Spike Mendelsohn Opening a Steak Frites Restaurant in Thai Roma Space at 313 Pennsylvania Ave, SE

313 Pennsylvania Ave, SE

Washington Business Journal shares the news:

“Bernaise will open in October of this year at 313 Pennsylvania Ave. SE (on the same block as Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery and We The Pizza). The restaurant will occupy 3,000 square feet.”

Think a steak frites restaurant by Spike Mendelsohn will do well here? Were there any fans of Thai Roma?

25 Comment

  • Where is Monkeyerotica? Waiting to hear what this place should really be called…

  • Steak frites in DC? I don’t know about that concept. Better serve some small plates too just in case…

  • Don’t you mean his mom is opening another restaurant, since she is the one who actually buys and runs all of these?

    • Source? I doubt this is true.

      At worst he’s guilty of using his pseudo-celebrity (and I use the term celebrity loosely) name recognition to open burger and pizza joints that would likely not stand on their own merit.

    • Actually, this is true. His Mom does most of the menu development and his Dad runs the businesses. He is only a partial owner in all the entities.

  • i hope he takes longer than october to remake this space. could be a cool bar as well to grab a quick bite or a couple of drinks. we shall see, i remain hesitant about things spike does.

  • Maybe now he will be able to pay his rent….

  • I always liked this building but Thai seemed like an odd choice for it and I never actually tried Thai Roma. Steak frites will fit in well with the decor, although I’m skeptical of how well he’ll execute the concept.

  • I’m no Thai Roma fan but but thought of yet another Spike place just makes me want to cry.

    Basically it seems the same 5 or 6 restaurant entrepreneurs or groups are the only ones opening places and they all seem the same.

    • Criticism about few owners for lots of restaurants are sound, but how exactly do a burger place, pizza place, and now steak frites “all seem the same”? If you want to throw that one at Xavier Cervera, I’m with you. Add mahogany, dim lights, raise prices, ???, profit.

    • I would agree – this stretch up by the Capitol needs a little ethnic flair. I would have loved for a good Thai place to come in, or Vietnamese, or Ethiopian, something different. Having said that, and even acknowledging my grave reservations for any place associated with a certain ex-Top Chef contestant with a penchant for hipster douche hats, Thai Roma was a godawful restaurant.

      • Eh, I’ve written off this stretch of Pennsylvania Ave as being the domain of Hill interns and tourists. But a Vietnamese or Ethiopian place closer to Eastern Market would be great (and yes, I know Ba Bay did not do very well… but that’s probably because they were expensive and didn’t have vegetarian options).

        • People clamoring for ethnic food on Capitol Hill should be ashamed that they didn’t do everything they could to support Ba Bay. I doubt veg options would have made for significantly better business; for the quality of the food and the recipes, that restaurant was one of the best in the city. It wasn’t expensive compared to anything else of similar standards, in fact it wasn’t expensive compared to other Hill places (except maybe the wine list).

          You Hill folks can complain all you want about lack of ethnic options, but when you look at what’s successful on 8th Street or PA Ave – Ted’s Bulletin, Belga, Matchbox, Good Stuff – you’ll see that most folks over that way think ethnic food equals French Fries.

      • there’s a thai place just a bit further on the same block.

        • I think he/she meant a Thai place that is truly good. Sanphan and Old Siam have the same identical menus that every mediocre Thai place has, and like other mediocre Thai places their food is excessively salty and oily.

      • They seem the same because they all offer casual, half decent, typical american cuisine in a similar type of setting. I actually liked Thai Roma for takeout. Also, while I love Spike’s milkshakes, his burgers and pizza aren’t particularly impressive. So it’s hard to get excited about probably mostly unimpressive overpriced fast food place on the same block.

  • Having been to Medium Rare http://www.mediumrarerestaurant.com/ in Cleveland Park (another steak frites place), I wasn’t too impressed. The menus are always seem so limited. Plus as a Hill resident, there are a lot of other great options that don’t just serve steak and french fries. Having said that, I’ve liked his other concepts, but don’t expect too much from this restaurant.

    • That’s one of my favorite places in the city. To each their own!

    • Had the same reaction at MediumRare. When I found my steak to be luke warm and not too flavorful, I was aching to have something else.

  • I wouldn’t go out of my way to get to Thai Roma, but their Thai/Italian fusion dishes were interesting and different. The chicken roma pasta–angel hair pasta with peanut sauce-was pretty good!

  • I went to Thai Roma once last year. The interior was interesting, but the food wasn’t great. I usually go to Talay Thai when I’m in the neighborhood.

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