Friends, sometimes in the course of writing for our humble website, I experience a moral dilemma. Any out-of-the-way spot, any unadvertised specials, any uncrowded weekend brunch locations, and I have to ask myself whether I should share, and risk not being able to get a seat there again, or whether I should keep it to myself and continue to enjoy my unhurried drinks or meals or whatever.
So it’s with mixed feelings that I tell you about the weekend brunch at Rustik, the neighborhood pizza place in Bloomingdale. I don’t have mixed feelings about the brunch itself, mind you. But I came to hear about Rustik’s brunch via Twitter while right in the middle of a particularly horrible Sunday morning experience at a crowded Barracks Row restaurant. The hostess had lost our name from the list, so we had spent 45 minutes getting jostled around a crowded bar for what was supposed to be a 20 minute wait; we were cranky and hungry and had juuuust placed our order when @rustikdc tweeted about the maple-glazed pork belly on the brunch menu.
My first reaction was, “Wait, Rustik has brunch?” My second reaction was, “Why didn’t we just go there?” And third was, of course, “Mmm, pork bellyyyy…” We resolved to go there the following weekend.
We arrived at 11AM and were seated immediately. The food hadn’t even arrived and I was in love. Alas, they didn’t have the pork belly that day (next time, Gadget. Next time), but the chorizo hash (below) and the smoked cheddar grit cakes (above) were no less delicious for the complete lack of hassle in getting them. But then, when I walked past the biscuits being baked for the biscuits and gravy, I wondered why I hadn’t gotten that instead.
We had errands to run after brunch, so we did not partake in their “Tylenol AM” drinks menu, but I noted that the mimosas and bellinis were $4 for one, and just $10 to make them bottomless, confounding The Hairpin’s otherwise sensible take on the economics of mimosas. Rustik is such a cozy spot that I can see myself parking myself there for a couple of hours easily, mimosa in hand, completely failing to do anything productive with my weekend morning.
Which is kind of the best part of brunch, is it not?
Rustik is located at 84 T St. NW. The closest Metro station is Shaw-Howard University. For more information, call 202-290-2936.