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MichaelBDC

The Airedale - Gastropub and Beer Garden Serving Old Overholt Ice Cream (!) in Columbia Heights

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I have an affinity for inexpensive rye whiskey.   Especially Old Overholt.  So when I read that a new bar called The Airedale was going to serve Old Overholt soft serve ice cream I knew I had to try it.  Eatruneat and I made our way up there around four in the afternoon on Saturday to find the place almost completely empty.  Our friends met us soon after and were terribly disappointed to find that they were not serving food at the moment.  Eatruneat and her friend had just run almost twenty miles and were in a 'caloric deficit'.  But the kitchen was transitioning from the brunch to regular menu wouldn't be ready until 5.  Eatruneat and her friend sucked it up and just ordered beers after our bartender and bar manager promised to take their order as soon as possible.  At 4:57 one the cooks popped his head out of the kitchen and gave our bartender the nod.  Eatruneat ordered the la mitraillette and her friend got the Royale with cheese sans cheese.  Eatruneat's friend said that her burger was cooked to a perfect medium rare and the veggies on top tasted really fresh.  As for Eatruneat's dish, I don't know where to begin...and I don't think she did either.  Her 'sandwich'  was insane.  Imagine an open faced baguette with a butterflied half smoke topped with pieces of ground chuck topped with onions topped with french fries with mayo and ketchup topping it all off.  It was truly a sight.  After they finished their dishes it was time for the reason we went there in the first place, the ice cream.  Eatruneat and her friend thought it tasted a lot like Old Overholt where as my friend and I though you could really only taste the whiskey during the finish of the ice cream; however we did find a winning combo.  When paired with a 'hard' root beer the ice cream really shines.  We will be back for that combo  - and maybe that crazy 'sandwich' again - as well as the friendly staff and nice atmosphere.

 

On a side note, Eatruneat's friend noticed that the stairs going to the upstairs, where the bathrooms and outdoor deck are located, are floating and she was pretty sure 'flashed half of the bar' when walking up them in her dress.  Be careful, ladies!  

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Don't forget about our Late Night Dining Guide - I haven't tended to this in awhile, and it has surely fallen out-of-date, but the Airedale prompted me to update it (at least for this) - please remind me if you see any establishment serving food (not drinks, but food) 12 midnight or later on any given day, even if it's only one night per week - the neighborhoods are in the same order as they are in our other dining guides.]

For the record: post-2-0-79519700-1440516832_thumb.png

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Maybe I was too tired and/or hungry to think hard, but I did not picture the "La Mitraillette" coming out as it did. The menu describes the dish as "bratwurst/schwienewurst/or half smoke with hamburger, sautéed onions, frites, ketchup, mayo." I had envisioned a burger topped with a half smoke with the frites on the side, but what I got was the monstrosity MichaelBDC described above. I was slightly disappointed the hamburger was crumbled onto the sandwich and not in the shape of a patty or in some form that could be cooked to medium rare. I wish I had taken a picture of the "La Mitraillette," but I was so hungry I could only waste two seconds planning the best way to attack the sandwich. I ended up treating it like an open faced sandwich, trying to get some half smoke, crumbled hamburger, and frites with every bite. It was good, but I was jealous of my friend's burger, because ultimately I was craving juicy red meat and the crumbled burger that came with the La Mitraillette was well done, though not dry.

Overall, my friend and I liked our food The Airedale a lot. Enough to plan on ending one of our Saturday long runs here for brunch (starts at 10am).

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I wish I had taken a picture of the "La Mitraillette," ...  I ended up treating it like an open faced sandwich ...

This is apparently a thing.  There is zero chance any Belgian would pick one of these up and eat it like a hoagie.

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This is apparently a thing.  There is zero chance any Belgian would pick one of these up and eat it like a hoagie.

I was wondering why I'd never heard of a French-sounding dish (because it's Belgian) - this looks like Poutine on a baguette, and I think it's *hilarious* that in Le Nord (which is the tippy-top, northernmost department of France) they call it an Américain. Knowing the French as I do, I suspect this may be an insult. It's even funnier considering Le Nord is pretty much considered the "Newark, New Jersey" of France, and yet they're *still* calling us a bunch of uncivilized swine.

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The draft list here is amazing! I recommend the poutine or the french onion soup burger. I really dig the chill, unpretentious atmosphere. Be sure to check out the upstairs outdoor space on a nice night!

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We went to the Airedale last night to wish some friends farewell as they depart DC.  I have to agree with some of the comments above, this seems like a very cool neighborhood bar.  I've never seen it get any press which is a shame.

The downstairs has more of a dark...and I hate to say sports bar feel, because it's not a sports bar...but with a couple of flat screens over the bar it's primed to be a neighborhood watch-the-game space.  According to their website, the bar opens early for European soccer matches.  The upstairs is much more light filled with large windows and a nice back deck with picnic tables.  Wood and exposed brick give the upstairs a more refined feel.  The upstairs bar set-up is fairly small and seemed to have a more limited beer selection.

The beer list has some interesting choices.  I'd like to see them feature a few more local breweries on tap, but between the taps, cans, and bottles, locals like DC Brau, Right Proper, Jailbreak, Atlas, Denizen, Three Stars, Union Craft, among others, are all represented.  

We didn't try any food other than a couple of fries and pickles, which were tasty.

We had a good sized crowd upstairs, but the downstairs bar was empty when we arrived around 6pm and only had a handful of people when we left around 8pm.  We were only there for a couple of hours but Airedale seemed like a cool, chill, neighborhood bar.  I wish it was within walking distance!   

 

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On 8/22/2016 at 9:47 AM, Tweaked said:

We went to the Airedale last night to wish some friends farewell as they depart DC.  I have to agree with some of the comments above, this seems like a very cool neighborhood bar.  I've never seen it get any press which is a shame.

The Post gives it some love for the rye soft serve and soccer:

Sep 18, 2015 - "The Airedale Scores, if You're a Soccer Fan, or a Soft-Serve Aficianado" by Maura Judkis on washingtonpost.com

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