Judging Restaurants – Asylum


Asylum is of course a neighborhood landmark located at 2471 18th Street, NW in Adams Morgan. I had only known of the spot as a bar. But I’ve been hearing that it has an incredible brunch. On their Web site they announce that they are “DCist’s Favorite Breakfasts”. You can see their menu here. So what’s the word – is the breakfast really that good?

I hope it is because Asylum’s owner John Andrade will be opening a new spot, Meridian Pint in the old Bi-Rite building at 11th and Park, NW.

26 Comment

  • Asylum is fantastic, we have been big fans for over a decade. It’s gotten a little more pricey since they put in the upstairs a few years back, but still a solid place for cheap wings, tacos and drinks. John and his brother Jimmy are pretty big Vegan fans, so they have a large selection of Vegan items on the menu.

  • One of my favorite pre-gaming spots. They have incredible chicken fingers.

  • Just read your preview on Meridian Pint. I had no idea what was going in tp that space. To find out it’ll be a bar with 20 something beers on tap is marvelous. What’s the update there? Last I saw it still looked like it was a long way off from opening.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Here’s the last I posted on the construction at the end of March.


    I’ll update with more recent photos next week.

  • They kicked me out in 1996 and I’ll never go back!!!

    (yes, its possible to get kicked out of Asylum)

  • Hmmm… Would it kill Meridian Pint to put in an awning?


  • They have vegan food and I love them for that!

  • I went there a few years ago and ordered a veggie burger. After waiting for close to an hour (seriously), I was served a pita with cheese melted on top of it. The waitress explained that they were out of veggie burgers so the chef made me something else vegetarian. I never went back.

  • Someone I know got the &^% beat out of them while at Asylum, and management’s stance was along the lines that they had zero responsbility for it all and it’s her fault. Needless to say, this is not a place I ever plan to visit again.

  • Breakfasts are pretty good. Among the better vegan breakfasts in the city. The complaints about the service don’t surprise me – was there this weekend with a group of 6, and two orders came out wrong.
    I’m addicted to their vegan wings, and believe I hold the vegan wing eating record there.

  • I got incredibly sick after eating breakfast there once and vowed to never return. I had a tofu scramble.

  • I went to brunch last weekend, and it was delicious as always. I always just sit at the bar, and the bartender is awesome. This time I opted for the chili cheese tofu scramble, which was quite tasty (and did not make me sick). They have a rack of seriously hot sauces, which I always appreciate.

  • Asylum’s food is absolutely disgusting.

  • The vegetarian food is decent for bar food, but be prepared to wait for over an hour (sometimes close to two hours) to get anything.

  • The food is awful, the service so-so, just another trendy spot that bleeds look at me!

  • I wouldn’t go out of my way for Asylum. It’s a dive that happens to serve vegan food by some marginally clean (I’ve known some personally over the years, trust me) hipsters.
    I can cook vegan as well as this place, but if you’re out and want a beer and a vegan blt or a tofu scramble and bloody mary, that is “okay” this is your place.

  • Haven’t been there since my son was born over a year ago, but me and my wife used to go there all the time. The tacos and the guiness battered chicken sandwich ruled. Service varied on who the waitress was, but usually weeknights were quiet enough to not be ignored for long.

  • Highlife countdown, baby: Miller High Life starts at 50¢ per pint at 5pm Saturday, goes up 50¢ an hour until 11.

    Wings are hot and delicious, and the staff has always been great.

  • two words: “Tofu Scramble”

  • Ugh, High Life should never be more than $1, that sounds like a 5-7pm deal to me.

  • the deal was better when it was quarter beers for Shiner, it started at noon or whatever, and it went up 25 cents/hour.

  • @am: my wife and I have been regulars (or just about) both before and after our son was born last fall. Don’t let the munchkin dissuade you from their brunch or even a relatively early evening at Asylum. They’re super accommodating to the baby – even offering to turn down the music (which we declined). Awesome staff. Very decent food. Good music. Friendly neighborhood place.

  • i dig asylum. It wins my award for best music played in a bar in DC. Period. Always some decent punk rock or metal somewhere in the mix there.

  • I enjoy going there, but the crowd has definitely mellowed out in the past few years. It was much more a “metal” bar back in the day.

  • so where would you suggest a DC neophyte go for a metal/punk scene? I’ve been to Black cat, DC9, Velvet Lounge and still nothing.

  • I am veggie and this is my go-to place for brunch. Love it.

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