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Eatonville: U Street

Hey Everyone,
It's been a little while since I've been on CH...was wondering if anyone has checked out Eatonville near U Street? I'm going next week with a friend and wanted to know if any of you had some recommendations on what to order.
TIA!

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  1. I thought I'd report back on Eatonville since there hasn't been many reviews. We loved it!What a great space! It's funky, eclectic, and so much fun. We sat upstairs in the lounge area and sat in the most comfortable leather swivel chairs.
    Although I like the atmosphere of Busboys & Poets, I've always been underwhelmed by the food...not so at Eatonville. Everything was great.

    I ordered the fried green tomatoes with goat cheese, red pepper aioli, and corn salsa, along with the roasted golden beet salad.
    My fried had the black eyed pea and green pea salad and the hit of the evening, the fried hushpuppy w/ rock shrimp and leek fondue...absolutely sinful and amazing.

    The Gruner (similar to a sauvignon blanc) might just be my new summer wine.

    Our server, Eric, was attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly...it didn't hurt that he was extremely generous while filling our wine glasses!

    Definitely check it out...it's a great addtion to the neighborhood.

    3 Replies
    1. re: joann.hill12

      Thanks for your review. I've been curious about this new restaurant and have it on my short list.

      If you don't mind me asking---price-wise how did you make out?

      1. re: joann.hill12

        Prices aren't too bad. Sandwiches $9-11 and entrees were a bit more.

        Hate to be the Debbie Downer re:service but we were pretty disappointed when we stopped in last Saturday. They were packed and, despite our reservation, we had to wait about 10 minutes to get seated and got the worst table, right next to a servers station once we were finally sat.

        The two-top next to us who were seated about 10-15 minutes after us got their drinks first and their food order was taken before we were even able to order drinks. I know our waiter was slammed and eventually a manager stepped in, but it was too late in my book.

        No catfish sandwich on the menu (even though it was on the website) and when I tried to get a side other than fries, the manager said no. I realized it said No Substitutions on the menu afterwards, but if a table has been waiting 30+ minutes to get seated, a drink and order, would it really be that big of a deal to replace the fries with something else?

        Service aside, the oyster po' boy was good and the pork chop was perfectly cooked. I know they were slammed, it being Saturday night and all, but i have no patience for a lack in service when there were so many other bussers, servers and managers running around who didn't give us a second glance. I watched a ten-top across from me get waited on hand and foot by countless servers and a manager who checked in on them almost every 3 minutes while we sat with no waters, drinks, etc. They might have made some $ on that ten-top but I doubt i'll be returning.
        Ok, rant over. :)

        1. re: mcmullek

          The verdict was somewhat mixed from my group--- ranging from so-so to really good. Some of the pricing seems odd too, in terms of portion sizes (e.g. the pork chop is huge--- while the catfish portion seemed slim).

          Agree on the pork chop--- mine was perfectly pan fried with a unique crunchy corn meal crust. FGT's were just so-so, especially considering you get two small slices for about 8 bucks. (Georgia Brown does a version with a lot more crunch and kick). The black eye pea salad was fresh and earthy, but nothing extraordinary. Cobbler needs some work.

          They seem to be working on the service. The night I was there they actually seemed to have been over-staffed

      2. I went a couple of weeks ago with friends and we all loved it. I had the fried catfish with grits and collards, one friend had the crab burger and another had the chicken breast. We all cleaned our plates. The wait staff was good and the room very pretty with lots to look at. Highly recommend!

        1. Elyssa, prices were reasonable. I don't remember anything on the menu exceeding $20. To give you an idea, I had an appetizer, salad, and 3 glasses of wine and my bill was $40..

          Mcmullek, so sorry to hear you had a bad experience. Our service couldn't have been more different, but my friend and I did go somewhat early on a Wednesday night...we had the entire upstairs to ourselves for the first hour. Hopefully once they're open a little longer, they'll iron out the kinks you experienced.

          1. Hi! I went with my boyfriend Thursday night for dinner and we had a fabulous meal! I had the mac and cheese side and the black eyed pea and green bean salad. The mac and cheese was so creamy and rich- definitely not low cal but worth it on a cheat day!
            My boyfriend had the oyster po boy. It's only $9 and he cleaned his plate so I'm guessing he enjoyed. I also recommend their Georgia Peach cocktail. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!!

            1. The group I went with was unimpressed - drinks were theme restaurant quality, food was way overpriced, and the entire place looked like a Disney World tie-in to The Princess and the Frog.

              The idea of a restaurant "inspired" by Zora Neal Hurston is clear enough a signal as a trattoria advertised as "based on the films of Fellini".

              2 Replies
              1. re: drsnacks

                I've eaten at Eatonville two times. I wasn't very impressed either time. I wish it was better because it is right around the corner from my apartment.
                I had the fried chicken. I've had much better chicken at take out soul food places at a much better price. Now maybe it's just not my thing because I'm not too big on Southern, Cajun and soul food. I like Asian and Italian more.

                The cocktails were good though.

                1. re: drsnacks

                  I feel validated finally! The one time I dined there, I felt like l was in a theme park, I kept looking for the "Colored's Only" Entrance.

                2. I really wanted to like Eatonville but it's pretty plastic. The music is great but the menu is full of 'splain'. It's just trying too hard. You either know who Thurston is or you don't. The Mason jars with handles for drinking glasses are a little too cute.
                  A good Southern place should be able to FRY and the catfish didn't cut it. Flaccid. And not a hush puppy in the house.
                  The grits were pedestrian. At those prices, they should at least use some decent stone ground.
                  The ribs were falling off the bone. Please. We still have all our teeth. They should have some decent chew to them.
                  The mac/cheese was, well, mac/cheese.
                  No okra, butterbeans, or such on the menu....

                  All that being said, I'm willing to admit that I'm damned picky when some place calls itself "Southern" and then doesn't deliver.
                  It's still a fun atmosphere and the prices are reasonable for pretty good food.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: MakingSense

                    The more I read about this place, the more it sounds like a Po' Folks Restaurant with an attitude problem, if such a thing is possible.

                    http://www.pofolks.com/

                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                      Wow-- PoFolks. Thanks for the memories. I forgot/didn't know that chain still existed... looks like a slimmed down version of it's former self though They used to be all over the south ahd had the best commercials.... to stay on topic, Eatonville doesn't have attitude as such-- just trying to be too cute. We get it-- it's a theme. Now focus on improving the food.

                      1. re: Jay

                        I think Eatonvilles' target market is more concerned about the cute factor; the food is incidental to that experience. So long as it isn't horrible, they'll keep coming back for more. And there are some places where they keep coming back for more even though the food is terrible (i.e., Duke Ziebarts). But they're not around anymore. Eventually the cuteness factor wears off. There's a certain see-and-be-seen cachet that goes with trendy eateries this.

                  2. i ate here last week.

                    the mint julep was terrible. a teeny shot of jim beam, tons of water and simple syrup, and a couple of teeny flakes of mint does not a julep make. it was just like sweet, watered down bourbon. gross, and not worth 8 dollars at all.

                    their wine program didnt seem bad. beers were terrible, only one abita at a supposedly cajun place and they only had the abita light? awful.

                    the hushpuppy stuffed with shrimp and fondue was alright, lacked flavor.

                    my friend thought the shrimp creole was ok but it definitely did not appear authentic to me.

                    the catfish was ok, but the presentation was awful. they layered the whole plate, grits on the bottom, collards on top of the grits, and the fish layed on top. i liked the collards and the grits, but they don't mix.

                    i might go back, but not on purpose.