Tuesday, September 16, 2014

EDGAR Bar & Kitchen Breakfast Review

Bacon, eggs and sausage... Oh my!

When it comes to history, no area hotel comes close to The Mayflower. Built in 1925, it remains DC's largest luxury hotel and the "Second Best Address" in the nation's capital (after the White House.) For 20 years, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson had lunch here almost every day. Hence the name of Town & Country Lounge's replacement upgrade... EDGAR Bar & Kitchen, home to presidents, captains of industry and (yesterday) even yours truly.

The occasion? Breakfast. Better yet, EDGAR's breakfast buffet... a steal of a deal at just $25 (including juice and coffee.) Believe it or not, the price stays at $25 through the weekend (almost unheard of, at any upscale hotel) when EDGAR opens its "pastry corner" in addition to its normal stockpile of AM deliciousness.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Maple Syrup

It's hard to express just how impressive the lobby of the Mayflower looks and is: You can't help but feel important, even if you're only here for bacon, eggs and some of DC's best customer service. I announced my reservation to EDGAR's friendly hostess, who kindly escorted me to a table facing the equally grand Connecticut Avenue. The dining room remains as stately as ever, but without any of its predecessor's unintentional pretenses. Comfort takes center stage against a wall of bricks, painted dark green. Tables are light in color (teak?) with dark wood chairs. Cushioned, black-leather booth backs, and rays of natural light complete the attractive package, allowing diners to turn their undivided attention to the food.

For me, that meant choosing from EDGAR's tasty a la carte menu (I was this close to ordering "Cherry Blossom" Pancakes for $14 with a side of Applewood Bacon and a glass of Orange Juice.) As good as that sounds, my server Mohamed convinced me to take a "peak" at the Buffet, which included pancakes, bacon and lots, lots more. Mohamed has been with the Mayflower for 27 years, and his kindly demeanor is eclipsed only by his sage advice. One quick circle around the buffet, and I was sold.

Chicken-Apple Sausage

Round one was an ambitious order of Scrambled Eggs, Applewood Bacon, Breakfast Sausage, Home-fried Potatoes, a full-sized Croissant and a mini Blueberry Muffin. So far, my $25 investment was paying off some amazing dividends. Things got even better, once Mohamed returned with an added bonus... a special Vitamin C Shot (OJ, guava and something else) to top off an incredible plate of food.

Eggs were cooked just the way I like 'em (almost runny, with a few visible whites.) Bacon was well-cooked, salty and crispy (I could have had a dozen slices, but one must show some restraint, right?) Easy to say, unless you're devouring EDGAR's impossibly juicy (and thick) sausage links. Put a gun to my head, and I still couldn't decide whose sausage links are best in DC (EDGAR or Thunder Burger & Bar.) Choose either one, and odds are you're probably in Heaven. My croissant was a bit cold, and I forgot butter; but say the word, and I'm sure Mohamed would have happily heated it up for me. To be honest, I was so happy with everything else, I simply forgot to ask.

Fresh Fruit

Lest I forget, kudos to whoever made that blueberry muffin (one of several varieties, by the way.) Sure it was small, but incredibly fresh and moist with lots of blueberries. Potatoes were well seasoned (but not at all salty) and uniformly cut/well-cooked. My cup of fresh berries and fruit was... just that, fresh. One small bowl held blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple and raspberries (and there was still more to try.) As you can probably surmise, the buffet has something for everyone. That includes mini buttermilk pancakes covered in a wonderful maple syrup. I was a bit concerned, since there were so many pancakes stacked on top of each other (pancakes get cold, you know) but my trio was flaky and warm (how do they do that?)

One final touch... Mohamed was thrilled to hear that I loved the breakfast sausage; but wanted me to try their Chicken-Apple Sausage too (it wasn't available on the buffet.) A few minutes later, he brought me a beautiful presentation of three juicy links for my inspection/devouring. Bless his heart; and while you're at it, bless my tummy too... the proud recipient of yet another delicious bite or two. Of course they weren't as juicy as their pork brethren; but their distinctive flavor profile is not to be missed.

Vitamin C Shot

To be fair, EDGAR may be a couple of months away from celebrating just its second anniversary; but there's no shortage of experienced, professional workers on hand to ensure that every customer is treated like the presidents, senators and congressmen that sit/sat here before me. The Mayflower (and now EDGAR) never ceases to amaze me with their impeccably high standards. Thankfully, the kitchen staff (led by Chef Chris Kanaple) has the food (at least breakfast, I can't wait to try a burger) down to a science too.

EDGAR Bar & Kitchen serves breakfast daily, Monday - Friday from 6:30-11:00 AM, and from 6:30 AM to noon on the weekends. Call (202) 347-2233 to make reservations, or click here to secure a table via OpenTable.