Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Queen Vic

Originally named after the infamous Victorian public house from Britain's popular soap opera "Eastenders", The Queen Vic is a British Pub along the popular H St NE corridor.  Not only do they offer a traditional British menu with all the best comfort fare, they also use local and seasonally sourced ingredients to create a massive chalkboard full of delicious, exciting dishes. Since Queen Victoria was considered the Queen of Europe, they feel no guilt including some French, Belgian, Spanish and German brews and wines. Closest Metro is Union Station.

On this brisk evening, we had tickets to see one of my favorite bands at the Rock and Roll Hotel.  Located a block down the road, we stopped into the Queen Vic beforehand for a hearty and warm dinner. We were worried it might be crowded due to the soccer match of Liverpool vs. Newcastle.  However, when we walked in the door - none of the many tvs had the soccer game on!  A few Giants football fans sat at the bar, but other than that it was pretty tame.  So we sat at the table by the window and scoped out the specials written on the chalkboard. Many unusual dishes were featured including: stuffed lamb's heart, pork belly, and pig cheeks

Keith ordered a starter of bone marrow that came with large pieces of toast covered with parsley and onions.  The bone marrow pieces were fairly larger than he's had at other restaurants, yet the quality was sub-par.  The taste was not as succulent and rich and even the bone part itself was not as smooth or clean.  He didn't realize there were different quality levels of bone marrow, but it appeared so after having this version.  The extra sprinkling of rock salt on top the gelatinous spread was welcome.  Nevertheless, the portion was generous and for only $8, made for a great starter on this chilly night.  I decided to play it safe and ordered the Fish & Chips, which were decent and also a large portion.  I preferred the seasoned and crispy chips over the greasy and flavorless fish.  One large piece of fish came with a grilled half-lemon, tartar sauce, and a small side of mashed peas, which I avoided like the plague. (I am NOT a fan of green peas - trauma from my childhood - haha).  I did appreciate that the food was piping hot - as in scold your tongue, burn the roof of your mouth hot.  I think the common British way to eat fish & chips is with malt vinegar, but I settled for just the squeeze of lemon juice.  For his main course, Keith ate his own traditional English dish called Bangers & Mash made of mashed potatoes and sausages, the latter of which is a flavored sausage made of pork, beef or a Cumberland sausage. His dish was heavily seasoned with a strong herb - tarragon perhaps - that was a bit overpowering. And the gravy was on the sweet side.  Overall a different meal, but with some classic preparations that left our stomachs filled and warm.  Stick with the British pub classics or venture out with the seasonal daily specials - either way, you are sure to be satisfied at the Queen Vic.

Total Rating: 3.68
Food: 3.5, Price: 4, Service: 3, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5

What I ate:

Fish & Chips

Plus Keith ate:

Marrow Bones on Toast

Bangers & Mash 

 Queen Vic on Urbanspoon

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