Friday, December 11, 2009

Good Brunch/Lunch Bet in Clarendon

The Ballston-Rosslyn corridor has more than a few restaurants, and I love living here, but other than Ray's the Steaks and Guajillo, it is pretty unremarkable food-wise. This is especially true when it comes to Sunday brunch, when neither of the aforementioned are open. Many places on Sunday --to say nothing of the bar scene (and much of the weekend evening clientele)--either showcase hangover-relief-pigfest buffets or a brunch menu that is largely crap masquerading as gourmet. So B and I usually end up at our reliable Georgetown brunch spot, having given up on most neighborhood options. But this past Sunday, we decided to give it one more try and headed to Liberty Tavern, which is a block from the Clarendon metro station.

When we walked in the host cheerily asked whether we "had the opportunity to make a reservation?" As the answer was no, and I was fearing we would not have an opportunity to eat, but the host instead pointed us to two spots at the bar area about to open up. The bar space is actually very nice--and the space meal-friendly--and was packed with other diners so we decided to go for it.

The service was excellent. One Jimmy, a friendly, attentive bartender, promptly took our orders, and while I was tempted to go for the house special $4 Bloody Mary with a chaser of Brooklyn Lager, I decided to be good and stuck with water. Maybe next time on the drinks.

While Liberty does offer a large brunch buffet for $18 that sounded quite tempting with the likes of hot mulled apple cider and reverse chocolate chip cookies, we were in the mood for lunch fare and decided to go with the a la carte options. B ordered the club sandwich and me, being a sucker for a good lobster roll, decided to give it a try. Both sandwiches epitomized their respective categories. B declared his club, perfect: roasted turkey, black forest ham, Liberty's bacon, provolone on anadama bread. My lobster roll, on housemade bread with plump and plentiful lobster in a tarragon studded mayonnaise, was terrific. The skin-on fries were crisp, tasty, and gone by the end of the meal.

As I write this I realize while it was a Sunday, this is more of a lunch review than brunch, but I have no doubt the buffet breakfast options may worth a trip back for a special Sunday occasion.

Lunch for two (no drinks) was $35 with tax and tip.

Liberty Tavern on Urbanspoon

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