Thursday, August 18, 2011

Founding Farmers

This week little j and I went up to inspect Big J's new office and meet his coworkers as well as take in some DC sights. Big J has the great to make reservations at Founding Farmers, an amazing restaurant that's been getting great reviews and has had dishes featured on the Food Network -- bonus, it's owned by the North Dakota Farmers Union.

It is a very DC restaurant in that it is sleek and modern, but it still feels homey with whimsical lighting and touches of interesting decor here and there (think ceramic pigs!). The menu is a good match with down home favorites like pot roast, fried chicken, and meatloaf, next to simple-made-upscale devil-ish eggs, bacon lollis, fried green tomatoes, and the simple house salad of iceberg lettuce.

But the standouts of the menu are mixed drinks made mostly of housemade liquors such as Founding Farmer's Rye. Big J immediately went for the Bone -- a spicy mixture of bourbon, lime, and Tobasco garnished with a bacon lolli. I chose the Farmer's Fizz with Plymouth gin, St. Germain, and Prosecco. little j chose Farmers' Lemonade, which was, quite possibly, the best lemonade I have ever had.

As we sipped out cocktails we snacked on the popcorn of the day - perfectly popped with a spicy barbecue. little j made her choice right away and went with the Hay and Straw, a housemade pasta with an artisan bacon, asparagus, peas, corn, and mushrooms. Big J chose the skirt steak and enchiladas. After much deliberation I went with the long roasted pork prime rib chop with two of the seasonal sides: roasted cauliflower with artichokes, and maple bacon greens.

Everything was incredibly well-cooked and, well, yummy. The pork was probably the best I had ever had -- it was cooked to perfection with a nice crust and tender meat. Big J's skirt steak was equally good. little j's pasta was delicious -- and for us it was a breakthrough, pasta with stuff! Normally she would choose plain pasta, but I told her that wouldn't be an option and she dove right in. (This was a good set up for future mixed pasta dinners.)

We ended the evening with dessert, even though we were full and had all requested take home boxes. At little j's request we chose the carrot cake. It was, quite possibly, the most moist carrot cake I've ever eaten and the cream cheese frosting was the perfect foil, not too sweet.

A special note on the service -- it was a bit slow to begin with but it picked up. When my entree came I had been served the wrong protein (pork ribs as opposed to pork chop). They were incredibly quick changing out my dish and our server was very apologetic. Also, as they were boxing up my leftover pork chop it apparently fell on the floor, so they made us a whole new pork chop to take home. Completely unnecessary, but very welcome. Especially because Big J has made three meals of our leftovers!

All in all, this was a great experience. little j asked several time if we could go back! Apparently, the breakfast/brunch is even better.

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