Sunday, March 28, 2010

DC Brew Master

The official start of spring inside the Beltway isn't the first crocus, daylight savings time or even the vernal equinox. In DC, spring begins when the cherry blossoms start to bloom and the city gathers to fly its kites on the National Mall during the Smithsonian Kite Festival. Yesterday, I was invited to head down to the mall with a few friends to fly kites and enjoy the beautiful weather. Once the sun started fading away, it was quickly decided that we needed grub and some beer. One of the people we were with had heard good things about Capitol City Brewing Company's seasonal cherry blossom ale, and it seemed somewhat appropriate considering the day. After a walk through the throngs of tourists who were unsure of where they were going, we finally made it to the restaurant in Chinatown only to find ourselves among more tourists. After a 20-minute wait surrounded by fanny-packs and fold-out maps, we were seated.

Let me tell you this upfront: you don't go to Capitol City for the food. In fact, I would say that it is the last thing that you should go there for. If you want to go there, go for their signature brews. Those of my friends who tried the cherry blossom ale enjoyed it and said it had a nice finish. Since I couldn't have the cherry blossom ale (I have an allergy to cherry flavoring/red dye), I chose the Capitol Kolsch brew. Really hoppy beer, doesn't do much for me. Thankfully, this was a light, German-style beer that was mildly sweet.

Sadly, as expected, the food was a let down. I honestly felt a bit like I was back in college in our dining hall. Everything that came out of the kitchen had a processed taste to it, almost like it had been sitting in big bags in the walk-in freezer. I ordered sliders that weren't precisely tiny burger patties between the buns; it was as if a normal-sized burger had been cut into quarters.

I could continue to rant, but it's not worth it. The moral of this story is as as follows: go to Capitol City to enjoy a pint, but find another one of the many wonderful restaurants in the same general area to eat dinner.

images: personal photography

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