Friday, March 20, 2015

Stoney's on L Food Review

Hamburger with Fries

I'd been itching to try Stoney's on L for a while; so I'm happy to cross it off my DC dining bucket list. The original Stoney's has been around forever (1968, same as yours truly) and has made a name for itself, thanks to tasty, unpretentious comfort food. Stoney's on L serves more of the same... just prettier. Let's check it out.

Stoney's younger sibling gets (and stays) full early; so I deliberately stopped by for a late lunch, after 3 PM. Service was laid back (seat yourself) and my server (Kayla) super-friendly and hospitable. Pressed for time, I asked for a starter of Corn Bread ($3.99) and a Hamburger ($9.99) with a Coke. The atmosphere at L Street is a far cry from 14th & P... swankier and more upscale. A bit dark for a Monday afternoon, but comfortable. Nice music (Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon) cemented Stoney's hip vibe; but I must admit, the mini booths were a bit snug.

Corn Bread

As for food, consider it a mixed bag. The corn bread was insanely delicious (A+) but too small for a side/starter. Perhaps that's just greed talkin', but I think there's enough profit margin for two squares. I wonder how much for a whole loaf? Better yet, I wish I could get my paws on the recipe. Yes, it's that good.

Unfortunately, my lunch took a negative turn with my burger. It arrived in quick order (kudos to Kayla and the kitchen for keeping good time) but was pink in the center, well-done everywhere else. That's bad grilling, my friend. It was also way under-seasoned (zero salt & pepper.) Great bun, however; and I loved the placement and taste of two, apparently housemade pickle slices. Stoney's hand cut fries were above average in taste, but a tad overdone. They were also missing the aforementioned salt & pepper, which signals a bad (potentially tasteless) trend.

The potential is there for this newest Stoney's; but they appear to have some work to do in the kitchen. Diners deserve more than a smile and a (great) square of corn bread for $23 (including tax.) I can't wait to return and try their Buffalo Eggplant Chips, Pork Sliders and one of eight different Grilled Cheese sandwiches. Let's hope Stoney's is up to the challenge.

Atmosphere: B- (Too dark inside.)
Burger: D (Poorly prepared. Bun & pickles save it from failure.)
Fries: C (Not very crispy, and under-seasoned to boot.)
Corn Bread: A+ (Top 3 in town.)
Service: B+ (Kayla was dynamite.)
Value: C- (Disappointing burger is hard/impossible to overcome.)
Overall: C+ (Without Kayla and the corn bread, this could be much lower.)