The long and short of it? Go to Thir13en for brunch!
With a ridiculously fresh menu that changes daily, Thir13en isn’t just a great place for dinner… now you can have your brunch and eat it, too! It was a beautiful day and the patio was open for business! Meeting up with a couple of friends, we grabbed some bloody marys, which were a veritable salad onto themselves, and blood orange/prosecco mimosas and enjoyed the gorgeous weather.
While Chef/owner Adam Pechal is still trying out some new things for the menu, he’s got some wonderful dishes like Chicken Little, his take on the classic comfort food of chicken and waffles. But this is no fake syrup with cardboard waffles, nope! His are buttermilk fried young chicken with goat cheese-herb waffles and a bacon-maple syrup. Also are staples like Steak and Eggs, and another twist on a classic dish: Eggs Benedict, Tuscan style (I kind if felt like the narrator on the original Iron Chef there for a second!) Also is the more unusual chilaquiles – tortilla chips with salsa, eggs, grilled chicken, cotija cheese, avocado, and sour cream. Adorning the table today: Tuscan Benedict and Joe Pruner’s Special.
The Tuscan Benedict was made with prosciutto, peperonata, and poached eggs atop an English muffin with a meyer lemon hollandaise sauce smothering the entire creation. The prosciutto is more like a ham than the thinly sliced prosciutto you might be accustomed to seeing. Because of this, it’s heartier and stands up well to the peperonata. Speaking of which, the peperonata was fabulous. Its sweet and tangy flavors mixed well with the saltiness of the prosciutto and the sweetness of the hollandaise sauce.
At first glance, the menu does not appear to be veghead friendly. However, Adam is more than happy to accommodate any substitutions to make something vegetarian. In this case, he suggested making the scramble with a multitude of mushrooms in place of the usual beef. This was fabulous. It was 3 scrambled eggs and thrown together with delicious carmelized onions, bloomsdale spinach and just the right amount of white cheddar to hold it all together in cheesy goodness. I think the standout in this dish was the onions. There were just enough to bring out the flavor of the onions, while also bringing out the best in the other ingredients. But my favorite thing? The potatoes! It was a serving of the most perfectly fried potatoes I’d ever had. Cubed and with a sublime crunch, gently seasoned with rosemary from their herb garden, and perfectly salted with large grains of sea salt, I’ve found my perfect potato! A friend of mine put it well: There really is nothing like something simple done right. This is just such an example… few ingredients done absolutely perfectly.
I admit it, I’m a total sucker for biscuits and gravy, and macaroni and cheese. Well, 13 does both… really well. I mean, seriously. It’s a little bit ridiculous. There was some miscommunication about my scramble, so to appease me (because I’m such a raging bitch, or something, haha), Adam brought out some of his heavenly biscuits and gravy. These were cheddar, chive and smothered in Sawmill gravy. (I don’t know what recipe he uses, but whatever it is, it’s delicious.) I couldn’t really eat much of this, since it had large chunks of sausage, but did taste it. Warning: The large is big enough to feed a Mormon family, or my office mate’s 16 year old son! It did reheat well, however, so your mouth can go for a delectable dip in Sawmill gravy for a few days after your visit.
Adam is still tweaking the menu a bit, so don’t be surprised if you see some new, fun stuff! And he’s willing to hear what you’ve got to say… suggestions are most definitely welcome! Adam flits from table to table, doing his chef shmoozing only like he can. During my visit, the co-owner of Tuli was on the patio enjoying brunch, as was server from Tuli. Clearly they believe in these two restaurants as much as anyone, which speaks volumes to me. So, get thee to Restaurant 13’s Sunday brunch with all speed!
1300 H Street
Reservations available through Open Table or their website.