food: brunch at the tap room

The brunch spread at Harry's Tap Room in Clarendon

’nuff said. Ok, not really, but I think I can still feel some of this brunch creating a food baby in my belly.

Since Sunday turned out to be such a nice day, I ventured forth to Clarendon to meet James for brunch at Harry’s Tap Room. My “brunch project” was pretty much on hold pending nicer weekend weather and it looks like we’re finally getting some.

Harry’s has something that I love, but feels weird. It’s a two-level restaurant connected by a “spiral” staircase to the upper level. When the maitre ‘d calls and says “They’ll see you upstairs,” it’s sort of like you’re a kid again being sent for punishment: “Your father’s waiting for you in the den.” It’s got a lot of tables, but unlike DC eateries, there’s room to spread out. They even had a few tables on balconies overlooking the street, but I only saw one couple braving the not-quite-warmth to eat outside.

The brunch menu is huge, but one thing stood out to me, Bananas Foster French Toast, no contest. I also ordered scrambled eggs and bacon as sides because I wanted the appearance of a complete breakfast, at least. 😉 I was impressed that the side dishes were cooked well and very tasty. I’m used to them being more of an afterthought. Even so, I kinda wish I hadn’t bothered with side dishes. The french toast was HUGE. Well cooked, a bit crisp on the outside, very creamy on the inside. The addition of the bananas foster gave the whole thing a sort of banana pudding taste. The dish from days long since past consisting of banana pudding, nilla wafers and banana slices. The evocation of this memory is not a bad thing at all.

I can easily say that out of all the french toast entrees I’ve seen lately, this was definitely the largest portion so far. After the initial offering of biscuits and mini blueberry muffins, coffee and side dishes, I couldn’t finish my french toast. My hand kept reaching for the fork and poking at it, but I soon knew that the fight was over and the meal was declared the victor.

I give Harry’s full marks out of 10: food, atmosphere, value and service. Especially the latter. The strawberry jam served with the breads spilled a bit onto James’ menu, which he accidentally brushed against his shirt. Neither of us said anything about it, but the server brought over a napkin and cup of club soda so he could do a quick touch-up. I’d definitely go back. It seems like a good place for both small or large parties* and from a co-worker’s comments, would be a great place for dinner too.

* There was a party of 5 women seated at a large round table next to us. They all sat down with drinks in hand so clearly had to wait at the bar, though they didn’t seem to mind. One woman proceeded to start talking about all of the calories and fat and cruelty pros/cons of the various dishes. James leaned over and said, “Clearly she’s trying to convince them all to have a liquid brunch.” Hmm… I approve of that! 😈

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4 Responses

  1. Kyle says:

    I feel like I put on five pounds just looking at the photo.

    latest entry: people who need people

  2. Brian says:

    It’s funny that you mention the service. My friend also went to Harry’s in Clarendon this Sunday, and most of what he’s talked about was how rude the servers were to him, and how he felt that they were condescending and looking down on him the whole time.

  3. brian says:

    @Kyle: Oh yes, we had ourselves a good walk through Clarendon afterwards. Even so, I didn’t have any room for dinner that evening.

    @Brian: Since my experience is limited to the one time, one server, I’d be curious to hear about your friend’s experience. I wonder if it all boils down to the server one gets. Or if there were just random cosmic factors at work.

  1. April 5, 2011

    […] review is enough to convince me to give them a try for brunch one weekend!  Read the full review here. Share and […]

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