Wednesday, August 10, 2011

America Eats Tavern

Last date I was here: 08/10/2011 

Restaurant: America Eats Tavern (

Location: Penn Quarter

Total Rating: 2.9
Food: 3, Price: 2, Service: 3, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 5

Summary: “At AMERICA EATS TAVERN, opened July 4th 2011, José Andrés applies his innovative style to an American restaurant; his first new restaurant concept in Washington since opening in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Named after the Works Progress Administration (WPA) writers project of the 1930s, America Eats offers a new take on American classics and celebrate native ingredients and some long forgotten dishes, from burgoo to oysters Rockefeller.” Closest Metro is Archives-Naval Memorial.

Using the same space as the former popular Café Atlantico, this American project is slated to remain open until January 2012. With mixed reviews, it is most likely a good thing that this restaurant concept is only temporary. I met up with an old friend for lunch here and we were seated right away. The décor is simple with kitschy Americana and a slight over usage of red, white, and blue. We sat on the ground floor, where supposedly the more casual tavern menu is offered, while a more refined and elegant menu is featured on the second and third floors. Not sure if it was the lunch offerings, but the menu seemed a little limiting. When my friend asked for a bread substitution on her sandwich, the server immediately denied stating “it only comes that way.” When our sandwiches arrived, I thought they were flavorful and highlighted some fresh ingredients, however, they were tiny. I was worried I would leave still hungry – and that I did. The Reuben had only slivers of meat and was covered by a deconstructed salad of some sort with shaved cheeses and vegetables. My po’ boy featured 4 tiny oysters perched upon a small piece of baguette with sorry scraps of lettuce and tomato. The mustard sauce had kick with its chunks of jalapenos. Each sandwich came with a bag of potato chips, which normally I would pass up, but this time I devoured to fill my stomach. Overall, I appreciate Chef Andres’ attempt to meld the art with food – yet I much prefer the original restaurant and cuisine over this place. *Overall score amended after initial posting to reflect more accurate rating.

What I ate:

Oyster Po’ Boy

America Eats Tavern on Urbanspoon

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