Sunday, August 17, 2014

Red Apron Butchery Food Review

Red Apron Original

It's a battle of DC Aprons; but it takes place on decidedly different battlefields. Red Apron Butchery and nearby White Apron Speciality Sandwiches have similar names, but different approaches when it comes to selling sandwiches. Red Apron's menu looks/sounds more appetizing (burgers, dogs & fries... hell-o!) so if pressed, I'd choose them; but I like to live in a world with options... Why not both? Why not, indeed.

As for Red Apron, there's lots to love, beginning with superb (and really, really friendly) service. Place your order, find a seat; and someone nice will bring it to you. Can't say I love the prices as much: They're a wee bit on the high side ($2.75 for a doughnut?) Although, it appears I received a discount on my Red Apron Original burger (normally $10 + $1 for bacon... I got if for $9!) A side of Nate's Fries sets you back another $3.75 + two bucks for a San Pellegrino Blood Orange "soda." Grand total, including doughnut + tax? $19.05. More than I normally spend, that's for sure.

Nate's Fries

Red Apron is deceptively large, thanks in part to a huge bar in the back. It's dark, but comforting; and the front dining area has enough tables to accommodate a Saturday afternoon (about 1:45 PM) "crowd." I didn't have to wait long for my food; but long enough to endure suffer through a cry-baby guy, who spent all his time complaining about food he wasn't even eating. Sadly, Red Apron doesn't allow its guests (me) to forcibly remove obnoxious dudes (him) from its premises. I have to remember to ask if they have a suggestion box, on my next visit.

In between the aforementioned idiot's bereavement (I wish I had a recording, to prove my point) I chowed down on my $2.75 Jelly Doughnut. I know I was supposed to save it for dessert; but just look at it (see below.) Could you resist? I didn't think so. It's an incredible doughnut (B+) that almost justifies its steep price tag; but I'd probably have to pass on having it again (unless you can loan me $2.75.)

Jelly Doughnut

Before I knew it, my burger and Fries were delivered to my table (with yet another smile, and a gentle ribbing for eating my doughnut already.) Burgers are wrapped in foil - not my favorite method, with an open container of fries awash in garlic, rosemary and salt. Nate's Fries are pretty darn good, thanks to an abundance of natural spices and an ever-so-slight excess of greasiness.

Unfortunately, the burger arrived cold. It was cooked perfectly (MEDIUM) but cold. Even colder, "thanks" to Red Apron's tasty Island Sauce. The beef itself was delicious, and high-grade (but cold.) Do you get the impression that I don't like cold burgers? Good, because I don't. Toppings were fine (except for fatty bacon, and shredded lettuce) but very, very messy after a few bites... Something I'd probably have overlooked, with a hot burger. As for shredded lettuce, save it for Subway and no one else.

Great Storefront

Good atmosphere, a gorgeous storefront and top notch service guarantee I'll be back for more; but I'll be sure to remind the chef to serve my hot sandwich, hot. They have loads of other choices (Buenos Dias, the Dino to name just a couple) and it won't take long to make my way back there (it's tucked away on D Street in Penn Quarter, between 7th & 8th Streets.) Who knows, I may even buy myself a red apron to put on at home.

Atmosphere: B (Cozy, but a little dark.)
Burger: C- (Cold with fatty bacon & shredded lettuce. I know they can do better.)
Fries: B+ (All fries should come with either Old Spice or fresh rosemary.)
Doughnut: B+ (Would have been an A or A-, but $2.75 is expensive.)
Service: B+ (Delightful, despite being quite busy.)
Value: C-
Overall: B (Subpar burger really hurts; but I can't wait to try it again.)