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Mar 11, 2011 04:49 PM

Recs for dinner @ a place in DC that sources responsibly - like Founding Farmers but not

Title kind of says it all. Anyone know of a place that sources responsibly like Founding Farmersesque, Majestic etc.

Founding Farmers
1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006

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  1. Nora's? Equinox?

    Google Founding Farmers and sourcing locally/responsibly. You may be surprised what you read.

    Founding Farmers
    1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006

    2 Replies
    1. If you haven't tried Churchkey / Birch & Barley at 1337 14th Street it's very good. Churchkey, the upstairs bar has a wide beer selection and can be a little rowdy. The ground floor hosts Birch & Barley, a delightful small-medium restaurant with an exciting--in my opinion--offering. Try the duck, if they still have it; it's extremely tender and with a crispy, almost sweet, "rind". I know that they're "committed" to organically and locally sourced foods, but "committed" in Washington means "best effort". Either way, it's great.

      Estadio, also on 14th (1520 14th Street), is wholly organic--according to their waitstaff--and is also "committed" to locally sourced produce. It's Spanish tapas, and quite good; though I find tapas dangerous: their small appearance can mask an otherwise heavy mean.

      You might be interested in Farmers and Fish (Georgetown Waterfront, 3000 K Street, Natl. Harbour) which is the sister restaurant of Founding Farmers. The location used to be Agraria Restaurant whose cuisine was snooty without realizing that it wasn't all that good (cod was served in tiny bits in a mini fry-immerser with red-checked paper, organic wine is often quite good, but they hosted a collection representing the worse as though the only qualification was to be undrinkable and weedy) and their decor rivalled a hotel lobby or a Lufthansa Business Class Lounge: over-lit, Scandinavian-looking furniture, and laminate wood floors in their "lounge" that only lacked free-wifi to make it a Holiday Inn.
      Haven't been to Farmers and Fish, but I hear good things. I'm not the biggest fan of the waterfront; it's fun and all that, but it's a mess on the weekends.

      Good luck. And let me know how it goes, wherever you go.

      Founding Farmers
      1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006

      Holiday Inn
      2004 Greenspring Dr, Lutherville Timonium, MD 21093

      3 Replies
      1. re: thariri

        I don't think Farmers and Fishers is any better than Founding Farmers, which puts it in a category of places I am unlikely to return to.

        Founding Farmers
        1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006

        1. re: Steve

          Then I'll take your word for it and probably skip it altogether. Life is too short for unexciting fish, or any other cuisine for that matter.


        2. re: thariri

          We went to Farmers & Fishers last weekend before Butterfly. Granted, we only nibbled at the bar (good cocktails) but I was totally underwhelmed. The fish in the fish tacos was reminiscent of Mrs. Paul's - no flavor whatsoever and an odd texture. The pizza was fine, but nothing to go back for. Service was slooooow.

          Farmers & Fishers
          3000 K Street, NW at the Georgetown Waterfront, Washington, DC 20007

        3. Definitely Dino.

          3435 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, DC 20008

          1. "sources responsibly" - what is that?

            A quote from the linked Washington Post article:
            "Founding Farmers' brand is built on promoting American family farms and seasonal menus. On a November visit, however, the menu offered a "Spring 17 Vegetable Salad: a best of the season mix" that included asparagus, peas, beets and cherry tomatoes, although none were in season. The vegetables were from around the world, the restaurant confirmed: The asparagus was grown in Peru, the peas in California and the red beets in Canada."

            How are most of us supposed to know what a restaurant really is doing? It takes more than sourcing meat from EcoFriendly and beets from Path Valley farm to make a place local and seasonal, and green.

            That granite on the bar counter - did it get shipped halfway around the world from India? What kind of sourcing is used for the chemical agents to de-grease the kitchen? To launder the linens?

            And I am sure most of what I had recently at Estadio was neither local nor seasonal. Sardines, black cod, octopus, Jamón Iberico - not from anywhere around here. Mushrooms, almonds, olives, scallions, garlic, saffron, blackberries... in February - maybe from this continent, but not local. The bread - where did the wheat come from? The yeast? Maybe the veal sweetbreads were from an organically raised, responsibly slaughtered, local calf. (all delicious, by the way, and recommended if responsible sourcing isn't one's primary, or only, criteria for selecting venues.)

            1. There are many places that do much of their sourcing locally that are more under the radar

              Food Matters in Alexandria, Va
              Ripple in Cleveland Park
              Dino which was mentioned in Cleveland Park
              Radius in Mt Pleasant
              The Wine Kitchen in Leesburg, Va

              More known DC Metro restaurants:
              Poste in Penn Quarter
              Restaurant Eve in Old Town
              Equinox in Farragut West

              Outside DC:
              The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettesville, Va
              Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore
              Volt in Frederick

              There are literally dozens more but just a short list.

              Restaurant Eve
              110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

              Woodberry Kitchen
              2010 Clipper Park Rd # 126, Baltimore, MD

              1 Reply
              1. re: chaofun

                Thanks... very interesting read. Love this quote:

                "There are some things, based on the feedback I get, that I change my behavior," said Simons. "There are some things, based on the feedback I get, that I change what I say."

                Needless to say, I won't be going there anytime soon.