Monday, February 10, 2014

Park Place Gourmet Food Review

Location, location, location: You don't get much better, than the corner of 17th & I Streets, NW. That's home to Park Place Gourmet... a corner eatery two blocks north of the White House, where hot food bars feed the masses (with surprisingly tasty offerings.)

Busy as it is, Park Place Gourmet is either (A) affordable & convenient; or (B) expensive & rude... depending on whose review you happen to be reading. Me? I like to see (and taste) for myself. I stopped by for a late breakfast today (just after 10:00 AM, midway through the "food swap." See, I wanted breakfast... at a time when most people start thinking about lunch (Just how early are these people getting up anyhow?) Lucky for me, most of the AM choices were still available (eggs, mini omelettes, grits, and all kinds of meats & potatoes.

What makes food bars so appealing is the high volume of choices, and the ability to pick how much you want to eat... right down to the spoonful or in today's case, tater tot. I chose a small styrofoam container (beginner's mistake #1... the desire to fill a large container with too much food) and filled it with three pork sausage links, six tater tots and a large spoonful of scrambled eggs. That's it. Sure I could have added more; but truth be told, this is more than enough to keep you full until lunch.

I've heard a lot of complaints about the prices here (beginner's mistake #2... they price by weight, not type of food) but my total came to only $2.49 (including tax.) I've also read plenty of comments that say the cashiers are unfriendly. Not today, that's for sure. My cashier said "good morning sir," "thank you sir," and even a friendly, "stay warm." I overheard him saying the same to others after me. That's a lot nicer than most AM exchanges elsewhere.

As for the food... It was actually pretty good. All three items were nice & warm (especially the sausage, which was hot & juicy.) Not much flavor, but that has more to do with the choices of food (and not the chef.) More importantly, my food tasted fresh... which is pretty impressive, considering it was at the end of breakfast service.

Park Place Gourmet used to be a Roy Rogers many moons ago; so it makes sense that the "restaurant gods" are still hanging around," ensuring that everything's up to snuff. As for $2+ bottles of soda and sticker-shock meals, all I can say is "Be careful." Stay clear of anything with bones in it, and other heavy items. Atmosphere is pretty good, although the music this morning was close to intolerable. "How Great thou Art?" Really? The space is relatively clean, though outdated. They also have a nice-sized patio for outdoor dining, when the weather is nicer.

Bottom line, I'd definitely come back for breakfast. How do you argue with $2.50? As for lunch & beyond, let's agree to "take it slow." I'm a patient man.