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Cafe Assorti, Kazakhstani-Owned, All-Day Cafe on Wilson Blvd. near N. Rhodes St. in Rosslyn - Closed


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I noticed a sign for this place while driving by. It's in the new condo building across the street from Guajillo and Rays the Steaks. Googling found this article.

Bekturganova's family owns three Assorti restaurants in Kazakhstan. This is her first in the U.S. It will offer 100 entrees including pizza, dumplings and potato-filled pierogis. "I like this area," she says, and wants to give it a place "for breakfast, lunch and dinner."


I also found this other article from March (halfway down) that says they'll open in the spring.
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I peeked inside here last weekend, and it looks like they're getting close to opening. There was a sign on the door saying they were hiring.

The area could use some more neat places, but my greatest concern would be the parking. It is already basically impossible to get a spot in that area at a prime dining hour. Unfortunately, none of the new buildings have had shared parking like the government garage in Clarendon.

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Cafe Assorti has several spaces reserved for its patrons inside the building. You simply need to enter the garage through the Clarendon Blvd side (1755 Clarendon Blvd for those of you who need an address for the GPS).

I've eaten there a couple of times already. The dinner entrees my siblings and I tried were okay; decent and cheap but nothing to write home about. What really shines about this place is their bakery. They have a few tasty savory pastries; I apologize that I don't remember the name off hand. They were simply described as Eastern European pastries. Anyways, the beef one and the potato one were really good; the fish-stuffing for the third one was a bit dry. Strawberry & Kiwi cake is strongly recommended. The fruit pies are also good too.

The wait service is very friendly too. You can tell that they're still learning in terms of efficiency, but their eagerness and helpfulness shine through. Surprisingly international staff: Moroccans, Tunisians, Russians, Kazakhs, etc. Its worth checking out if you're in the area, at very least to have dessert after dinner.

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I am captivated by this place and plan on returning. Yesterday, I walked by just to check it out. I ended up buying some sweet buns that were very delicious and different. There was the vol-au-vent filled with sweet cheese (sort of like the kind that come in a cheese danish, but fresher), a brioche-kind of bun filled with the sweet cheese and raisins (my favorite), a pastry with nuts (sort of baklava-ish but not phyllo dough), and the rose--some gossamer-like pastry. They threw is a cinnamon bun as well. These pastries are sweet but not crazy sweet like American desserts. Makes a nice change.

This morning, I went there for breakfast. Their coffee is very good (and I had to have half-decaf). I had the sweet cheese pancakes. Yummy. Kind of like blintzes. It comes with jam--which was homemade and more like thick apple sauce but it was raspberry-colored. My friend had blueberry pancakes. They were good too, but mine was better. They don't taste like American pancakes--they are fluffier and lighter.

Anyway, I look forward to going there again for lunch and dinner. I encourage others to check it out--it is a totally new food experience for us jaded DC-ers. Also, they have been open for just two months and I don't think word has gone out yet that they exist. Service is friendly and efficient. It is a restaurant that we want to keep around! Their website was under construction and they said it would be ready next week.

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I went there for a late lunch today. Their website is, unfortunately, still not done, so I can't pull up a menu to tell you exactly what I had. I can say that I was the only table that the waitress spoke English at.

I had a samsa with ground beef which was a fairly healthy portion and tasty. The sausage in a bun was much like a hot dog with a bit of sauce around it inside of a tasty bun, and the other "meat in a bun" thing I got (it started with a "p") was just ground beef and bread but still good.

I also got the bomgot (IIRC), a juice drink, which was quite tasty. I drank it way too quickly as thirsty as I was.

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The blueberry pancakes at this place are great as are the sweet cheese pancakes. Coffee is decent. I also like the chicken and mushroom samsa and beef piroghi. The bread around the meat is sort of brioche-like. The "danishes" are really good--my favorites are the vetrushka with sweet cheese and raisins and the vetrushka with fruit. I would love it if they could make a vetruska with sweet cheese and fruit! I had a slice of chocolate layer cake and it was heavenly.

I went for dinner once and got the manti, but was not a fan of it as it tasted kind of reheated and way too much garlic. Plus my wine was warm. Maybe it was an off day.

I agree they need a website as it is hard to describe to family and friends what they have. But I am a fan of a cafe like this that serves something unique (and not too sweet).

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I made a lunch today out of three of their buns -- fish, sausage, and green onion with egg, plus a bowl of borscht. A few random observations:

  • At about 11:50 the buns were right out of the oven and the fillings in the fish and onion/egg buns fresh and tasty. Even so, there's not much getting around the fact that the bread itself basically has the consistency of a hamburger roll. A good hamburger roll, but still...
  • The "sausage" had the taste and consistency of a DC street vendor hot dog.
  • The borscht was really tasty, but different from what I was expecting. Kind of a tomato-based minestrone with strips of beets (as well as beef) in it.
  • The menu is really unhelpful -- How many of their customers are going to know a manti from a rasstegai? Some descriptions would help.
  • All of the above plus two pastries (same bread as the savories, filled with apple and jam...ok but not great) and a cup of coffee were only $21. I stuffed myself trying to sample a variety of things, too. You could definitely get enough for lunch for much less.

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I went for dinner once and got the manti, but was not a fan of it as it tasted kind of reheated and way too much garlic.

I was dissappointed by the manti also. It was basically a ball of chopped meat, without much flavor, wrapped in an undercooked dumpling that resisted cutting with a knife and fork and accompanied by what tasted like marinara sauce. Far more interesting was the Assorti Pie: ground beef, tomatoes, chopped egg, and cheese in a pastry shell. It was a good blend of flavors accented by a sweetness in the pastry dough. It costs $7.95 and is fairly reasonably sized for that price. There is a picture of it down below.

This place has a lot of things going on inside. There is a full bar in the back. There is a large selection of cakes and pastries for sale in the area next to the bar. There is the cafe up front, with nice big windows to watch the line out the door of Ray's Hell Burger directly across the street. They are open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has sort of a diner-meets-central-asian-chic sort of vibe.

I agree with the comment about how the menu could be more helpful. The staff, however, were uniformly nice, polite, and solicitous.

post-2703-1249481542_thumb.jpg

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I really wanted to like Cafe Assorti, but left feeling a bit ambivalent. I was there on Saturday evening around 6:30 and a few tables in the dining area were occupied and there appeared to be a party in the bar area. I wanted to try the Assorti Pie, but was told they were out so I ordered the sausage in dough. As mentioned previously, this is a standard hot dog with a very small amount of sauce inside some good bread. Using a good sausage would really elevate this dish. I also ordered the carrot salad and the waiter wasn't sure if it was available. I ate my hot dog and then another waiter brought the carrot salad. It was very tasty (I think it had been freshly made) with a nice garlic/spice kick. The service was friendly, but not particularly efficient. I finally had to motion to my waiter, who was just standing around, that I was finished. I had heard the chocolate cake is good so I ordered a piece, only to be told that they were also out of that. I gave up, paid my bill and headed out.

As I live down the street, I'll probably go back to try out the bakery and possibly breakfast, but don't see myself going back for dinner.

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The sausage in a bun was much like a hot dog with a bit of sauce around it inside of a tasty bun

It was a hot dog. In the spirit of truth in advertising, the menu now identifies this as the Assorti Hot Dog. Maybe "sausage" means something different in Kazakhstan.

Far more interesting was the Assorti Pie: ground beef, tomatoes, chopped egg, and cheese in a pastry shell. It was a good blend of flavors accented by a sweetness in the pastry dough. It costs $7.95 and is fairly reasonably sized for that price.

This item has been downsized and now is priced at $5.85. This seems like a smart idea to me as now the portion size is more in line with the rest of the savory pastries that they offer. This is still my favorite item at this place.

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It was a hot dog. In the spirit of truth in advertising, the menu now identifies this as the Assorti Hot Dog. Maybe "sausage" means something different in Kazakhstan.

This item has been downsized and now is priced at $5.85. This seems like a smart idea to me as now the portion size is more in line with the rest of the savory pastries that they offer. This is still my favorite item at this place.

Has anyone been here since '09? We've traveled extensively in Eastern and Central Europe. Thanks.

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I used to love their meat pastries (pierogis, samsas, etc.) and their fruit pastries with the same brioche-style crust. After that, I didn't find much to like. I dragged my friends over there for dinner one time and we were all disappointed with the quality of the food. However I will miss the samsas.

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