French…somethin’-somethin’ cooking in Downtown D.C.
I’m not sure what I’m going to say about this, because…it’s a Hotel restaurant. What can you say about Hotel Restaurants?
My experience with them has not been good. They haven’t been bad, but they almost universally not standouts.
They are there to feed the Guests of the Hotel too tired (or like me, lazy) to traverse whatever city they’re in to find someplace to eat.
My experience is that you wind up at a Hotel restaurant. You wind up at a place like Cafe Deluxe.
Oh, and it’s a local chain, too. Who knew?
It’s modeled…or it purports to model itself after an olde fashioned Paris Brasserie, which it kinda does. And I will say, come lunchtime, come dinner time, it is pretty popular. As in crowded, “get yourself a reservation if you ever hope to eat here” crowded.
The breakfasts were fine. The service is friendly and warm, a distinct standout on it’s resume. I will say, as friendly as the service is, the occasionally understaff…in that a couple times we were there, there was one Waiter working the whole floor.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Breakfast. The Breakfasts were not bad. Not the greatest, but they were tasty and hit the spot.
The first day I had the Ham and Gruyere Omelette, which was not bad. Very filling. Very heavy, something I was looking to avoid as I battled D.C. humidity and heat. It was made with Black Forest ham and Gruyere cheese, and served with breakfast potatoes and a buttermilk biscuit.
We’ll get to those Breakfast Potatoes in a minute.
The Omelette was tasty enough. The biscuit was decently moist and tasty, a bit too dull for a someone raised semi-Southern, semi-Texan like I was. (I tasted the milk in the biscut, but not the butter. Let’s put it that way.)
The second day I went for the Croque Madame. Now this was Texas toast (also known in the civilized world as Garlic Bread), melted Gruyere cheese, Black Forest ham, and a pan fried egg. Served with breakfast potatoes and fresh fruit.
Pretty and pretty damn delicious. Again, too damn heavy for the Summer heat.
Finally, on my last morning, I had their Eggs Benedict. Once again, Black Forest ham features heavily in the dish. It sits atop sourdough toast, topped with poached eggs, and house-made sun dried tomato Hollandaise sauce, served with breakfast potatoes.
The house-made sun dried tomato Hollandaise sauce was actually pretty good. This is what I would have again if I was there.
The Breakfast Potatoes that come with every breakfast…are no friends of yours. They are basically flavorless Potatoes (even thought they’ve been fried), sweet, barely flavored red peppers, and sweet, barely flavored red onions. Whatever you do, eat this last. If possible, leave it on your plate. What I would up doing most mornings was taking to my Family members, and snacking off the Potatoes and sides after I ate the main course.
It’s filling. It takes lifeless on the tongue, but will fill you up. If that’s all you’re after…go for it.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, POEPLE: Just remember that part where I said the restaurant gets crowded at night when the Congress-critters staff look for a sophisticated place to eat after work.
Why they’re not going to Georgetown, I’ll never know.
According to their Website:
We gladly accept reservations based on availability as well as call-ahead and walk-in guests.
PARKING: Ugh. Yeah. I’d Uber here.
Parking at the Hotel is really for Guests, and can run you a pretty penny. I’d personally avail myself of any one of DC’s wonderful Public Transportation options to get here. Otherwise, you’re just asking for it.
Cafe Deluxe (M Street)
2201 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Tel: (202) 524-7815
Monday-Thursday: 6:30 am – 11:00 pm
Friday: 6:30 am – 12:30 am
Saturday: 7:00 am – 12:30 am
Sunday: 7:00 am – 11:00 pm