surprise!
The menu features modestly priced sandwiches, tartines, and salads that range from $10-$15. The portions here are decent – not too generous, but surely not skimpy – simply sufficient. The menu also offers main dishes that includes shrimp and grits, fried chicken and waffles, burgers, fish, steaks, pasta, and a pickled jalapeno dog!
I wanted to order the herb-crusted prime rib, but they were all out of brussell sprouts, so I switched to the fork tender pork ribs! And that’s just what they were – tender and lean pork meat that fell of the bone. The barbecue sauce was sweet and tangy, the fries were limp (in a good way) and toasty, and the fresh kale was a bit sweet, which made for an unnecessary candied goodness to the already flavorful greens, but I couldn’t complain.
We ended with their beignets, enough to feed a table of four to six. The powdered sugar pastries are worth every cent (only $8) and every calorie! Served in a paper bag and with a trio of sugary sauces, the donuts are so hot and moist they melt in your mouth!
What I realized about Founding Farmers that makes it most appealing is that it’s not just another good meal in a good restaurant, but it’s a life experience – one that everyone in DC should encounter. When dining at Founding Farmers, subconsciously one is instantly transported to a farm in the midwest. Perhaps its the luxurious but easy environment or the lavish contemporary spins on classic American comfort dishes, but no matter what, whether its the freshness of the ingredients or the details in the presentation of the food, decor and service, Founding Farmers, which just opened another location in Potomac, Maryland, is a sure crowd pleaser! Go with your friends, co-workers or for a hot date… I went with my family and I honestly could not have had a better experience with anyone else!