I heard about Founding Farmers from co-workers and friends in the DC when I asked around for a brunch place in the Foggy Bottom area. Brunch, probably my favorite meal, was what apparently Founding Farmers does the best so I wanted to see it for myself. Walking down Pennsylvania Ave from Washington Circle, Founding Farmers’ location in a large corporate like building give by passers a false impression of the atmosphere inside the restaurant. Although a little loud on the first floor, the overall atmosphere of the restaurant is very lively and full of energy. With its modern interior, this place definitely seems like a great place to have a meal with friends.
Gu’d Tips: Get a reservation at least a week ahead of time to get a time slot that you want. Even earlier if it is during the school year since more people will be back in the city. For those last minute dinner plans, you can also eat at the bar that is first come, first serve. In addition, you have to have your entire party before you are seated.
Since the beginning of summer, I have been back to Founding Farmers a couple of times for brunch and once for dinner. For my first brunch outing, I ordered the Stuffed French Toast with Fresh Strawberries & Whipped Cream ($10.00) and on the second, the Fried Chicken, Eggs, and Waffles ($12.00).
The french toast was excellent on all levels and if you’re a sweet tooth, this is your dish. When you sink your fork and knife into the stuff french toast, the vanilla pastry cream seeps out, blending with the syrup and strawberries making great combination with the toast itself. I have also tasted the Stuffed French Toast Banana Foster ($10.00) which is a good choice for those banana fans out there.
Founding Farmers was the first time I had the combo of Fried Chicken, Waffles, and Eggs. Since I am a fan of yolk, I had my eggs sunny side up and they came out excellent and, dare I say it, possibly the best I have had in DC. While the waffles were kind of forgettable, the fried chicken was very well cooked – very crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Each time I went for brunch, I was impressed and definitely consider it the go-to brunch spot in Foggy Bottom and probably DC.
Last week, I was trying to find a place for dinner to celebrate my friend who recently completed his internship in DC. Convinced by a co-worker to go to Founding Farmers for dinner, I wondered whether or not the place was a great dinner spot as well. In short, the place turned out to be good with dinners as well. For an appetizer, my friend and I got the Fried Green Tomatoes ($7.00) that many yelpers raved about. Though a little heavy (what do you expect? it’s fried green tomatoes), they were perfectly fried and went great with the accompanied avocado dip and pimento spread.
For the entrees, I was in the celebratory mood and had a medium-rare Boneless Ribeye ($24.00) that was recommended by the waitress and my friend got a Skirt Steak ($18.00). In addition to the entree, I got two side dishes, Pearl Pasta and Grilled Broccolini, while my friend also got the Grilled Broccolini and Pickled Veggie Potato Salad.
The Boneless Ribeye, while a solid tasting steak, was a dish I would probably not order again if I go back for dinner. The best part of the steak, though, was the fact that there was no need for steak sauce since the meat soaked in BBQ sauce 24 hours prior to cooking it so it had a subtle BBQ taste in the meat. My friend’s Skirt Steak had a stronger taste due to its seasoning, which I preferred over my Boneless Ribeye. As for the sides, the Grilled Broccolini was way, way too salty, the Pickled Veggie Potato Salad was light, but the best was the Pearl Pasta that was both light and refreshing.
All in all, Founding Farmers is an excellent brunch spot in the city, and is great for lunch and dinner as well. The prices for their food is great and will not bust your wallet (if you do not order drinks, as always). Don’t forget to make a reservation to avoid the long lines!
Price Range: $$ ($10-$25 range)
Gu’d Food Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0