Friday, August 8, 2014

Met Café Food Review

Met Burger Deluxe (with Fries)

The Price is Right

I love a good deal, and they don't get much better than Met Café's Hot Grilled Speciality Sandwiches. Located around the corner from the White House (closer to the Old Executive Office) Met Café offers a huge (260+ items) buffet bar and a made-to-order menu that has something for almost everyone. Me? I came for the burger, a Met Burger Deluxe to be specific. A Met Burger Deluxe with french fries, to be even more specific. Cost? A mere $6.25 + tax. Cue angels singing.

Met Café is huge, with multiple entrances and true cafeteria-style seating. That means loads of tables and booths, all comfy and relatively clean. Service isn't lightning quick, but fast enough for downtown DC. They also don't necessarily wow you with kindness, but I can live with a little less TLC if it means getting a ½ lb. burger and fries (with a pickle) for six bucks and a quarter.

Better still, said burger comes with bacon (at no extra charge) cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo; although its seasoning (or lack thereof) leaves a lot to be desired: I tasted nothing, not even salt and/or pepper. Burgers come sliced in half (this odd habit seems to be catching on) and cleverly wrapped in wax paper. The burger sits on top of a generous stack of hot french fries. The fries taste pedestrian at best, but they're hot and crispy. Burgers come on kaiser rolls, and Met Café deserves kudos for using really fresh lettuce and tomatoes. It's hard to overlook the lack of seasoning (the menu boasts "A seasoned 1/2 lb. burger) but for the price... what's not to love?

Not into burgers? Met Café sells all kinds of great, hot sandwiches for under six bucks (including a Chicken & Cheese for $5.75.) Some of these don't include fries, but you can add them for only $1.25 more. There's plenty of nearby competition (Ellipse Café, G Street Food) but Met Café is almost always packed with customers (at least during lunch.) Sadly, Met Café's future (as well as that of its neighbors) is up in the air, thanks to plans for a new headquarters for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Ironically, the CFPB was created to protect small businesses like Met Café: Irony's a bitch, ain't it?

Let's hope Congress steps in, and keeps this 8,000 sq. ft. wonder alive & well. Heaven knows... Met Café probably feeds a dozen or so future leaders of America every day. And if they don't want a $6.25 burger and fries, who wants them leading our country any how? Long live Met Café!

Atmosphere: B (I try to avoid the lunch rush; but even then, it's still pretty comfortable.)
Burger: C+ (Comes well-done, but under-seasoned. Free bacon is a great add!)
Fries: C+ (You get a lot, plus they're hot; but taste is average at best.)
Value: A ($6.25 for a ½ lb. burger, fries and a pickle. Enough said.)
Service: B- (No complaints.)
Overall: B- (I love the value, but can't go any higher than a B- due to taste shortcomings.)