Busboys and Poets
2021 14th Street, NW
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.