Posted by: Roman Paschal
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I’ll keep this brief. Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, DC is my favorite restaurant in the United States. It’s the only eating establishment I’ve ever bought a shirt from. Cheesy? Probably, but I wear it with pride. And funny enough, people all over the country come up to me and say, “I know that place! It’s awesome!”
Old Ebbitt is easy to find, sits a good Redskins quarterback throw from the White House. I’m sure a few people have heard of that place, no matter what supposed Do Gooder or Hot Air Balloon we elect. The restaurant was not always in this location, but if I’m going to keep this brief, I’ll leave it up to you to research the Ebbitt’s historical and colorful past.
Old Ebbitt is fashioned with wood throughout, giving the place somewhat of saloon type feel, I love it! Four bars, take your pick which one you’ll be lucky enough to get a seat at, Old Ebbitt Grill is always packed! Their slow time other restaurants would call busy.
What stands out most about the Ebbitt? What separates it from the gazillion other restaurants in the nation’s capital? Consistency. If you order the Cannelloni di Casa (ricotta cheese, spinach, and Mortadella ham stuffed in rolled pasta and baked in cream sauce) on March 10, and you come back December 27 (my birthday) and order it again, the dish tastes exactly the same and just as good! Few restaurants can honestly boast this simple but difficult to achieve feat. Say what you want about McDonalds, but those fries taste the same every time and the food at Ebbitt is no different. Am I comparing the Golden Arches to Old Ebbitt, which routinely places between third and fifth highest grossing restaurants in the US? Surely not. Merely a valid point on consistency.
Old Ebbitt has a few dishes that stay on the menu, the Trout Parmesan is one. The fish comes fried with hollandaise sauce on top, roasted potatoes and green beans are the accompaniments. I make some alterations. I get the trout grilled and I sub out the roasted potatoes and green beans for mashed potatoes and spinach. It’s killer every single visit! And it’s nice being able to sub out with the waiter not giving you a scowl.
If you like oysters and I do! Old Ebbitt has an oyster happy hour every day from 3pm to 6pm and every night starting from 11 to close. Half price on all oysters, clams, and shrimp. Lobster and crab claws are discounted. Don’t try to beat em, just come in the doors and join them!
I bring closure to my briefness with the Blondie Sunday. I don’t like caramel, never have. The Blondie has caramel and I devour it! This desert is an anchor on the menu, it never, ever comes off. I have left friends while out at night to sneak into the Ebbitt, stuff this down my gullet and go back to drinks with friends. I exaggerate not.
The crowd make-up in this DC hotspot? You get your regular folks like me, heavy hitters, tourists, Old Ebbitt Grill is a nesting spot for everyone. I met the owners of Manchester United here. I briefly worked at the Ebbitt. My first table after training was Jerry Jones. He left me a hundred dollar tip on a ninety dollar bill. “How about them Cowboys!”
Maybe I didn’t keep this so brief, but when you love something, it’s easy to rattle on.
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