Since moving here a year and a half ago, I’ve heard that
My first trip to
But I also keep reading about this mythical creature known as the DC hipster (or “hip-tard” by so-called suburban haters), mostly in the DCist comments threads. Since
It turns out that
Granville Moore’s is this narrow room with exposed brick and dark wood. It’s warm if a bit dimly lit. The windows on the first floor are covered with metal grates, making it seem like you’ve walked into a basement. A bar runs along one wall and there are tables along the other; the upstairs has a similar set up. At
Despite the hostess, Lee and I decided to wait for a table. Granville Moore’s specializes in Belgian beer and cuisine. Neither of us had heard of many of the beers on their sizable menu, but we were starving, so something full-bodied and flavorful was in order. I ordered a Delirium Tremens Nocturnum, which was delicious: dark, creamy, a little carmel-y and a little bitter.
While waiting for our table, it became apparent that
The menu at Granville Moore’s is small but well-conceived. The specialty is mussels and frites. There are 4-5 types of mussel preparations, from your basic white wine and garlic to more creative incarnations involving Italian or Spanish flavors. There is also a selection of sandwiches and a handful of other entrees. Lee and I ordered a bowl of mussels with pesto and Parmesan, fries with horseradish and curry ketchup dipping sauces, and a steak sandwich to share. The mussels were good, but I think I still prefer a traditional white wine preparation. We ordered a large fries, and they were nothing short of enormous. Imagine slicing a basketball in half and filling it with crispy, herb-y fries. They were excellent but way too big a serving, even for this fry-loving girl. The fries come with a choice of six dipping sauces; you can choose two when you order. The curry ketchup was a standout but the horseradish cream was a little bland. I just don’t think it did anything to compliment the fries, whereas the curry ketchup added a sweet, spicy tang to the salty crunch.
All in all, it was a very good meal—flavorful food, flavorful libations, and a surprisingly homey and relaxed atmosphere. One thing that I hate about DC dining is going somewhere pretentious and paying for mediocre food. Food at Granville Moore’s is tasty and reasonable. The mussels were $14 and those huge fries were only seven bucks. The beers do cost more, running in the range of $7-$10. When it comes to drinks, I’m about quality over quantity. If you’re interested in a lot for alcohol for a low price, you should probably go drink $1 Bud Lights at some shitty happy hour. But if you want to savor delicious Belgian ale with your mussels and piping hot fries, it’s really a small price to pay for a great reward.
Lee and I then rolled ourselves down the block to Rock and Roll Hotel. From what I could tell (it was very dark inside), R&R Hotel is a rectangular room with a small stage, a bar and some neat gothic light fixtures and mirrors. It is not terribly big, but like all good clubs, the bathrooms are covered with incoherent Sharpie marker graffiti. We didn’t stay very long, just to hear a friend who was in the opening act. But, what struck me was that the patrons at Rock and Roll were an even stranger mix than at Granville Moore’s. I saw kids who looked like they had barely graduated high school, as well as a couple old enough to be grandparents, and everything in between (including a few striped shirts). Hiptards, preptards, whatever. They were all there. And that’s why I think
Better go now, before it gets too safe/clean/gentrified/condoified. Then you won’t be able to keep the riff raff out.
1238 H St. NE, Washington, DC
Rock and Roll Hotel