April 13, 2010

Farmers in the Capitol

Founding Farmers and its sister restaurant, Farmers & Fishers, are both certified green restaurants that focuses on serving food from sustainable sources in Washington DC. The former is located downtown near the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and the other restaurant is located in Georgetown. In the past month or so I have had the opportunity to dine at both restaurants – visiting Founding Farmers for brunch and Farmers & Fishers for dinner.

I have had the occasion to enjoy brunch at Founding Farmers twice! The first time was on a beautiful spring afternoon. We had relatives visiting and after talking them on a walking tour of the National Mall we stopped at Founding Farmers for a late Sunday brunch. When we arrived the restaurant was quite crowded – always a good sign. I was instantly charmed the creative fluffy cloud and ceramic bird lamps hanging from the ceiling.

But, the food soon became a more important distraction. We ordered several starters to share – skillet corn bread, fried green tomatoes, and bacon lollypops. The corn bread was great! It had an ample amount of fresh corn kernels mixed into the dough and was served warm from the oven with whipped butter and honey. I also enjoyed the tomatoes and my dining companions were very fond of the bacon lollis. I also had eggs benedict, which was good, but I enjoyed the egg dish on my second visit better.

So, moving on to my next trip to Founding Farmers. On our way to view the cherry blossoms, Jonathan and I stopped here for brunch. Again there was a large crowd, but we were able to sit promptly in the bar area. (During brunch hours the menu and service at the bar is identical to the dining room and seating is first come, first serve. So, if you see a seat – grab it as we did.) On this visit I ordered a vegetable scramble and hot chocolate. Both were excellent and Jonathan enjoyed his ham and eggs.

Now, Farmers & Fishers. While Founding Farmers focuses on hearty farm-inspired cuisine, the food at this restaurant leans slightly more towards creative or new American cuisine. The d├ęcor in Farmers & Fishers is far from the whimsical clouds and birds of their downtown restaurant. Instead it is rather dull and ordinary. I can see the farm theme – but it is not inspired or interesting in any way. That said, the location – at the Georgetown Waterfront – makes up for this shortcoming. And the food and wine were very good. The menu at this Farmers & Fishers has a few more options than at the downtown restaurant. I selected a garden salad and a goat cheese, leek, and wild mushroom pizza. My salad was fresh and delightful and my pizza was very flavorful. Jonathan ordered calamari and the crackling pork shank and thoroughly enjoyed his food. Another thing of note here – the wine list is interesting and reasonably priced.

I enjoyed visiting Founding Farmers and Farmers & Fishers – and applaud their efforts to support family farms and serve food from sustainable sources to city diners.

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