I have sat down to write this blog post about six times. At first I couldn’t figure out why I was having so much trouble writing about Eatonville. Had I lost my blog touch? Was my brain so turned off from my two week vacation out from behind a computer I could no longer write witty posts about fried chicken and sweet tea?
Then it dawned on me (as I opened the Blogger window for what feels like the millionth time): Eatonville is just plain good. I have no dramatic story about how hard it was to get a table (Pizzera Paradiso in DuPont Circle, I am talking about you…) or how overpriced it was. I’ve never dined there after a really significant happening, and (as far as I know) it is not one of Obama’s favorites so it was never on my radar for that reason.
It is, however, conveniently located close to my friends Jill and Amir S.’s apartment so it serves as one of our go to places when we’re looking for a place to meet for dinner. It is also fun, pretty (the decor is supposed to look like a front porch), and really very delicious. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and I’ve never had a problem getting a reservation. The prices are reasonable and the service is dependable. I also really love lowcountry cuisine and have never met a restaurant serving fried chicken and greens that I didn’t enjoy. Lastly, the tables at Eatonville are not too close together (a problem at several DC establishments including Kramer’s). Overall, I feel like Eatonville is just a user friendly dining experience. Sort of like the Nordstrom of lowcountry cuisine.
If you know me in real life, you know that usually I am pretty quick to decide if I like something (err, someone) or not. This skill comes in very handy most of the time, but occasionally does not serve me very well. So, when I tell you I was prepared to dislike Eatonville but have now decided it is one of my favorite U Street dining establishments, you should appreciate how significant that statement is.
I was hesitant to try Eatonville as it is owned by the same people that own Busboys and Poets and I don’t love it there. Before I walked into the calming dining room at 14th and T and spotted the fried chicken on the menu, I assumed that Eatonville would be plagued by the same mediocre food as Busboys. But it is not. And after my first meal there my opinion was quickly changed…
My last visit to Eatonville was for brunch. I was with several friends, a few from out of town, so I decided to e-mail them after our meal and ask for some thoughts on the experience.
Nick also noted this about Eatonville, “It seemed to have a nice, bright, eclectic atmosphere and the space itself was quite large. I thought the waiter was helpful but I assume that happens when you sit down to eat with four lovely ladies because my service never tends to be that good.” (Ha! I had to include that part because it is just too hilarious.)
Unlike my usual posts that just feature my opinions and very little information on what anyone else thought of an eatery, you now have a very well rounded picture of the Eatonville experience. If you choose to dine there, make sure to try the sweet tea (as Nick mentioned, it will be served in a Mason Jar which obviously makes it taste better) and the fried chicken (which comes with the most lemony and delicious greens). See you on the fake out front porch!
Don’t scold me for this in the comments section, I know many people really like Busboys but I find the food mediocre and always have trouble when restaurants serve food that requires a knife and fork yet seat you at an “alternative” ottoman and coffee table set-up. Don’t get me wrong, Busboys is a good option for a coffee or after work drink, and I have actually worked with their very friendly staff when researching spaces for a private events….but I try to suggest somewhere else when the option to dine there presents itself.