Judging New Restaurants and Bars – Sixth Engine

438 Massachusetts Ave, NW

Back in early Feb. 2012 Sixth Engine opened in Mt. Vernon Square at 438 Massachusetts Ave, NW. Their Website says:

“Engine Co. No. 6 is one of the oldest firehouses in the District and the first of Cluss’s nearly 100 buildings to be constructed in D.C. in the late 19th century. It’s one of only 11 still standing. The kind of fires we’re putting out have changed a bit, but the original helmet still hangs above our door.

This eatery is born of the fire in the bellies of five long-serving D.C. restaurateurs and longtime friends. Jeremy Carman, Gavin Coleman, Paul Holder, Paul Madrid, and Tim Walsh are also the names behind Town Hall restaurant and bar in Glover Park and the Dubliner Irish pub in Capitol Hill.”

You can see their menus here. Anyone check them out yet? Any must order items?

22 Comment

  • They have a secret happy hour menu, so remember to ask about it if you go! It’s convenient, given that I work across the street, but seems a bit pricey for what you get.

  • I think $13 for a cheeseburger is a bit much, even considering the area. $6 for a can of DC Brau seems like a lot too.

  • WOW another place with $13 burgers and $11 cocktails. *yawn*

  • So far I’m a fan of the place but I’ve only been there for a happy hour. Lots of interesting drinks on the specialty cocktail menu. Also, they have cider which always makes me happy because I can’t have gluten. The bartender was really nice and let us taste a couple of liquors we weren’t familiar with, no charge. The only thing I ate there was onion rings, but they were pretty good. I’m glad it’s in the neighborhood and I plan on returning. Looking forward to checking out the brunch.

    • Megan – are their onion rings gluten free?

      • I’m not sure, but I only had one. I had sampled some of the aforementioned ciders, interesting drinks, and liquors ha ha and ate one because at that point I was willing to risk it. I didn’t react to it but I can usually get away with a little gluten before I feel sick…

  • It’s simply too pricey.

  • It’s meant for the convention center tourist expense account crowd.
    wow..I remember when that place stood all alone on that stretch of road…

    • I think that’s a good thing! It’s terrible that there are currently so many vacant buildings around the convention center. I’m glad someone is making money off the thousands of people who visit there every week!

  • Food is decent, but as others have said, too expensive, particulary given the location.

  • I’ve eaten there twice for lunch. I feel the price is fair for lunch and the food is of a high quality.

    1.The complementary chips and homemade onion dip rock.
    2.The Ahi Tuna salad ($17): three generous pieces of fresh and perfectly seared tuna
    3.The Chicken salad ($15) with a whole breast (not 2 strips).

    Even with the new signage out front this place is easy to miss. IMHO they need a sign at the curb.

  • I’m sure once they’re approved for their outside seating, they’ll be easier to spot as you’re going by. It’s a nice place and the food prices seem fair. They’re a business, not a charity. If you want a cheep burger, make one at home or go to Burger King!

  • Looks good and this is convenient for me to get lunch with the hubby from time to time but I gotta side with the ‘too pricey’ consensus, it’s right up there with Bistro Bis. That burger had better come with a free foot rub.

  • I live near this restaurant and bar and I thought the food was worth the price. I had the shrimp po’boy, and a lobster soup ($7) that was off menu. It’s a little loud, but the waitstaff is great, and it’s a nice space to eat in. The tables, glassware, and silverware were classy. I think it’s a great place to take a date if you want it to be a little more relaxed. The upstairs might be quieter, but I didn’t have a chance to check it out. Bottom line, the ingredients seemed high quality, and the experience was great. Worth the extra $2 per plate.

  • Everything looks good, but you’d think in this time and age that they would have some vegetarian entrees! At least a veggie burger, or Risoto, or Veggie Lasanga

    • I asked the server about vegetarian options and she spoke to the chef and came back with two excellent vegetarian options (one was a risotto). I don’t know if these off-menu items change frequently or there’s some other reason they don’t have them on the menu. They should definitely list them on the menu though, I’m sure a lot of vegetarians see the menu online and decide not to go.

  • I went on opening night and it was probably one of the worst dinners i have ever had. I had the chicken pot pie and waffles, hopefully they took this off their menu. It was essentially and eggo waffle with a little bit of sauce and practically no chicken. This was the first time I ever sent anything back at a restaurant.

  • I agree with most – too pricey for what you get. I had the scallops and they were tasty but not memorable. The upstairs is a good looking space and the service was great, but it’s not worth the trip back in my opinion.

  • I went to the opening of this restaurant and we sent our food back because it was terrible. I have NEVER sent a plate back to the kitchen before in my life. We ordered there fushion entree of chicken and waffles / chicken pot pie. Essentially it was suppose to be a waffle with pot pie-esque topping over it. IT WAS TERRIBLE. A frozen eggo looked more appetizing than the waffle they served and the chicken pot pie topping had maybe 1-2 itsy bitsy peices of chicken in it. At least the Malbec I ordered was good 😉 CHEERS TO WINE SAVING THE DAY!!

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