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District Commons, Foggy Bottom - Chef Alfredo Solis and GM Boo Kim on Washington Circle


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While searching for a place to eat with a small group before a show at Lisner Auditorium, I turned up District Commons near Washington Circle, but no mention of it on Don Rockwell. Sounds like it might be nice. Does anyone know anything?

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While searching for a place to eat with a small group before a show at Lisner Auditorium, I turned up District Commons near Washington Circle, but no mention of it on Don Rockwell. Sound like it might be nice. Does anyone know anything?

Haven't yet been but there is a thread for the sister (brother?) place here which also doesn't have much actual reportage. Will. Have. To. Try. Both.

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The pretzel bread with beer butter is fantastic (a $3 charge). You *must* order this. I could have eaten an entire loaf myself. Good beer list and good service, but the food went downhill from there: a pot pie very heavy on parsnips and gluey white sauce, a fairly bland pork rack dish, mediocre flatbreads (slightly better than the ones at, say Birch & Barley, though). This was a couple of weeks ago, not too long after they opened, so they might have still been getting their act together.

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I was there last night with a large group. I agree that the pretzel bread is pretty darn good. Couldn't stop eating it. We had a flatbread with smoked salmon which had a thin crispy crust and mascarpone cheese. It was quite good. We also enjoyed the flatbread with smoked bacon. Several of us had the duck entree which the server said was there most popular dish. We all found it a little overcooked and lacking in flavor. However, I heard good things from my fellow diners about the pork chop, shrimp and grits, and the trout. I would like to give it another shot- I think it has potential.

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Had a business lunch here today and though it not bad but pretty forgettable. Pretzel bread to us was more interesting as a concept (especially when promoted by the waiter as what they're "known for") than as executed. Very greasy and basically just a big mass of dough with pretzel-like exterior and salt.

A cobb salad was fine but in no way different from many others across the area. Likewise the "special" Monday-only lobster roll. Nothing authentic about it in terms of the roll (round, buttery, very soft type) and too much mayo/dressing in the lobster which made it almost spreadable. The lobster itself was more shreds than chunks. Didn't ask but wouldn't expect the meat was fresh/never-frozen. Reminded me more of a seafoody sloppy joe than a classic lobster roll. An okay sandwich but not something to seek out with more serious options like Lukes, the lobster truck, Kinkeads right nearby and, of course, Freddy's. A side green salad was also okay, non-distinctive and under dressed so more like eating just the greens.

Service was very good and professional. The venue is very nice, modern, light and business suitable.

On the value meter:

- side salad ($5): fine/good if dressed more and, to be fair, I could and would have just asked for more on the side but didn't do so. I liked that our waiter pro-actively offered this when I initially requested an $11 salad that would have been too much w/ the sandwich.

- seafood cobb salad ($15): again, fine/fair on value everything considered relative to other spots

- lobster roll ($21): a bit more on the expensive side and not-good value given the sandwich's quality. makes me appreciate Freddy's product and pricing all the more but I guess not fair to compare since this isn't a new england focused seafood place per se? Nah, think it is fair since they're downtown and chose this to highlight only on Mondays. They could and should do it better for the same money.

I'd like to see them differentiate more along some theme or line along with a bit more attention to quality from the kitchen. Probably won't be back anytime soon simply because it won't stay in memory as a place to suggest or seek out for any particular reason given all the other spots that surround it downtown/Foggy Bottom/G'Town/West End.

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I visited District Commons a few weeks ago with a party of 6 and it was better than I anticipated. The pretzel bread and pig board were good starters and most of the party really liked their dishes (crabcakes, veggie pot pie, steak...) The chicken was bland and rubbery, but the mashed potatoes that it was served with were fantastic. The service was a bit lacking, but not horrible. Good beer selection as well.

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I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place, especially for folks going to the KenCen afterwards, as I did with a couple of other Rockwellians last night. It's a block or so away from the Foggy Bottom Metro and dinner seating starts at 5:30, but the bar area was already jammed before then. We didn't have reservations, but that was no problem. I explained that I would be joined by two others, one quite a bit later than the other, and that we had tickets to a show. They took all our names, twice, and sat me alone at a table and I got to quiz the waiter and order a Jack Rose. We ordered the pretzel bread ($2), a lamb sausage flatbread, and the shrimp and grits. I can't speak to the flatbread, but really enjoyed the bread and the shrimp and grits ($18). Their specialty cocktails were $9.95 each and Gruet Brut by the glass was $8. I was delighted with how we were treated and long to go back and try the mussels. It is really easy to walk back to the Metro and catch the KenCen shuttle bus. We were there in plenty of time. Nice job all the way around, District Commons!

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I experienced some good starts and finishes here with a group of coworkers at lunch yesterday. The aforementioned pretzel bread is unusual and delicious, and worth going back to try again. And the Boston Cream Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce is really, really good, with a wonderful dark chocolate glaze. The salt blends in really well; it's a nice element, not overdone.

But my main, at least, lacked flavor. The Vegetable Pot Pie has a deliciously crispy top crust, but as Chris mentions upthread, the interior is gluey and (I thought) underseasoned. Others were happy with their entrees, so maybe I didn't pick a winner.

Service was very friendly, from the front of house to our table. Our server seemed really engaged and eager to make recommendations. Overall, I'm glad to see so many restaurants coming in to the previously unexciting Foggy Bottom area. Just in time for me to resign from my GW job and go to UMD! :( I'm sorry to miss out on everything happening in this neighborhood.

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Brunch today at District Commons, but looking at the other comments it seems the menu is pretty much the same for every meal (trout, veggie pot pie, etc, with some breakfast items). Service was friendly enough, but I never got my Bloody Mary. Also odd was when we requested toast or some type of bread to eat with our eggs, the waiter eventually brought us what looked like a store bought sub roll, very hot on the outside and near frozen on the inside. No other bread was available. For an entree, I had the short ribs with two eggs and grits (menu serves this with sautéed potatoes but they add peppers, which I have a strong aversion to). Anyway,it was ok, the meat was quite tender, but oddly sweet. One child had eggs and the sausage biscuits, which she said were ok, but looked so pale on a white plate. The other had the chowder, which was thankfully without bacon, which she does not eat. She liked that. Not sure I would return. I know people on this board generally do not like Founding Farmers, but for brunch, it has a much better variety and frankly, the food and service have always been better.

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We went to District Commons because I wanted to have a couple of drinks before sitting through Aladdin at the Kennedy Center.  Also, they have country fried steak on their brunch menu.

We started with with local ham and salami platter, served with 2 smallish biscuits (maybe 1.5 inches in diameter).  I thought the meats were decent, and the biscuits seemed to have been made with some care.

Another starter is the cinnamon sugar pretzel baguette.  It's a baguette with pretzel crust, topped with guar and cinnamon.  I had a bite and the kids devoured the rest.

Our entree was the country fried steak - battered and then DEEP fried until it's curled up and tough as leather.  Country fried steak ain't that hard to make but I've yet to find a decent version around this city.  It's just sad that restaurants would put this on their menu, pretend to know how to make it, and then fuck it up. 

The biscuit and gravy was 3 biscuits topped with sausage gravy.   If you google biscuits and gravy, you'll most likely find pictures of fork-split biscuit with gravy poured on the open face of the biscuit.  Not so at the Passion Food Group - they just stick the biscuits on the plate, pour the gravy on top of the top of the biscuit.  They must know how biscuits and gravy should be served as well as how to cook country fried steak.  

And why do places serve Benton's bacon?  At District Common, they're too thick and not crispy.  

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14 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

And why do places serve Benton's bacon?  At District Common, they're too thick and not crispy.  

Places don't serve Benton's bacon or ham; they serve *bits* of Benton's bacon and ham: I'm not sure I've ever seen an entire piece of either - I get the feeling these things are as precious as caviar.

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20 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Our entree was the country fried steak - battered and then DEEP fried until it's curled up and tough as leather.  Country fried steak ain't that hard to make but I've yet to find a decent version around this city.  It's just sad that restaurants would put this on their menu, pretend to know how to make it, and then fuck it up. 

Were you in the area when the Black Eyed Pea was here? Country fried steak (I think they called it chicken fried steak) and fried okra was my go to order. My taste buds miss those places (but my waistline does not).

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On 7/29/2019 at 4:53 PM, Bob Wells said:

Were you in the area when the Black Eyed Pea was here? Country fried steak (I think they called it chicken fried steak) and fried okra was my go to order. My taste buds miss those places (but my waistline does not).

I’ve heard of that restaurant but never went. 

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