Rustico Restaurant for Sunday Brunch

If you know me, you know that one of my favorite things is food. Like every self-respecting foodie, I’ve dreamed of being Anthony Bourdain, Ruth Reichl, or David Lebovitz where I could get paid to travel the world, gorge myself on the best food the world has to offer, and share my experiences with you all.  So I’m thinking from time to time I might use this space to wax eloquently about my various culinary adventures. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the breaks from the typical posts about technology, startups, and marketing.

For the last few days we’ve had one of Lauren’s college roommates visiting us. After church in Alexandria, VA on Sunday, we were looking for a good brunch spot. Lauren had never been to Rustico and Buzz Bakery is across the street, so we knew we had to go to Rustico Restaurant.

As context, if you didn’t know, I’m a pretty chill guy. I like to go with the flow and I like going places that are more low-key. Especially in a bigger city, brunch is such a hip cool thing that brunch spots are typically bumping with activity, which makes me usually meh on brunch. I hate having to wait 45 minutes for a table.

When we got to Rustico, I noticed immediately how low-key things were. The restaurant was half full. I was impressed. I’ve been there during the evenings where there’s been more of a crowd. Not sure what accounted for the difference.

As an appetizer, we got the pretzel crusted macaroni & cheese. At $8 and for the size of the bowl, it’s a little expensive. But… Man it’s good. That salty and cheesy together can’t be beat. Plus they used orzo pasta for the mac which was an interesting & delicious choice.

For my main meal, I had the fried oysters eggs benedict. It was delicious. I love the look of wispy egg whites after they’ve been dropped in the spinning boiling water. The oysters weren’t overly incorporated into the dish other than they were skewered into the top of the plate but they were still good. The bread was Texas toast and the breakfast potatoes were sweet potatoes, which were both pleasant departures from the breakfast norms.

Rustico is known for their fine beer selection so I had to find one of their fine draft beers to pair with my eggs.  It was only 12:30pm, so I didn’t want something heavy.  I noticed on the menu “Embers of the Deceased” (what a name) from the collaboration between DC Brau Brewery and BlueJacket Brewery (which is owned by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group that also owns Rustico).  It’s a pilsner at a <4.0% ABV, so it was light & perfect.

The girls both had the breakfast burger. It was like a cross between eggs benedict and a burger. It had egg & hollandaise but with a burger patty and Texas toast. Oh and it had lots of bacon. It looked and was delicious. It was REALLY heavy though.

All in all I have to recommend Rustico as a brunch spot. They serve delicious twists on the classics you’re going to get everywhere else, it’s a relaxed/chill environment, and you’re going to find beers from across the region & country that you’re not going to get anywhere else. So if you’re more into beer and less into mimosas (which they have too) I especially recommend going here.

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