Wed 2 Feb 2011
Curse you, Ted.
You’ve turned the normal order of things upside down with your diner-like offer of “breakfast any time.” How are we to know when to go to work and when to go home if we can stop in for bacon and eggs at any hour of the day?
And sweetening the deal with homemade versions of classic breakfast pastries? That’s just unfair. Are you trying to keep us from ever looking at your lunch and dinner menus?
It certainly seemed that way when I stopped in to Ted’s Bulletin the other day. It was lunchtime, sure, but that didn’t stop me from zeroing in on the breakfast menu. I couldn’t help it – I grew up in New Jersey, and there it’s your God-given right to order an omelet and a side of disco fries* at any hour of the day. Besides – it didn’t seem right to order a burger with a “pop tart” on the side, and I’d heard far too many rave reviews of the frosted treats to not try one myself.
A taste of Ted’s breakfast menu – whenever you choose to order it – after the jump.
Ted’s Bulletin opened up in May of last year to almost immediate acclaim. Until they began taking reservations, waits of an hour or longer at lunchtime were the rule, not the exception. But all that excitement wasn’t just for the food or the “adult milkshakes” that blend booze into sweet, creamy concoctions.
The team that brought you Matchbox went all out with their vision of a throwback eatery. Art deco touches abound, and even the fonts on the menu boards feel like they came direct from the ’40s. Your menu looks like an old broadsheet newspaper, and as a matter of fact that is Jimmy Stewart in Frank Capra’s 1939 classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington playing on what looks like a closed-circuit television above you.
That nostalgia for a bygone era shows up in the menu, as well. Think classic comfort food like Sloppy Joes and Reubens at lunchtime or meatloaf and country fried steak at dinner. In fact, think of them as almost exactly the same as they were when you first had them: handmade from fresh, quality ingredients instead of frozen mass-produced imitations.
Even so, I couldn’t convince myself to flip past the breakfast menu and settle on a lunch-appropriate entree. I wanted to try those made-before-your eyes ‘pop tarts’ with their hot strawberry filling. I’m so glad I did. I fully expected the treat to pale in comparison to the hype that had built up around it, but the pastry measured up. I found myself lingering over bites, trying it alternately with coffee and without. Oh yeah…I may have actually eaten it before my entree, too.
For lunch that day, I tried Ted’s “Walk of Shame” breakfast burrito. With steak, eggs, peppers and cheese it was practically a lunch item anyway, right? The gigantic burrito came topped with three slices of perfectly ripe avocado and an order of shoestring hash browns that had a nice taste of salt and onions throughout. Most impressively, the steak was a perfect medium-rare even though the kitchen knew I was unlikely to even see it outside the tortilla. Talk about your hangover helpers…this burrito is destined to become a Barracks Row brunch go-to on those Sunday mornings coming down.
I still want to get back to Ted’s to try a sandwich (and an adult milkshake), but I’ve got a suspicion it’s going to be a challenge to turn the page beyond the breakfast menu.
* = Disco fries, for the uninitiated, are cheese fries smothered in brown gravy, very similar in flavor and messiness to poutine. Amazingly, they’re enjoying something of a moment in DC right now, showing up on the bar menus at Churchkey (cheddar cheese and sausage gravy) and Ardeo/Bardeo (ricotta salata and gravy).