156 Comment

  • I had a really good Turkey Burger there about a year ago, it was quite memorable though I don’t exactly know why.

  • No bueno. I asked for a medium hamburger, got well done. I asked for a side of grilled onions (with an up Charge), got an end piece. The whole experience was unpleasant. Service and food was uninspired and lazy. Not going back there.

    • Its a chain restaurant, like a McDonald’s. What did you expect?

      • Really? Yes the owners have several restaurants in DC so you may consider it a “chain” but it’s definitely not anywhere near Mcdonalds! I’ve never had a bad meal at the Heights and the white sangria is awesome! I dare you to say THAT about Mcdonalds…

    • That sounds similar to the experience of moving to Columbia Heights, actually. Hear giant buzz about the great neighborhood vibe on PoP, pack up and move, and the disappointment sinks in as you realize it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

    • Early on I had some decent meals there, then some not-so-great meals there. I was embarrassed after talking friends into eating there, and then one friend’s food was cold, and I mean nearly frozen, in the middle. Food and service are just too iffy so I’ve stopped going there.

      • I also took out of town friends there after a few year hiatus, food was just as mediocre, had to send stuff back, and I was embarrassed for suggesting it.

  • The bartender Bruno is cute!

  • I went once for brunch. “Ordinary” would be a bit overly kind. Gluey hollandaise sauce, mushy “roasted” potatoes, and prices way higher than merited by food liberally seasoned with that subtle Sysco flavor.

    • “…subtle Sysco flavor” is a plague on this city. Hard to escape it, except making a note to avoid wherever you see the truck parked and unloading.

      I do like the outdoor plaza lights they have hanging. Adds a European flare. Very cool. Sysco food aside, they are a plus to the CoHi plaza area.

      • If they could only add some European fare to their European flare…
        That said, I haven’t experienced bad service there. The food could be better, but it’s decent.

      • Ever eaten at Capital Grille or how about Busboys and Poets? Awesome food, but they get their stuff from Sysco.

        People who immediately dismiss a place because of where they get ingredients are simply ignorant. What matters is *what* they get from the supplier, not necessarily the supplier itself. I.e.: do they just reheat pre-made entrees, or do they use raw ingredients to make their own?

        Even the best places typically do something in between.

        • Add Taylor Gourmet to the list too; I remember seeing Sysco brand “Arrezzio” Italian meats on display at their store once.

        • Busboys and Poets’ food is not “awesome”. They have the same problem as The Heights.

          As for where they get their ingredients… I don’t disagree with you on the “what, not where” point. You’ll note that I complained about the Sysco flavor, not the Sysco labels on the boxes. Those mushy breakfast potatoes with onions and bell peppers are the kiss of death for a decent brunch.

        • I agree. Canned tomatoes, dried beans, flour, sugar…. all things that Sysco sells. They also sell a lot of pre-made stuff, so what one wants to know is the restaurant making it from scratch, or are they buying their soups, desserts, sauces, etc… Sysco itself is not bad. Just a bad name for a company.

      • Then you will have very few options in the city! Food is only a part of Sysco’s business, they also supply everything a professional kitchen and front of the house needs: pans, cutlery, dishwashers, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, glassware, furniture, etc. etc. etc. Even if you carefully source all of your produce and proteins directly from local organic growers you will still probably need you’re weekly Sysco delivery for everything else. And contrary to popular belief not all of their food is crap; it only is if you get the pre-made industrial slop that they do sell. They also sell some very high quality raw ingredients. Better than the farmers market? Probably not (although you may be surprised, they have partnerships with local growers). Better than Whole Foods? Most likely. The ethical issues and personal reservations about dealing with the WalMart of the food industry aside, Sysco truck out back bad food.

        • Agreed – Sysco supplies a LOT of the staples that restaurants rely on that won’t make a lick of difference to a consumer between a high end place and a hole in the wall (including things like oil for deep fryers, table salt, etc). They also sell major national brands of products that consumers often prefer – things like Heinz Ketchup, Hellmans Mayonnaise, etc. And they do provide fresh produce including the high end of the market (think rare truffles, etc).

          So the Sysco truck itself isn’t necessarily a red flag. If a restaurant is just taking their frozen burgers or pre-seasoned chicken and slapping them on a grill – well, yeah. Then you’re going to be disappointed. Think of it in the context of Safeway – you could go to Safeway and buy a box of frozen burgers. Or you could go and buy organic Choice beef, fresh herbs, spices, and make your own. The difference will be clear at home – just as it is at a restaurant.

    • saf

      Add in the poor service (polite, but slow and inattentive) and that describes my experience too.

    • I don’t know why you guys are Judging a place because of Sysco. Sysco doesn’t make the food they deliver, they are just a distributor. Secondly, The Heights has their own farm and is currently sourcing many of their produce form the farm. I ate their the other day and I was informed that the Chef actually picked the lettuce I was eating that morning. Sounds pretty fresh to me.

      • Ever seen a Sysco catalog? It’s the size of a phonebook. And yes, they DO make some of the food they deliver. See Anon @ 12:54 above. He/She explained it well.

      • Actually, Sysco does do finished meals. I used to work at a camp that used Sysco food, and you could get almost anything. They sell seasoned meat, frozen pre-cooked desserts, prepared soups and veggie dishes, everything. We couldn’t afford it as a Boy Scout Camp, but it was sure as heck there in the catalogue. I’m not saying The Heights uses those products, but they are there.

    • Everyone assumes that if its a chain or it has a lot of customers or it is mass produced, then it is inherently inferior in quality. Is it the case with WalMart? Yes. Is it the case in every instance? No. Its just part of the innate, unconscious, irrational elitism of the majority of urban dwelling young professionals.

  • I was there a couple weeks ago and their shrimp po’boy was really good. The spicy mayo-thing they put on it is delicious.

  • Thoroughly mediocre, but with prices and attitude that don’t match the mediocrity. I can’t stand them.

    I find that whole group of restaurants (The Heights, Logan Tavern, etc) just terrible.

    Bland and overpriced. Bartenders don’t know how to make a drink, and it’s like $7 for a 14 oz beer.

    It just goes to show how underserved by casual dining DC is that this place not only stays in business but seems to thrive.

    • +1

      If it weren’t for the location this restaurant would be bankrupt already.

      • Hear hear.

      • This exactly. If it weren’t for the location I probably would have never tried this restaurant.

        However, after passing by it so many times I decided to give it a try when my mom was in town. Really, really bad idea. The service was very slow. The salads we ordered were extremely slow, and not extremely cheap.

        It was one of the worst dining experiences I’ve had in DC.

    • Agreed, the food is mediocre at best. no matter where they buy their ingredients

  • Oh and one time my girlfriend ordered the salmon, the waiter asked if she “wanted it blackened” and she said sure. Turned out there was a $2 blackening charge!

  • Great happy hour food and drink specials! Love the brunch but it’s usually packed and there is a guaranteed wait to be seated.

  • I had a steak salad last week. Good, not great. My brother ordered a chicken/pasta dish, and they brought him a chicken sandwich. That was a hassle.

  • always found the service to be rude and disinterested (and that is graded on the DC rude and disinterested curve). Food’s fine, if a little greasier rather than flavorful. Definitely like its sister restaurants better.

    • Their service is still better than Domku’s!

      • true. _one_ waitress at domku can serve an entire restaurant of tables slightly less well than ten+ employees at the heights.

        • If the servers at the Hieghts are worse than the ones at domku than WOW.

          • saf

            This is so far outside my experience at Domku – a few years ago, yeah, but in the last several years I have not had service problems.

            I really wonder what the difference between our experiences is.

  • The food is very underwhelming. They have a few good things but most are just ok. This would be fine if the prices were better but they are way too high for the mediocre food.

  • Terrible. Been twice. Hate to say it, but across the board lousy both times.

  • Love it… certainly not the greatest food in the world but more than decent, and nice ambiance for an easy weeknight dinner. Glad nobody else on PoP likes this place – makes it easier for me to get in. Shrimp’n’grits and Pot Roast have both been good recently.

    Now Commissary is another story… too many inedible dinners at that place.

  • Decent but uninspiring. Nothing about it really motivates me to go there, I think I’ve been once in the past two years. Just kinda blahh.

    The two dollar blackening charge, is that comment serious? If so, wow, simply wow. That is some chutzpah. Do they also charge to add ice to glasses of water?

    • True story. There was a $2 upcharge for blackening. Blew my mind.

      • That is crazy

        • During a brunch a small glass of OJ was $5. You can get a gallon for that at the market.

          • Then go to the market, don’t go out to eat.

            What you are paying for is not just the glass of juice, but everything else about a place: ambiance, a table, people to serve you, people to cook for you.

            I hate it when people compare the price of food at a grocery store to the price of food at a restaurant. If you don’t like it, eat at home.

    • Yep, happened to me too a few weeks ago

  • It’s overpriced and the food is awful but it also draws in a lot of people that would otherwise fill the better restaurants in the area so I wish them the best!

  • The food overpriced, low quality, and hard to obtain. The service is incompetent and surly. The location is great. As far as I know, that is its only virtue.

    I have been twice. Both times, I left angry. I don’t go here anymore. With so many better, more enjoyable options nearby, I have no plans to give it another shot.

    • I agree with you, but don’t understand that the food is “hard to obtain”. What do you mean? Do you mean, not widely available in other restaurants? If so, seems like that might be a plus…

      • No, I mean I’ve had a hard time getting the waiter/ess’s attention when I wanted something. And, one time when my wife asked for toast, she was informed that that was impossible because they ‘didn’t have any bread.’

        One of my core criteria when judging a restaurant is the ability to obtain food therein. Basic, yes, but some places like this one manage to screw it up.

  • The Heights was the first decent restaurant in the neighborhood and took the gamble of opening years before CoHo became a “hipster” area. The food is decent, better than most still. I find it (the food) better than Meridan Pint, Wonderland, and def. better than the dissapointment Lou’s City bar turned out to be. The bartenders are nice ( esp. Lance and Ayceland), however the waiters can be douches. They are consistenly busy.

    • Didn’t they open in 2008? Post target? And really post CH’s “hipster” era as well.

      • Correct. The Heights was part of the overall revitalization plan that included DC USA. And the hipsters had probably started moving out around 2007 to H St NE.

    • Meridian Pint is head and shoulders better then the Heights (and just about every other place in Columbia Heights that doesn’t serve hispanic food or isn’t named Pete’s). The Beer list at Meridian Pint is very good, they run great event nights and their food is good. Last time I was there we had burgers and they were tasty. No waiting in hour-long lines at Shake Shack for me or overpaying for what often passes as “good beer” in DC.

    • I have eaten at Lou’s City bar several times and enjoyed the food & service. They have great drink and food specials too. You must miss Commonwealth’s $9 pints and overpriced entrees.

  • MEH! We hate everything about everything. If there’s one thing we can’t stand, it’s the Heights. We are too naive to contemplate why they have to charge the prices they do for that giant space of theirs! Food should cost no more than it did than during the early Eisenhower years. And they brought my great-great grandnephew the wrong dish once! Bah!

    We just can’t understand why it’s so busy all the time when so many PoP commenters hate it, unless the only people who comment are people who dislike everything. But, wait. What? Nah.


    • You can get better food and drinks for the same prices (if not slightly less), with more attentive servers and talented bartenders down the street at Meridian Pint.

      The Heights sucks and overcharges because it can get away with sucking and overcharging. It’s busy all the time because there is a high demand for restaurants. Prices are high because that’s what the market will bear. That doesn’t mean we have to like it.

      • +1. There are in fact places where you expect to be (and don’t mind) paying that invisible surcharge because of the amazing space/ambiance or the incredible service, but what usually comes with that is some equally amazing food!

        Learn to cook a meal that stands out and I bet nobody would complain about the price.

        The Heights remains busy mainly because of the location and the great outdoor seating, not the food IMO.

      • it follows the old convention that good locations dictate no need to produce good food, yet still remain popular. see: 17th st NW or georgetown waterfront if you need examples.

        • Bingo. I am 60% down this thread, and my thoughts exactly. This group does two things really well: (1) secure primo locations where people live + make them look the part and (2) get the requisite liquor licenses that the upscale crowd demands. After that, they seem to be OK with a product putting a pedestrian menu, prepared adequately, mildly overpriced, and served indifferently.

          Do I hate the Heights? Not at all. Do I love it? Not at all. Do I go there enough to really care? Not at all. But am I glad it’s there as opposed to the previous tenant (a vacant lot) or replacement options (a test prep center, anybody?). Damn skippy. It’s the DC way of thinking.

          • Actually, they go into areas that have no strong restaurants and take the gamble about opening a full-service restaurant in the midst of crappy carry out chicken joints. Then “move-ins” you complain 6 years later that they’re sucking the life out of your neighborhood.

            Do you remember what Logan circle or Columbia Heights looked like 10 years ago?

      • Yes, and when I eat at Meridian Pint after 8pm my ears are ringing from the din when I leave. COULD YOU TURN UP THE MUSIC A BIT? I CAN STILL HEAR MY PARTNER TRYING TO SAY SOMETHING.

    • lol! this made me chuckle, thanks!

    • You sound like one of their servers. the worst.

    • The age of yelp(ers) will be the downfall of many legitimate small businesses.

    • hahahaha love it!

  • Based on earlier comment threads, I was anticipating more hate. I generally like the food here, although it takes a long time for it to arrive. The chipotle fried chicken sammich is delish. Big outdoor space is nice. It’s a perfectly decent, if unspectacular, restaurant, and a welcome neighborhood addition.

  • I have to agree on the mediocrity. They’re sitting back and dialing it on on food quality and service because their location and the scarcity of casual dining options. The staff there generally act like they’re doing you a favor–even as they get your order wrong, forget you ordered drinks, leave you without utensils, forget that you’re there.

    It was the worst when they first opened, when the front door person would sneer that you could stand at the bar and wait an hour or more for your table. As other options opened up in the area, it’s been easier to get a table and some of the waitstaff act as if they’d like to be tipped. If you know that going in, it’s a convenient place to grab a bite and a drink and the people-watching on their patio is superb.

    For food, I like the ginger calamari, but not much else is memorable

  • I’ve eaten there several times in the past few years and have had mixed experiences. I really like the atmosphere, both inside and out. They have had some good dishes, especially the vegetarian ones. I used to love their baby artichoke appetizer. However, my partner went there once with a friend and had a perfectly awful experience. I just want it to be good because I love the location and the feel.

  • I mean it IS bland but is it really TRYING to be a culinary stand out? I think their business model is actually to be a mediocre restaurant with a pleasing asthetic. Every neighborhood needs one. They fill a void and always do well. Clydes, Chadwhicks, etc. Can’t really fault them for it if it’s what they are aiming for. I do miss Commonwealth though. I haven’t eaten out in that part of CH since they closed. Not expecting much from the new incarnation given that Lou’s is crap.

    • Totally agree. What a disappointment. It’s another place whose location and atmosphere I like, but don’t care much for the food. What to do, what to do.
      BTW, we had a really good meal at Meridian Pint this weekend.

  • I’ve been there several times over the past few years and while it is a bit overpriced, the food seemed OK to me, and the service was friendly and attentive each time I went. The outdoor seatnig area is definitely an asset to the plaza atmosphere.

    • I love the idea that there is a objective price for food. What is the true price of a cheeseburger?

      • The Columbia Heights Soviet has declared that the price of a cheeseburger shall not exceed $6.54, in 2009 dollars.

      • $9-$10. Unless it’s really special, like from Ray’s.

        • http://www.theheightsdc.com/menus/DinnerMenu.pdf

          Posted: The Heights is in accordance with will of the people. The Columbia Heights Soviet can at this time forgo taking appropriate sanctions that will surely await other potential enemies of the people.

          Furthermore, from this point forward the will of the working masses has declared that the true price of chicken legs is $3.53.

          • Damn. That’s a totally reasonable price for a burger.

            I still think their food is mediocre and too much money for what it is.

        • Ray’s is special. They will blacken your burger for $2. Good deal!

          You can’t get an authentic Hamburg-style chopped steak sandwich in CH any longer, not since the gentifiers pushed the chipped-beef mongers out of the neighborhood. It’s sad.

  • Absolutely meh. I’ve been for brunch and dinner, and I’d rate it 100% mediocre. Nothing great, the food is okay, nothing unique or special. It absolutely doesn’t warrant the high price tag, though, which is what makes it extra unappealing. The service has been slow but nice, but the food simply isn’t worth it.

  • Based on the above comments, the place is terrible… why is it always packed??

  • yuck. been twice. verrry mediocre. way overpriced.

  • I’ve lived just down the block since they opened and have been there three times. I went the second time to just see if the bland food and service was the result of an off-night. I really can’t say why I went the third time.

  • andy

    went once. wife won’t allow us to go back.

  • I’ve been there twice for brunch and it was delicious each time. Perhaps I lucked out with what I ordered – the first time I ordered one of the specials, the second time I got the potato pancakes w/smoked salmon. The person I went with on each occassion also enjoyed what they ordered and raved about the place (the first because of the good food, the second because of the good service).

    • Yeah, I’ve always had a good brunch experience (except for having to wait), and I’ve also had a “guest” from another neighborhood make a special request to go back there. I’m really surprised by all the negativity on this one.

  • I used to work here and agree with most of the comments. The food is just kinda ok and the prices aren’t great. The location is fantastic, but the inside decorum is a combination of a lack of coziness and trying to hard to be kichy.

    I can tell you that 100% the problem with this establishment is the primary owner. I just got the sense that he treated it soley like a business. Which it is of course, but I’ve worked at a lot of restaurants and the good ones treat it as a passion. Cutting back food costs is necessary sometimes.. but to try and pass off cheap ingredients done poorly as quasi-upscale fair is just not the way to win friends. I’ve noticed some positive changes on the menu since I left, but I’ve never really had the desire to go back and try it.

    On the staff side of things, it was hard working here. Some of the clientel were just awful to staff and a combination of frequent returns of improperly cooked items and overbearing ownership, leads to frequent turn over and frustrated servers. I never really felt like the ownership was on my side or cared about me. This just all adds up to a recipe for mediocrity.

    • Interesting insight and I agree. I live one block away so go maybe twice a month for a happy hour drink & ginger calamari. It is a decent neighborhood place – some good food, some not. The patio is what makes it a draw. The staff turnover is high, and staff not always great – but that is true of most places like this.

      I do have lots of houseguests from non-big-city parts of the country who have been quite happy with it.

    • Based on the comments here I find it really hard to believe the clientele was difficult…as for the owner, I have heard this comment from other folks as well.

      Seriously though, this place is just about on par with most mid-priced retaurants in DC. No Michelin stars, but depending on what you order, it can be good. I’ve taken out-of-town guests here often and they always seem happy. Plus, I always find the wait staff to be friendly (I slept with one once and he was great in bed too!) ;-p

  • I have eaten there hundreds of times since they opened. Why? Because it is a place where you can sit down and eat in the hood. Because it is not overrun with hipsters. Because I have mom and dad in tow. Because I have a friend who is in town and just wants American food. Because they have a patio. Because I have a child. Because I am not a hipster who wants be where it is cool. Because it is better than Ruby Tuesday’s. because places I like better are now too cool for me to walk in and sit down.

    This is not a destination resturant. It is a neighborhood place that serves standard fare and drinks. I can go in and get a table and eat with my kid. And that I appreciate. There are too few places like this in the city.

    PS I love love love their bloody mary bar. And the ginger calamari is really good too.

  • I’ve had a couple of good meals, and a couple of meh meals. My complaint is that the area where you can get happy hour is really tiny, and there is no beer selection. Granted, it’s been quite a while since I last tried it and it might have changed.

  • Went recently for the first time in a while. It was good, and we had a nice meal. Service was super pleasant. (Server’s name was Eamon as I recall.) I’ve always enjoyed the beer & wine offerings. Could the bill have been $10 cheaper? Sure. But the patio was a nice place to be, they brought an umbrella over to shield us from the sun, and I could walk to it from Petworth.

    B+, which is a good grade!

    (Also, we did not bring our kids. Because people on this board don’t like that, either.)

  • I’m surprised at all the hate for Lou’s. When I went a month ago, I thought the wings were some of the best I’ve had in the neighborhood. But I agree with most on The Heights — food is okay, but pricier than it should be.

  • Eh, been there for drinks a couple times. Nothing on the menu I’d eat except for the hummus–and I don’t need to pay 10 bucks for that.

    A two-dollar blackening charge is INSANE.

  • The service has gotten better. It was going way downhill for awhile. The food is just OK though. I got over their brunch a LONG time ago. I make better brunch standing in my kitchen. But, I will still go back for dinner sometimes.

  • I do not understand why 90% of the servers are extremely creepy. Like day walking vampires.

  • It seems like it is currently cool to hate on the Heights. I’ve actually never been there, despite living 1 block away, because all of my friends refuse to eat there, calling it overpriced and boring.

    Kind of makes me want to check it out, actually.

  • I would guess i’ve been 5 times and the past two years. I would give all of those times a B-. I think the food is a little bit better than average and a more then a bit over-priced. They do have that awesome round table in the back that is perfect for big parties. I think you have to go in with the idea that it is just a neighborhood bar and not a fine dining establishment and you’ll enjoy your time there. I have never sent anything back or had a bad server.

  • i’ve been there a couple times, mainly for brunch. their food is fairly decent, but it doesn’t make up for the slow service. it took about 20 minutes before they came by to refill my soda, and all the servers seem content milling about by the bar while waiting for the overworked bar staff to make their mixed drinks. oh yeah, did i mention the slow service? made the dining experience go from good to mildly frustrating.

  • wow. im really shocked at the hostility towards this place. I’ve prob had brunch here a couple dozen times and really enjoyed it every time. Is it over priced? a bit, but i’m used to it in this city. Is it better food than red derby, yes. (but $2 bloodys win every time). The french toast is great anddd comes with potatoes and bacon, mmmmm. Croissant sammy: super tasty. I like it and will keep bringing out of towners, friends, and groups who don’t want to drink during brunch (not my normal crowd). I’ve always had great service and never feel rushed even with a crowd waiting all morning.

    • I only have hostility towards the bastardizations “sammy” and “sammich.” :p

      Can’t imagine taking out of town guests here. Maybe if you’re from Dubuque this is impressive, but most people coming to DC have higher expectations than the same ole crapola they can get back home in their little corner of Everytown.

    • Actually, the Red Derby’s food is spookily good for bar food.

  • all of the restaurants associated with this restaurant group are horrible…our hoods deserve a lot better fare, i can’t figure out why it is so crowded all the time, probably bridge and tunnel folks

  • I still think it’s a solid option for brunch with family/houseguests from out of town. Nice patio, good Bloody Marys, and a menu that can accommodate picky eaters, kids, and the like. It’s a casual neighborhood spot – no more, no less.

  • Oh haters! I don’t even have the energy to fight with yall anymore.

    The blood mary menu is AMAZING! I’d go just for that! Also I love the crab cakes benedict. I’ve taken tons of out of town people there for many many brunches, and they’ve always loved it. Dinner, however, is a different deal. The haters might have some points in terms of dinner. It can be very hit or miss, but is always pricey.

    I do love the three day weekend frozen mojito drink….wish I was drinking it right now.

  • We live down the street off of Euclid. I had wanted to go there ever since it opened but we waited about six months. Deciding to allow the restaurant to get the kinks out before trying it. We sat at the outdoor sidewalk cafe section. The waiter was very ho-hum, not very interested in us or in taking our order. When the food arrived it wasn’t sufficiently warm or hot. I had a virgin Bloody Mary inside while waiting. Since I don’t drink alcohol, I can’t say if it was the best I’ve ever had but it was sufficient.

    All in all the experience was just OK. The food was OK, the waiter was OK but there was nothing that made me want to go back again, and we haven’t.

  • I was just looking at the menu and I really don’t get the overpriced critique. How much cheaper does it need to be in order for the prices to be fair? Their burger is $9.95. Should it instead be $8.95? Their fried chicken (which comes with a salad) is $15.95. Would $14.75 be about right?

    • You’ve been in DC long enough to find those prices to be OK (which they are for DC but few other places).

    • One example – the main vegetarian entree at the Heights is about $15, while Meridian Pint keeps it closer to $12 or $13 and turns out a better meal.

      The only point that I don’t agree with in the general consensus that the Heights is overpriced, poorly prepared food that is served with little attention to customer satisfaction is the service part. I’ve always had great wait staff that were friendly and accommodating, even if they were overwhelmed and things moved a little more slowly than they should have.

  • I have eaten there a number of times and always found it to be fine but not great. The only thing I really like on the menu is the hummus platter. (A little expensive for what it is, but really quite good.) But the location is convenient and the patio is nice, so I will probably continue to go on occasion.

  • It’s just fine, we eat there a couple times a month, and we’re pretty snobbish about food. Honestly, people just like to complain I think.

  • I like the Heights. The service is pretty bad 90% of the time. But I like a number of things on the menu, enjoy the beer selection, and like that there is ample seating and that other patrons are usually friendly. Despite its flaws I continue to go back.

    Oh, and I never feel looked down upon like I do at other places in Columbia Heights.

    • Oh, and I don’t get the overpriced complaints. The food there is more reasonably priced than almost every other place in the area.

    • Where do you feel looked down on? I don’t get that. Why would a place serving the public ever look down on people spending money in their establishment? I mean, perhaps a server is inattentive, or a bartender is overly busy and stressed out… but other than that, why would someone look down on a paying customer?

  • I’ve never been there, so it sucks.

  • I’ve been there half a dozen times and I can’t say I ever walked away saying “THAT WAS AWESOME,” while I have said that repeatedly after Red Rocks, Meridian Pint, Pho Viet, La Molienda, Thai Tanic, or even TDF. I think there are plenty of other places to eat in Columbia Heights that would appreciate your business more. The last time I ate there I got the crab benedict for brunch. I asked for the hollandaise on the side which they still put on top (cold), the egg yolks were fully cooked, and I got a shard of crab embedded in my gums (which happens, I’m not mad at that), but throughout the entire meal, the servers just talked amongst each other and never even came by to say, “how’s everything so far, can I get you anything else?” … of which I would have notified them of my disappointment. Honestly, I don’t hate it there but won’t go back unless there’s a fundraiser or I have to meet a friend.

  • This is about as much general consensus as you are going to ever get on this type of thread, interesting.

    This may be an entirely different thread, but how would folks rank the food options, generally, in terms of quality in Columbia Heights? (Tiers here relative to each other, not some objective standard of excellence).

    I’d say, of places I’ve been to at least twice, top tier, Room 11, Taqueria Distrito Federal, Paila Chilean, Pete’s, Pho 14, Pho Viet, Redrocks: I can generally count on a reliable, tasty, fairly-priced meal at all of these, these are my go-to places;

    next tier, Meridian Pint, Julia’s Empanadas, Pollo Campero (usually pretty good, with some exceptions, will patronize on occasion);

    next tier, The Heights, Alero (although I hate hate hate them for what they did to the prior decor), Five Guys, Ruby Tuesdays (these are all relaibly mediocre in a pinch, but not really worth spending money at with any regularity);

    last tier aka places where the food is just plain BAD: IHOP (yecchh), Red Derby (love the vibe, love the beer list, HATE the food, I will only go there to drink), and finally Lou’s (SUCH a let-down, sigh, I really hope they improve as I’ll watch football there if I can just get some pretty decent nachos, wings, or burgers).

    • I’d switch out Room 11 (second, maybe third tier) for Meridian Pint (up to first tier) and bump Red Derby up into my personal first tier – their veggie sandwich is consistently awesome and I get it every time I’m there looking for food.

      • I would keep Room 11 at first tier: it is simply the best in the area and put it on a tier of its own. Bump up Julia’s (I have been eating the Chilean for 13 years, and it is exactly the same as it has always been!), bump Red Rocks to second or third (really like the food, love the Buffalo Burata, love the olives, like the people that work there, but have had nothing but bad/weird service issues over the years… sitting 20 minutes waiting for a to go order only to discover the host has had it for the last ten minutes, two feet away; had my entrees and salads served at the same time because “the kitchen was closing” and the server didn’t have the ability to tell the kitchen not to put out Pizza until after we had had our appetizers, etc… Bump up MP, and bump up the Heights for their bloody marys alone (they truly are awesome, whatever else you might say about the place).

  • I’d forgive the food and the prices for the nice outdoor patio, but usually it’s besieged by blaring horns and sirens. Slightly better since the construction wrapped up. Had brunch there too and it wasn’t bad. It’s just disappointing how many restaurants in Columbia Heights have great locations and yet, even being restaurants, seem to regard the cuisine as an afterthought.

  • If you regularly eat here you are simple, poorly bred white trash who doesn’t understand the ins and outs of investing. You like throwing your money away on baubles that you think impress all the other people in your condo building and snobbishly think the Heights serves way better food than the Applebees 2 freeway exits up from your miserable Mid-Western home town even though that is exactly what The Heights is, albeit at a significant mark up to cover the cost of occupying choice real estate. And you probably were an average student who attended a mid-tier graduate program.

  • this hate that this place engenders is both hilarious and puzzling. wtf is wrong with you people. I think people hate this place more for what it stands for. I’ve eaten here before and found it to be decent, perhaps worth a return visit. Worth writing home about? Of course, not. But, worth all the vitriol and rising blood pressure? Uhm, no.

    Bigger ripoffs all over town (especially in DC’s high-end dining), yet no mob with pitchforks.

  • The Heights has an awesome happy hour (4-7 M-F). Good prices on food & drinks. Give it a try – lots of food options & maybe judge for yourself 🙂 Excellent ginger calamari (& I tend not to like calamari). It is always crowded so go with people you want to talk to in case it takes a little while. I have never had a bad meal there in 15+ times going. I do think you end up paying a little bit of a premium due to location, but prices are not shockingly high.

  • I like The Heights. I have never had bad service, I like the Oberon and calamari, I like sitting outside. Maybe I am just simple- but it is always one of my go to places.

  • The food is not worth the wait.

  • I find the art/quote above the bar that reads, “Where the weary workers come to rest,” hilarious. I mean, a place that serves $14 hamburgers is not wear the “weary workers come to rest,” unless those workers are upper management.

  • chguy hates red derby but likes ruby tuesday? You have petes and redrocks second tier.Granted even mediocre pizza is better than none but come on dude.

  • Totally mediocre, but what bothers me the most is that they give you olive oil with your fruit and nut bread at brunch. Dipping bread in olive oil is not a brunch-time thing, and dipping fruity bread in olive oil is just gross. The owner clearly doesn’t understand or care about food. I’m fine with PoP commenters calling me pretensious. Olive oil + fruit and nut bread at brunch is just wrong.

  • This place is terrible, in the same way that the terrible creeping blandness of the new Columbia Heights is terrible.

  • ok, I just have one thing to say about price…

    It costs money to produce food. You may not like it. Go watch King Korn for a decent breakdown of why Americans expect cheap food. But know that what we spend per capita on food is far lower than what our European counterparts spend.

    I am willing to bet that there are 20 kitchen employees alone at the Heights. People to wash your dishes, people to clean your salad greens, make your burgers into patties, batter your chicken. People to grill your food. People to clean the restaurant, scrub your toilet (I didn’t hear any complaints about cleanliness…). People to serve you. Other people to hire those people and manage them.

    There is electricity, lots of gas, lots of water, rent, equipment maintenance. Probably debt management… there is the cost of stocking a bar (probably $20,000 in inventory), purchasing food, cleaning supplies…

    I get a little tired of people complaining about the cost of going out to eat. If you don’t like it, then don’t go out to eat. It is basically entertainment. It is your choice to spend the money on dining out.

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