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Little Pearl, Pineapple and Pearls' Cafe and Wine Bar at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE

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On 9/11/2017 at 8:26 AM, Pat said:

According to the P & P website, the coffee bar has now closed. It will be reopening as Little Pearl at some point in the fall in the old Bayou Bakery spot at the Hill Center/Old Naval Hospital. There is a link at that page to follow them on Instagram. This is the Instagram page, which has not yet been updated. 

On 11/29/2017 at 3:05 PM, Pat said:

Little Pearl should be opening in mid-December in the old Bayou Bakery space at the Old Naval Hospital on Capitol Hill.  Coffee by day and wine by night. Their website is up (more of a placeholder than anything at this stage): littlepearldc.com.  The Instagram is littlepearldc as well, and the most recent post (from yesterday or so) indicates they are still hiring for a few positions. I must say I am looking forward to this. Even though I had my complaints about some things at BB, I had gotten used to it being there and it left a hole when it closed.

The coffee portion of Little Pearl is opening today, Dec. 16 (via Washington Post) and the wine bar portion is opening on Dec. 30 according to their website.

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On December 16, 2017 at 9:32 AM, cheezepowder said:

The coffee portion of Little Pearl is opening today, Dec. 16 (via Washington Post) and the wine bar portion is opening on Dec. 30 according to their website.

They were apparently so successful yesterday that they are closed until Tuesday to reorganize and restock. It's a good thing I looked at their Instagram page before heading over there, as I was planning to do this morning.  

[Edited to take out" closed"  message they removed]

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I stopped in this morning and got coffee and take-out food. The space is much more streamlined, minimalist, and modern than when the space was Bayou.  I ran into friends there and said to them it was a different century than before and had skipped a century. (They got the morning glory cinnamon bun and the potato doughnut  and liked both.) I'm not sure who owns the old accessories, but they were wonderful and I hope they go somewhere to be appreciated. 

There is less seating capacity than before. For instance, where there was a bench right inside the front door, that has been removed and replaced by sleek cabinetry.  There is a communal table in back, with some other tables around it. 

Chef Silverman was there and chatting with people.  It had a very Rose's/P&P vibe. I don't exactly know how you brand that, but it was distinctive; they know how to do this.  The sign outside the restroom read: "Whatever...Just wash your hands." That resonates pretty clearly with the signs in Rose's and the whole attitude. And it made me smile, even though I was kind of in a hurry because I had to get to a meeting.

Because I was going to be getting home latish this evening, I got the takeout for my husband's dinner: a fried chicken sandwich (spicy) $12, which I'd had before at 8th Street, and the farro, greens, and lamb sausage salad ($8), which seemed to poll well on Instagram.  I didn't eat any, but it somehow made me think of the lychee salad at Rose's. He liked all of the food but thought the spiciness on the chicken was a little more powerful in some spots than others.  It wasn't like I was hoping he'd have anything left over for me to try :huh:.

This is today's menu, which should also be the Opening Day menu, but I can't swear to that.

little-pearl-menu.pdf

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19 hours ago, Pat said:

I stopped in this morning and got coffee and take-out food. The space is much more streamlined, minimalist, and modern than when the space was Bayou.  I ran into friends there and said to them it was a different century than before and had skipped a century. (They got the morning glory cinnamon bun and the potato doughnut  and liked both.) I'm not sure who owns the old accessories, but they were wonderful and I hope they go somewhere to be appreciated. 

There is less seating capacity than before. For instance, where there was a bench right inside the front door, that has been removed and replaced by sleek cabinetry.  There is a communal table in back, with some other tables around it. 

Chef Silverman was there and chatting with people.  It had a very Rose's/P&P vibe. I don't exactly know how you brand that, but it was distinctive; they know how to do this.  The sign outside the restroom read: "Whatever...Just wash your hands." That resonates pretty clearly with the signs in Rose's and the whole attitude. And it made me smile, even though I was kind of in a hurry because I had to get to a meeting.

Because I was going to be getting home latish this evening, I got the takeout for my husband's dinner: a fried chicken sandwich (spicy) $12, which I'd had before at 8th Street, and the farro, greens, and lamb sausage salad ($8), which seemed to poll well on Instagram.  I didn't eat any, but it somehow made me think of the lychee salad at Rose's. He liked all of the food but thought the spiciness on the chicken was a little more powerful in some spots than others.  It wasn't like I was hoping he'd have anything left over for me to try :huh:.

This is today's menu, which should also be the Opening Day menu, but I can't swear to that.

little-pearl-menu.pdf

Had the gravlax--fine, nothing special.  All the plates are itsy, bitsy small--to the point of virtually a deliberate joke, when it comes to the churros and the "morning glory."  Thus, like so many places in town these days, not very good value for your $$ (although the coffee is very good, and not noticeably more expensive than at other local places).

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For $11 (up $1 from the opening menu) I got the breakfast wrap today: potato, egg, and Gruyere in a masa tortilla.  The texture of the masa made this distinctively different from a more commonplace corn tortilla. It was soft, almost crepe-like, and a little damp, so it held together tightly as a wrap. There was some kind of hot sauce in the mix, and it came with a salsa verde and fried long chiles on the side. I don't tend to order wraps, but I wanted eggs, and this fit the bill.  I found the texture of the tortilla a bit unusual, though not in a bad way. 

This is the first time I've eaten at the new location. Usually I just get coffee or iced tea. With an Americano, tax, and a tip, the total came to $17.50, which makes it not an everyday excursion. But it did feel good as a splurge. FWIW, I like the Americano ($3) here. The ones at Peregrine I find too strong, so I had not ordered one in quite some time before I tried it here, and the Little Pearl version is just right for me.

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I had both chicken sandwiches and the gravlax dish here a few weekends ago.  All of them were very good, but none of them were great.  I'd go back if in the neighborhood, but don't feel a need to drive over there often.

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February 28, 2018

The accoutrements for the Breakfast Wrap elevate this dish. And the Sweet Potato & Turnip Tart is perfection! I had to refrain from ordering both dishes a second time in a row!  So damn delicious!

little pearl.jpg

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8 hours ago, dslee said:

February 28, 2018

The accoutrements for the Breakfast Wrap elevate this dish. And the Sweet Potato & Turnip Tart is perfection! I had to refrain from ordering both dishes a second time in a row!  So damn delicious!

My former piano teacher was dinged in a competition because he played a repeated passage differently the second time through - the judge said, "There's nothing wrong with a beautiful passage played twice the same way." I've learned that this extends to dining as well - if I really love something, then by darn, I'll order it twice - I've *not* gotten the Falafel at Max's Kosher Cafe perhaps twice in my life. Is the rest of the menu any good? Beats me! Don't care! (Though if anyone wants me to screen something for them, just ask.) :)

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When I went in for coffee this morning I saw the menu had changed from what I looked at online before going over, and the Bodega Breakfast Sandwich has replaced the Breakfast Wrap. Today was its premiere. The website was supposed to have changed to list the new item, but something seems to have misfired and the other is still listed. I wasn't planning to order food, but the description (IIRC sausage patty, egg, cheese, crispy potatoes, brioche bun) looked appealing, so I wagered $11 it would taste as good as it read.

Did it ever. With the possible exception of the falafel they had on the menu at the old location, this is the best thing I've eaten at Little Pearl.  Not only did it taste amazing, it's a perfectly executed concept. I unwrapped it from its grease-stained paper, took a bite and it took me right back to a burger at my childhood favorite hamburger stand. They reinvented a smooshed up fast food cheeseburger as a breakfast sandwich. The brioche bun holds up to the contents and enfolds them beautifully. The sausage is thin and the diameter of the bun. The fried egg is just the right amount of runny and not too messy to eat in a sandwich. The cheese is orange and beautifully melty, so I guess some form of American, or an alchemist's approximation of it? The crispy potatoes turn out to be paprika- (and maybe some chile?) dusted house made potato chips. A ramekin of ketchup also comes on the side. I put a few of the chips inside the sandwich for crunch and dunked the rest in the ketchup. I also pulled apart the sandwich and put a dollop of ketchup inside because it just seemed like the thing to do. (Speaking to the woman I ordered from later, I discovered that I was supposed to put the chips in the sandwich. I think just a few was enough. These were wonderfully crispy thin chips.)

I now have a decent camera on my phone and forgot to take a picture:(.  

 

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