Thursday, April 19, 2007

Busboys and Poets: ready when you are

Busboys and Poets
2021 14th Street, NW
http://www.busboysandpoets.com/

Don't even get me started on the lack of breakfast places open early enough for me on a weekend morning. I'm 30 now, and not sleeping in 'till noon anymore. But, I'm also not driving out to the 'burbs to hit up the Silver Diner. I need something local and convenient. A roll out of bed, walk a few blocks kind of place. The Diner in Adams Morgan, although typically a short drive for us in the mornings, is always way too crowded. And you know why? Because they are the ONLY early morning breakfast establishment in the city. You can wind up getting there early and waiting until 10 or 10:30 and by that time, something closer to you is almost open. DC restaurant proprietors need to consider this growing generation of people who have settled down a bit from their college fraternity days but who are not yet chasing the kids around the house with dark, heavy bags under their eyes.

Busboys and Poets halfway solves the problem. They are within walking distance from my house and they open at 10am on weekends. Now, its not quite 8 or 9am like I would prefer, but it is a full hour before the majority of restaurants that open at 11am.

B&P is also so much more than a restaurant. They have a bookstore, a bar, an area where they screen movies, they also hold open mic nights, benefits, and author events. It is a true community gathering place, with a crowd as diverse as you would expect given the "something for everybody" nature of the place. Their programs typically have a liberal activism quality to them and their bookstore challenges you to "rethink the world beyond the headlines." You can lounge on a comfy couch or sit at a more formal table setting and it is the kind of place where no one would think twice if you were sitting alone with your Post and a cup of joe or struggling through the awkward moments of a blind date. The atmosphere is a mix between a coffee shop and a casual lounge and welcoming to all people.

The brunch here is decent. The menu is not huge, but I do believe it has expanded recently and I'm always happy to see a brunch place offer lighter fare, such as granola, yogurt and fruit. You'll have several omelets and benedicts to choose from, french toast and waffles too. And you really can't go wrong with whatever you choose. The service is quite pleasant and timely and you may even strike up a conversation with your neighbor while you wait (the tables are arranged fairly close to each other but even more the reason why this restaurant breathes a sigh of community).

The full lunch menu is also available during the brunch hours and by far the best marriage of brunch and lunch is the peanut butter and banana panini, which comes drizzled (on the inside) with organic honey. It is to die for. Paired with a side of fruit, and you'll have enough energy to go out and change the world.

***(out of 4)
20% tip: for whatever the occasion, you'll find what you are looking for at Busboys and Poets.

10 comments:

Mr. Anthrope said...

If Busboys is an easy walk for you, you should try Health Bar for brunch right next to Results at 16th and U. They actually DO open at 8:00. The food is good and, if you get there before 11, the crowd is pretty small.

LJ said...

I love B&P. They have a lot of great speakers/events as well. Their peanut butter and banana sandwich is my favorite. Free wireless too.

Reuben said...

you are so right about the dearth of early morning breakfast places in this town... and you are lucky to live close enough to busboys to actually get in! i sometimes think all those folks sleep there overnight or something... i wish the place well, but it has become too much of a scene for me (hey, im 50!)-and is often more crowded than the steerage class on a tramp steamer.

Anonymous said...

The 14U Cafe on 14th and U St. NW (on 14th across from the McDonalds) opens at 7 a.m. weekday mornings and 9 a.m. on Saturdays. There's bagels, muffins, hot breakfast sandwiches, granola & yogurt, and really, really good coffee. AND free wireless. I'm the Monday morning barista, so I can at least guarantee you a good cappuccino then. We don't have a morning rush yet, so no worries about crowds.

La Petite Princess said...

Wow, thanks everyone! Some great suggestions here. I have been to Health Bar, and I don't know why I keep forgetting about it. I'll have to make a note this time. And to the barista at 14U - we stopped in one weekend to check out the menu, but my husband requires a big solid breakfast, so if you start to offer omelets or eggs benedict, please let us know! I'll definitely stop in on my own sometime. I'm a sucker for yogurt and granola.

Patricia said...

Hey, thanks for posting this. I don't think I was aware that B&P had brunch and it's pretty close to me as well. Another place I'd suggest for brunch, down on U Street (between 13th and 14th, I think) is Mocha Hut. It's usually a little crowded if you go late morning, but everything I've had there is delicious. I think they have free WiFi as well.

Anonymous said...

busboys and poets opens at 9am on saturday and sundays - the food is great and the wireless is a welcome addition.

Anonymous said...

busboys and poets opens at 9am on saturday and sundays - the food is great and the wireless is a welcome addition.

avocadoinparadise said...

If you live on Cap Hill there's Bread & Chocolate. They have great breakfasts (a variety) and open early.

La Petite Princess said...

I love to see this post still getting comments, because early morning breakfast is a SERIOUS topic!! I'm happy to see that Busboys is now open earlier and we have been going more frequently. I see that Health Bar has changed names (ownership?). Does anyone know if they are still serving breakfast?