Judging Restaurants – Veranda

Veranda is located at 1100 P St, NW. I can’t believe we have never properly judged them before, though we did mention them a bit when we looked at some of our favorite “hidden” restaurants back in July ’08. And I’ve been sorta hearing some mixed reviews lately, some love ’em some hate ’em. What’s the word? Any must order items or is this better as a drinking and/or brunch spot?

You can see their menu here.

38 Comment

  • Nice ambiance but not worth the price.

  • bfinpetworth

    Like it. It is a very pleasant place to have a drink and a little food. Not the greatest food but it is very passable, affordable, and the outdoor patio is really pleasant.

  • It was nice to sit outside but the food was meh.

  • I agree, food was meh, and service was even worse.

  • I have such a complicated relationship with this place. I live two blocks away, and I want this to be a treasure on the border of Shaw & Logan. I want this to be the cute neighborhood spot it strives to be. And coming here for drinks is delightful. They have good wine, good beers, etc.

    But then I think about ordering dinner. And it is always a mistake. The food is just not good, and it is too expensive for what it is. And I’m not the sort who complains about food prices: I have no problem with this price-point generally. But here I am always unsatisfied with the quality, compared against the price.

    Recognizing this, I decided I’d start coming just for appetizers. A drink, a light bite, that sort of thing. Except, the appetizers aren’t good either. The food is just utterly uninspired.

    If the owner happens to come across this, I — and neighbors of mine with whom I’ve had this same conversation — really want to love your restaurant. It’s a cute space, and a location that is a virtue to the neighborhood. But please, please I beseech you, improve the quality of the food you serve. Revamp the menu and make it tasty. If you do, I’ll be there at least monthly, if not more, as will many others, I imagine.

    • Totally agree. We also live around the corner and desperately want to like Veranda. Drinks are fantastic–good specials, talented bartenders. Food is so overpriced and completely mediocre!

  • I like everything about this place. They are friendly and relaxed, and have a fantastic patio. Great place to sit under a fig tree on summer evenings.

  • Food is overpriced, but I was okay with the appetizers and drinks.

    However, I ordered a mojito, that was pretty good, and they were excited to tell me that the mint is from their own garden…. a garden which apparently is just off of the sidewalk, not even behind a fence!

    So, basically I was drinking rat turds and bum pee flavored mint. Awesome!

    Never again.

  • I enjoy this place for happy hour. The price is right for drinks and atmosphere. Have not tried their new menu yet.

  • Doesn’t the owner also own Heller’s Bakery in Mt. P?

    • Yep. Also own Marx Cafe down the street.

      They know how to create welcoming atmosphere and a great place for the community to hang out. But they’re not good with food — it’s often decent enough, but not outstanding, and too often mediocre. I haven’t been to Veranda, but I’ve been to Heller’s and Marx, and the food is basically hit-or-miss. (I’m quite disappointed with Heller’s — they need a real baker or pastry chef to consult with them on their recipes, I think. And they MUST do something about the coffee — I bet they need to give their coffee pots a thorough cleaning.)

      Food is their Achilles heel. But I think they care enough about satisfying their customers that they would be willing to improve.

  • bfinpetworth

    Y’all need to get a grip and stop acting like spoiled petulant children. This is a nice neighborhood restaurant in DC! I would LOVE to have a place like this in Petworth and it would be fully worth the money. Prices are high in DC, that’s just the way it is. The prices at Veranda are not high relative to other similarly situated restaurants. I happen to know quite a few people that live in that neighborhood that simply love having this place nearby.

    • I just read ten or so comments discussing the merits of the place, which is what this post “Judging Restaurants” invited readers to do. Nobody “acting like spoiled petulant children.”

      The rest of your comment conveys your thoughts about the place quite well. There was no need to insult the other commenters first.

      • bfinpetworth

        I get you. My apologies. I get frustrated sometimes at the level of entitlement I see on here and the “never good enough” mentality. Restaurants are either “too foofy” or the food sucks and too expensive. So many people are just never satisfied and always ready to toss around complaints without keeping them in context. But I do see your point, my first sentence was unnecessary. Thx.

  • They just got a new chef, so hopefully the food will improve.

  • I thoroughly enjoy this neighborhood restaurant for what it is — a relaxed, comfortable, and approachable place to sit with friends over drinks and dinner.

    The menu has gone through some ups and downs and the outdoor service can be spotty. That said, I really enjoy the current menu, find the price points fair, and find bar service personal and friendly.

    The owner Aleks is a saint of a guy who always tries to make folks feel welcome. I continue to root for Veranda and frequently recommend it to Logan area folks tired of the new ‘trendy’ joints who are seeking a cool crowd and good vibe.

  • I love this place. Never been disappointed. Reasonable prices and tables always available. The owner is great and it is one of the only places in DC that feels like a true neighborhood establishment.

  • This is similar to but better than “Cheers”. Same attitude and relaxed environment with a great staff; but there was nothing to eat at Cheers. I an working my way through the new menue and have been very pleased with everything; expecially the new steaks and the trout from the old menue.

  • I agree that the food is hit or miss, but this is a GREAT place and they really do make you feel appreciated here. I live 4 blocks away and I just love this place. There are few places with such a nice ‘veranda.’ Sitting under the fig tree in the summer with some wine or coffee is just perfect.

  • Was disappointed with the food at any price. Given that the price was a little on the steep side, that made the disappointment worse. It’s too bad. Such an inviting location and space.

  • This place is such a gem in the nieghborhood. Maybe I just always order right (although I have had nearly everything on the old menu, but haven’t even begun to explore the new one), but I have never had a thing from Veranda I did not enjoy!

    If you go here more than twice, they treat you like family. They will call you a cab, they will remember your “drink” when you want them to, but pretend like you don’t go in four nights a week when you bring a first date there. It is the perfect place to have a party, bring your family, or just go by yourself and sit at the bar. This place is my favorite in DC, hands down.

  • The drinks are amazing! The food- hit or miss. I love the appetizers, but the entrees are lacking in flavor. I’ve heard the same said about Marx. I do love me some Heller’s though. However, despite this I still go because the atmosphere is super wonderful! Maybe the owner could participate in a double-blind taste test focus group? It could be worth the investment.

  • Service and setting are nice. Menu could stand improvement. But in DC 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

  • I love this place. The owner has always been friendly with me and mine. They have a nice scotch selection and a decent (mostly bottled) beer selection. We also really like the tirama (sp?), a cavier and cream cheese app, and I think the hanger steak is pretty decent. The location is just off the beaten path of 14th street, which I think is probably the best thing going for it on a Friday night when you can’t squeeze in the door at Churchkey, Stoney’s, Logan Tavern, or Commissary (talk about meh food). They also have Fox soccer network going most of the time, which is pretty cool.

    • OMG seriously. I was so disappointed with Commissary. That restaurant would have died a long time ago in any other city. I don’t know what it is about DC that allows mediocrity to thrive.

  • Love it! Dog and Drunk friendly. Best eats are the pepperdews, lokaniko, fries, and yiayia’s omelet.

  • Big fan of Veranda from the moment it opened. Great neighborhood place. It’s had a few hiccups along the way, but the dim bar on a chilly night, EPL away form the Lucky Bar crowd, or the patio on a sunny day are just right. Good scotch, surprisingly wide (15?) range of reasonably priced beers–I’ll take Sam Smith Oatmeal at 6$. The food hasn’t always been perfect, and I have friends who stick to the apps. But, do what you would do in a real neighborhood place and ask what’s good that day. Or go for one of the lamb roasts once the weather warms.

  • I think its a great neighborhood place. I go for drinks more often than food. The bartenders are always friendly and it is truly filled with people from the neighborhood. The food is fine and the appetizers in particular are reasonably priced for what you get. Its never amazed me but its also never been the reason I drop by every so often. If you are looking for a solid, off the beaten path mellow place to have a drink and conversate with friends, this place is definitely up to the task. It is also a great place to find a seat outside during those days when everyone else has the same idea.

  • I have really liked this place since it first opened. The food has had it’s decent days and it’s bad days. It was really good when it first opened due to the chef that was there, he left and the food went down hill. He is back again though so I imagine the food will go back to being good. I especially like Brunch. The owner has always been really friendly and a good all around guy. The beer selection as stated is pretty decent. The bartenders are great and very outgoing. Over all I would highly recommend this place as an off the beaten path type of bar. Or a great neighborhood hang out. I unfortunately don’t live in the area anymore but when I did I probably frequented 2 or 3 times a week.

  • i <3 veranda. i live nearby and am in there at least once every week. i love the food… the peppadews are fabulous! it's my cheers! stop by and let's have a drink and a bite! seriously… it's not that expensive. 🙂

  • It is such a lovely place that I love so much, until I order food. The food is awful. Ended up leaving without eating (other than a bite of each thing) and stopping by at El Rinconcito.

  • What is up with folks saying the place is overpriced? You can’t swing a dead cat in the neighborhood without hitting $25 micro-thin charcuterie small plates, yet a place that has entrees for $15 is overpriced? I’m a huge fan of the place and love that I can actually get good service, a seat (God forbid), and a decent meal on a Friday night at 7:30 without it being a mob scene and life event. They do need to change their bread though… dry and dull. But, I love the rigatoni… simple, flavorful, and a deal at $15.

  • I’ll second the comments about the great service – have only been once even though I live a few blocks away, but that one time we were excited to try the mussels appetizer (steamed in either sambuca or ouzo – brilliant). They were apparently out of mussels at Veranda, but the manager sent someone to one of their Mt. Pleasant restaurants to get more supply. Did it take a bit longer than usual? Yes. Does it say something about efficiency that they were out in the first place at 5:00 on a Friday? Yes. But I’ll trade those petty quibbles for a neighborhood spot that committed to personal service any day.

  • All those complaints about the price, if you don’t have
    forty bucks to spend you should stay home! this is a
    cozy hideaway with wonderful wines and cocktails.
    it’s all about relaxing after a long day! it’s not
    the capital grille.

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