Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Serendipity 3 Food Review

DC B.E.C. Burger with Steak Fries

It's not easy getting old. Having just left a screening of the geriatric-loving RED 2, I ambled up M Street to Serendipity 3, in search of a burger and fries. It didn't take long to notice the many differences between DC's newest dessert hotspot and Nathan's, the space's previous (and longtime... 40 years) tenants. Call it night and day. Call it young and old.

First things first... this ain't your parents' Nathan's. Dark wood has given way to reds, pinks and bright whites... even their website is shocking (as in shocking, hot pink.) Service is mixed: It took five minutes for anyone to visit my table in the front (ditto for the couple seated right before me.) Thankfully, I was lucky enough to catch the attention of the friendly barkeep who kept tabs on me throughout my meal. After flipping through Serendipity's GIANT size menu (seriously, it's approximately 18"x24") I settled on the DC B.E.C. Burger (bacon, egg-over easy, and cheddar cheese... no cheese for me) with Steak Fries for a wallet-stretching $14.50. Heads-up! Most of Serendipity's entrees cost about $15 (that includes hot dogs and pizza too.)

My server/bartender brought me a Diet Coke and was quick to offer a refill later. I didn't have to wait long for my burger either... just over five minutes; so kudos to the kitchen. I also appreciated the friendly warning, "Make sure you use your napkin, you're gonna need it." Burgers and eggs can get messy: I couldn't wait to find out. One bite in, and I immediately gave the bartender a hearty thumbs up: My burger was delicious. The bun is out of this world, perfectly sized and up to the task of keeping everything safe inside its lightly-charred exterior. My meat was slightly overdone (MEDIUM-WELL instead of MEDIUM) but good and juicy nonetheless. Two strips of fatty bacon and a single, thick tomato rounded out the high-calorie combination.

Fries were heavily seasoned but hardly noteworthy (not my idea of steak fries.) All-in-all, a tasty dinner. Unfortunately one has to endure the horror of Serendipity's mixed crowd to enjoy it. Mixed? Try folks my age (30's & 40's, first-timers I suppose) and the majority... teenage girls, giggles and "OMGs" in tow. I wouldn't suggest coming here for conversation, unless you like to talk over full tables of hopped-up teens with a penchant for flash photography. Too bad, since I wouldn't mind having that burger again.

My check arrived (with my soda "on the house"... score!) and a hearty farewell from my server, who seemed genuinely happy that I loved my burger. This kind of positive service more than made up for my initial wait, and almost compensated for the distracting noise levels. Serendipity 3 is a great place for teens or a family outing (desserts looked absolutely amazing) but this "old guy" may want to steer clear for a while.

Atmosphere: D (Perhaps it's time to check my mailbox for that AARP application...)
Burger: B+ (Great!)
Fries: B- (Not many, but I didn't even finish what I had)
Service: B- (Barkeep was great; but still had to wait 5 minutes before I saw him.)
Value: C+ (Free soda made a big difference, but prices are a bit steep.)
Overall: C+ (Loud restaurants = this critic's Kryptonite, but great burger is worth the exposure.)