For my birthday, Brian and I had reservations at Founding Farmers for dinner. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, watching movies and running. It was the perfect day to have after a crazy busy work week, and before a week of traveling!
We decided to walk the mile to the restaurant because it was fairly nice out for January. When we got there, the place was PACKED. It seemed like there were 50 people in the waiting area, with a constant stream of people coming in and out. DC is pretty crowded this weekend because of the inauguration, and since the restaurant is located on Pennsylvania Avenue I imagine that tourists made up a good part of the crowd. We only had to wait about five minutes or so to be seated.
I had been "preparing" for this dinner for weeks now, so I had an idea of what I wanted to order. By preparing I mean that I read reviews of the restaurant online so I would know what the best dishes were. Clearly, I was very excited about this meal!
We started off by ordering a bottle of wine- a pinot noir from Oregon.
It was very different than the types of reds we usually drink, but I actually really enjoyed it. It was very easy to drink and I would definitely get this again.
Then we moved on to appetizers. Based on the reviews, I knew that the two we had already been looking at were going to be winners.
We split the fried green tomatoes and those meat skewers were actually "bacon lollies." The tomatoes were crispy and delicious. They were served with two dips- goat cheese and green goddess, which is a variation of a salad dressing I like to make. I preferred the goat cheese and Brian liked the green goddess, so it worked out well. The bacon lollies were also good- I think it was just bacon covered in brown sugar. The online reviews were right and should you ever visit the restaurant I'd definitely recommend them both!
My entree was actually a switch. I had really wanted to go with the lobster macaroni and cheese. Since Brian can't have dairy, I don't really make mac and cheese anymore and I like to get it when I go out. After reading some more reviews yesterday afternoon, I decided to go with something I've never tried before: fried chicken and waffles.
AMAZINGGGG. Definitely the right choice. The meal actually came with a side of mac and cheese (hiding behind the gravy there) and another side- I chose roasted winter vegetables. I was a little leery about the idea of eating a piece of chicken and a piece of waffle in the same bite, so I started off just eating them separately. The chicken was great. I didn't even use the gravy with it. It had the right amount of breading and was super juicy. The mac and cheese was perfect (the lobster version would have been an excellent entree as well I am sure!) and the roasted veggies were nicely cooked. Eventually I got around to eating the chicken and the waffles all together. I think it was pretty good. Like the bacon lollies, it had that salty/sweet combo that I really enjoy.
Brian had the surf and turf- a filet and scallops on a bed of risotto with sides of mashed potatoes and root vegetables. He really liked his choice too and I sampled the steak and risotto- yummy.
As you can imagine, by this time we were stuffed. The portions were served Kim-sized (aka gigantic) and apparently now that I'm old I can't eat as much as I used to.
However, it was my birthday and I wasn't going anywhere without some cake. So, we ordered it to go with the plan that after the walk home we would have some additional room in our bellies.
Before we left, our waitress surprised me...
I am guessing that Brian told them it was my birthday! He denies it, but I did not get carded when we ordered wine (clear sign of my aging) so I'd say he's lying.
We walked home and enjoyed our desserts on the couch. The huge portion sizes definitely were carried through to the desserts, so I actually have half of this giant slice of carrot cake to enjoy today. I don't like typical cake frosting, but cream cheese frosting is pretty awesome and I think this slice has the cake/frosting ratio down right.
The verdict: Founding Farmers was great! I would definitely go back, and it would be a good place to go with a crowd because the menu has so many options that I think everyone would be pleased. The prices are very reasonable- my huge entree was only $16. I was also really happy that animal welfare and economic viability are important practices to the farms they source their products from. Food you can feel good about.
And with that, I'm off… probably to devour the rest of my cake!