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Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe


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I know people have ragged on it in the past, but I still couldn't believe there was no thread.

Say what you will about the place: they have ~20 taps and I just had an awesome cubano sandwich there for lunch. $13 gets you a sandwich with pulled pork, prosciutto, cheese...and a healthy pile of black beans and rice, some watermelon chunks, and a half-ear of corn on the cob. The taps aren't necessarily beer-nerd-worthy, but they had a couple Bell's beers and a bunch of the other standard offerings from well-known microbreweries (Rogue Dead Guy, Anchor Steam, Shiner Bock, Abita Turbodog, etc)

Web: http://www.kramers.com/

Address: 1517 Connecticut Ave NW

Bookstore Phone: (202) 387-1400

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And a couple of desserts that are worth going for...

One evening I took my daughter to BdC for dinner and we decided to hit Kramerbooks for a paperback and dessert. The desserts were awful -- if they weren't brought in by truck, they sure tasted as though they were, and they were marked by the wretched excess in size, ornament and frosting normally found in an "upscale chain" catering to the affluent and obese. Maybe we got the wrong stuff, but next time I think we'll just grab the mousse at Bistro.

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I know people have ragged on it in the past, but I still couldn't believe there was no thread.

Say what you will about the place: they have ~20 taps and I just had an awesome cubano sandwich there for lunch. $13 gets you a sandwich with pulled pork, prosciutto, cheese...and a healthy pile of black beans and rice, some watermelon chunks, and a half-ear of corn on the cob. The taps aren't necessarily beer-nerd-worthy, but they had a couple Bell's beers and a bunch of the other standard offerings from well-known microbreweries (Rogue Dead Guy, Anchor Steam, Shiner Bock, Abita Turbodog, etc)

Web: http://www.kramers.com/

Address: 1517 Connecticut Ave NW

Bookstore Phone: (202) 387-1400

The crab cakes on the appetizer menu rocks. Having sampled crab cakes at a few restaurants in the Washington area, this version (QTY - 2 in appetizer portion) is delicious! Must try to believe! Almost all crab.

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My breakfasts there have been...blech.

my book buying experiences up front have been more than blech. the owner was really nasty and lined up his security people behind the counter while we discussed the issue. i had purchased the wrong book the day before and tried to exchange it for the right book the next day, but that was against the store's policy, which was on an index card by the cash register. never saw it, and it was unusual for a book store. how do we know you haven't read the book? he asked. you can look at the book and see, i said, calmly. no dice. well, i challenged him, calmly, i'll call up american express and have them cancel the payment. go ahead and try, he dared me. people try it all the time and it doesn't work. so i said, you can keep the book, calmly, and stormed out of the store. american express took care of the payment.

the store, which was once blindly called the best book store in washington in a travel story in the new york times, has changed its policy since then, which was years ago, but i scratched it off my list. i know people who have eaten here and i have never heard anything especially good about the food, and a few things that sounded bad. maybe the food here is being revived, and i would be curious to find out, but i probably won't bother.

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I've eaten at Afterwords quite a few times over the years, and never had anything either notable or objectionable. The bar gets more of my business - it's nice to be able to grab a book and a drink at the same time.

Nowadays it's where my daughter and I have breakfast after the Sunday market if I don't feel like walking to Trio.

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I once got propositioned by a hooker at Kramers :lol:

Newton's Third Law of Motion:

"Whenever a particle A exerts a force on another particle B, B simultaneously exerts a force on A with the same magnitude in the opposite direction. The strong form of the law further postulates that these two forces act along the same line. This law is often simplified into the sentence 'Every action has an equal and opposite reaction'."

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Newton's Third Law of Motion:

"Whenever a particle A exerts a force on another particle B, B simultaneously exerts a force on A with the same magnitude in the opposite direction. The strong form of the law further postulates that these two forces act along the same line. This law is often simplified into the sentence 'Every action has an equal and opposite reaction'."

I swear, honey, I walked away.....she wasn't nearly as cute as you

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The crab cakes on the appetizer menu rocks. Having sampled crab cakes at a few restaurants in the Washington area, this version (QTY - 2 in appetizer portion) is delicious! Must try to believe! Almost all crab.
This crab-cake appetizer is listed on their online menu as costing $7. I find it very hard to believe it could be good at that price.

I last ate at Kramerbooks and Afterwords: A Café in around 1980, and haven't been hankering to go back. An old friend used to wait table there back in those days, and I recall his saying that the employees called the place Kramerbooks and Afterwords: A Ripoff.

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You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think.
Maybe she did really want to talk about cannoli*. It could happen.

*(food reference)

Kramerbooks looks like it should be good. It usually isn't. There used to be a place around the

corner (Cafe Splendide? don't recall) that made Kramerbooks look good. It was truly wretched.

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Kramerbooks looks like it should be good. It usually isn't. There used to be a place around the

corner (Cafe Splendide? don't recall) that made Kramerbooks look good. It was truly wretched.

I believe there was a place called that, actually in space that Kramerbooks has since expanded into. There was a succession of restaurants there. I think the Sikh restaurant "Golden Temple" had been there. Was Cafe Splendide the place with Eastern European food? If so, it wasn't that bad, at least not on the two occasions I ate there. There was another restaurant in the same space, the name of which I can't remember. Started with an R, maybe? Something vaguely French?
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Kramers has its strengths and failings. When I lived two blocks away, I was there once every week or two; if one is getting home from work after 10pm, walking two blocks for a book, predictable food, and a pint of decent beer all in the same place is a fine thing indeed. I now live a mile and a half away, and haven't been in 8 months except for books. Such is life.

I like their veggie quesadilla– while not at all traditional, it's got corn and spinach in it and sometimes I just crave spinach. And cheese. They used to have a hot cajun roast beef sandwich which was huge and flavorful; the hangar steak sandwich doesn't really compare. The 'best piece of bass' is usually inoffensive. Also, it comes with loads of spinach. (notice a theme?) The 'Trent Lotte' (separate but equal parts of coffee and steamed milk in separate mugs to allow customers to integrate at their own pace) that they served around the time of Mr. Lott's birthday party gaffe *still* makes me giggle when I think of it. The brunches are... ok. Nothing to write home about, but not terrible. Big omelets and scrambles, mostly, with small muffins and some fruit and coffee and a morning drink of the predictable choices. The desserts are pretty scary, except sometimes the pies or the cobblers. And the banana split is a banana split, in all its absurd glory. It's not like one can fuck up a banana split, and this one is more than enough for two people to make a whipped cream mess of.

Also- and really, this shouldn't be underrated- Kramers is *fantastic* for eavesdropping. But it's best to go with someone that you can hold snarky conversations with telepathically, or at least via eyebrow morse code, because it can get pretty darn loud in there.

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You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think.

'Tis a pity.

* * *

Moll Flanders and I used to meet there all the time. The bar, especially, is just so damned loud, though, and what is worse is the competition between its music and that of the store. Or are three competitors.

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Afterwords definitely tops my list of worst breakfasts ever, almost beating the bad college breakfasts that I've had. This was definitely one of the biggest ripoffs I've experienced. $14 for about two eggs worth of undercooked scrambled eggs and seven slices of undercooked bacon split between two of us. At first we thought there was cheese on the eggs, they were just not cooked all the way. We were drunk after an all night bar crawl, and this was still disgusting. The place also happened to smell like hobo and urine.

We were trying to sober up between drinking and watching the sun rise. This is definitely not the place to do it.

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We generally enjoy our meals there. Usually end up with an omlette or something and usually find it pretty satisfying and tasty. I particularly like the wild mushroom one. I think it is a tad overpriced, but when you think that the breakfast includes rolls/muffins, juice, and coffee - it isn't the most terribly priced breakfast (considering a place like Steak n Egg will run you $12 for an omlette and coffee). Add in an always entertaining clientele and stimulating conversation to overhear because of the tightly spaced tables and it's a good value.

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(considering a place like Steak n Egg will run you $12 for an omlette and coffee).

/throws self in front of train of criticism hurtling towards Steak & Egg.

I've had more frequent misses than hits at Kramerbooks of late. Cold breakfast potatoes, salsa that tasted a little too acidic/over the hill, and food that had such promise on the menu but just wasn't that remarkable when it was served.

Alex

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We generally enjoy our meals there. Usually end up with an omlette or something and usually find it pretty satisfying and tasty. I particularly like the wild mushroom one. I think it is a tad overpriced, but when you think that the breakfast includes rolls/muffins, juice, and coffee - it isn't the most terribly priced breakfast (considering a place like Steak n Egg will run you $12 for an omlette and coffee). Add in an always entertaining clientele and stimulating conversation to overhear because of the tightly spaced tables and it's a good value.

Perhaps Kramerbooks seems like a good place for brunch because there seem to be few alternatives? (Here is an open invitation for the provision of much welcome alternative suggestions)

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