courtesy of ‘M.V. Jantzen’
If there is one thing I have to thank Cashion’s Eat Place for, it’s that it single-handedly convinced my parents that Adams Morgan is not the hotbed of crime and dereliction it once was. It’s a completely different kind of hotbed than it was in the 70’s and 80’s, but that’s a discussion for another time. Though my parents weren’t previously in to the world east of Connecticut Avenue, they came in the name of my birthday a few years ago and after a great meal were quick to tell me that it was in fact their idea to come to Adams Morgan. Parents, so predictable.
I’ve eaten at Cashion’s many times since then and have never been disappointed. In fact, each time I’m impressed by the ever-changing menu, though I get a little stressed out when I actually have to narrow down my wants and pick a reasonably sized order. If it was up to me, I’d be eating four or five entrees and a slew of appetizers each time I visited, though I’m not sure my chloresterol could keep up with that pace.
When the restaurant first opened under Ann Cashion, the food was American to its core with a psuedo-Southern touch to it, though the emphasis was much more on what was fresh and available that day. Since Chef John Manolatos took over a few years ago, the menu has shifted to reflect his Mediterranean heritage, though he still highlights whatever seasonal ingredients strike his fancy. As a result, the menu is constantly evolving in an exciting way.
In my opinion, skipping appetizers at Cashion’s is a crime against humanity. On more than one occasion I’ve had veal sweetbreads there that have blown my face off with their awesomeness. Prepared simply as to bring out the luscious quality of those scary little menu bombs, this is the dish that will convert even the most squeamish to the dark side. On the completely opposite side of the spectrum, the sampling of olive oils is a wonderful way to begin your meal, since there are few more perfect combinations than a little fat and a little carb.
Though there are plenty of opportunities to blow your diet here, entrees at Cashion’s are delightfully waist-friendly if you know what you’re looking for. There are plenty of fish options, and those folks in the kitchen seem to really love bison. I love bison too, and with a fat content less than even skinless chicken, it loves me back. Though there is usually a bison entree, you really can’t go wrong with the bison burger, which unfortunately isn’t available at dinner.
And while we’re talking about brunch, that’s a meal you really shouldn’t miss. Though the menu is small, it is definitely mighty. You could go simple with eggs and bacon, or a nice bowl of yogurt, but why? I can’t find a reason to steer away from the chicken hash with the poached egg (since like Anthony Bourdain, I go crazy for anything with a gooey egg on it) unless of course it is for the aforementioned bison burger with, you know, a gooey egg.
Though his cooking has a rustic feel to it, the techniques that Chef Manolatos uses elevate the restaurant from mere neighborhood favorite to a cab-worthy splurge. And let it be said, Cashion’s does not fall in to the usual price point that most of the We Love Food restaurants do, but we all deserve a splurge every once in a while, right? Expect most entrees to be in the $25-$35 range, though portions are usually large and ingredients are always top notch.
If you still can’t get down with the prices, there is an option for you yet. The “After Dark” menu, available at the bar on Fridays and Saturdays from 12am-2am has plenty of fancy offerings on a budget. I hate to call it bar food since there are few bars that would come anywhere near this level of cuisine, but with sandwiches, burgers and fries on the menu, that’s about the only way I know to classify it. Though the end of a night out in Adams Morgan usually leads to Jumbo Slice before it leads to Cashion’s, it might be worth keeping yourself together a bit for that oft-mentioned bison burger. You probably can’t walk down the street with it sliding down your face, but we all have to make concessions sometimes.
Cashion’s Eat Place is located at 1819 Columbia Rd. NW. The closest Metro station is Woodley Park/Adams Morgan (red line). For more information, call 202-797-1819.