Brookland’s Finest Finally Opening on Monday!!! Have a Proper Look Inside and a Preview of the Menu

12th and Jackson Street, NE

Thanks to all who sent emails and tweets about Brookland’s Finest. After a long, long road – we’ve got an official opening date (though I wouldn’t be surprised if they were open during this Sunday’s Brookland house tour either…) – Monday, June 9th:

Attendees of the PoPville birdwatching tour last month will note the Wood Thrush (DC’s bird) in their logo (I failed and originally thought it was a raven)

I stopped by yesterday for a look and was not disappointed to say the least. Even more impressive than the space, which really turned nice, was the food. I was able to sample some of the fare and sorry to curse, but holy shit, it was amazing. I thought the food was going to be very low key, and there are some chill but delicious items like pretzel bites and mac and cheese, but man oh man they have a steak that was as tasty as any steak I’ve had in a steakhouse. They had pork chops, turkey pesto sandwiches, and a slew of desserts that are going to have this place packed. Check out their complete menus:

BF Main Menu (PDF)



And a quick side note here given all the history and drama in the space. In the couple hours I was in the new spot, no fewer than 15-20 people stopped by to see if they were open. And the people could barely contain their enthusiasm they were so excited about a real opening date. And even better than that given the crazy drama was who the people were – black, white, couples, families with kids, older, younger, in cars, on bikes, walking – in short the neighborhood. People say all the time that they are hoping to open a neighborhood spot. Well for those who are looking for a geniune neighborhood spot – you need look no further.


Lots more photos after the jump.
















66 Comment

  • Outlets under the bar for phone chargers? Genius.

    • Good point! I looked at that picture and thought, “YES! Hooks for my handbag!!” And was very proud of PoP for preemptively showing the commentariat that there are indeed hooks so 1900 people don’t make speculative comments about whether or not there are hooks. 😉 But yes, the outlets are also genius.

  • halfsmoke

    Good luck Chef Shannan!!!

  • That’s a lot of wall space….with NO art! Wonder if they are reserving it for local artist to display/sell their stuff.

  • ugh, seriously, $14 club sandwich? Looks great, and maybe a chill place to saddle up to the bar for a few beers and the Nats game but those food prices seem rather high. Add in $6-7 beers and your over $20 bucks for a burger and a beer, that just seems wrong for a neighborhood spot. Maybe I’m wrong, or cheap, but seems very pricey.

    • +1 I was thinking the same thing. Looks like they’re just going with the collusion pricing in DC. That fried green tomato blt has got to be a 800% mark-up. Come on now.

    • +100 Is it just impossible to get a meal under $10 now?

    • i agree. i’m excited, but it’s pricey.

    • Bar looks great. Menu has some yummy sounding options but was hoping for items that were a little more “neighborhood bar” and less typical DC. Hopefully, the liquor and beer prices (specials?!) will counter the food prices.

    • I think these prices are on par with any other mid-priced restaurant in town. An entree +2 beers or cocktails = $30. This formula applies at also all the casual places I dine.

      • Do you know basic arithmetic? Assume $6/7 beers, $10/11 cocktails, and even with the $14 dollar sandwich (not entree) you are at $28 to $36 total (pre tax and tip).

        • Oh my gosh, you really need to relax. I was simply saying that you’re going to spend around $30 for some food and two drinks anywhere in this town – and I still stand by this assertion. And, FYI the menu includes $14-16 entrees if you want to nitpick.

    • I am not sure where you eat but these prices are not out of line with other “neighborhood” places. Other than a few higher end items that are not on its menu, Boundary Stone’s pricing is quite similar – for example. If you find a newly renovated space in a hot ‘hood in DC selling burges under $10 that is not a fast food place, please let us know.

    • Sorry but we live in a city. Cities are really expensive. DC had a really depressed real estate market for a long time and the cost of living was lower. That is no longer true. When real estate values go up around the city, it impacts how much it costs to have a business. If you want food under $10 dollars, fast food and takeout is probably the best bet.

      • Plus they might introduce a happy-hour menu at some point, which could mean better deals.

      • Amen. “High” priced sandwiches means you live in a city that’s doing well. Would you prefer watching every decent bar/restaurant close down because no one can afford to go out?

        • a.) takeout options are limited here.
          b.) you can find places that serve cheap sandwiches in nyc, sf, chicago, and any other city.

  • Looks awesome – now, if we could only get this exact concept in the Murrell Building in Petworth!

  • Summer just got way better!! Thanks to all the folks who made this happen!!!

  • OMG this menu looks awesome!!! So excited!

  • Love that more and more places are putting outlets in the bar.

  • Crab sliders on brioche! Kid’s menu! OMG OMG OMG

  • I thought it wasn’t possible to be more excited about this — then I saw the menu!

  • This is great news!

  • Looks like a nice place.
    They could create a specialty cocktail called “Brookland Sour Grapes” for all the haterz, hehe 😉

  • CUA college students please stay away so I can have this place all to myself 🙂

    • I’m pretty sure this will price out most college students, except for the rich ones from Jersey and Long Island

      • Of which CUA is filled with. Believe me, CUA students will find it, but it’s a little far for them to hang out there. I think this place will remain a pretty nice neighborhood institution.

  • As a CUA alum – its cool to see that really old dining hall card. I hope this place survives, Brookland needs it, best of luck!

  • honestly, this menu looks very average and run of the mill. garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and a grilled piece of meat for about $20 per pop. really not that impressive. the appetizers are very uninspiring.

    but i’m sure people will go because that’s what happens in dc.

    • The neighborhood is starved for amenities and the new homeowners in the ‘hood are mostly upper-middle class professionals. This place will do very well. Hopefully kids won’t be running wild around the dining room.

    • dude, it’s a freakin bar, most bar food IS run of the mill. If fine dining is what you’re expecting then don’t go to a bar.

    • clevelanddave

      Hold off judgment. Yea, it isn’t very creative. Yea, it has “small plates.” But it is all in the execution. If they do these things really well- a frymaster that knows his or her stuff, a great, generous burger, someone who knows how to cook a fish, fry a chicken and grill a steak they it is all good. Lets see if PoP does a review in six months and see what people think. It reminds me two places in Cleveland/Akron called Quaker Steak and Lube and the Winking Lizard which are a lot of fun and good, basic food.

      • The Winking Lizard! What memories…growing up in suburban Cleveland, I worked at the Lizard 20+ years ago, when they had curley fries.

    • i mean if an appetizer is not inspirational, then why even bother?
      except of course to have a fun place to meet up with friends and neighbors and relax about life.

  • I’m so jealous. I would looooove a place like this in Petworth. Petworth’s Finest???

  • brookland_rez

    Menu looks good to me. Would be nice to see an appetizer menu with buffalo wings or something on it. Other than that, it looks great. I hear the beer menu is going to have local beer too.

  • So excited to have Brookland’s Finest finally open! After the ludicrous and legally questionable treatment that this restaurant received from Steptoe and her cronies on ANC 5B, you can bet that I will be supporting this restaurant every way I can.

  • People in the hood are already “liking” the place even though it hasn’t opened yet. I get this place has a lot of symbolic value to Brooklanders, but it should be judged fairly–after people actually get to experience it. I’m a tough critic admittedly but I’m really hoping for the best for this place. That said, the exterior of this joint is just abysmal. No landscaping, the patio looks like an afterthought, and the front door set up seems like it’s trying hard to not make a good first impression.

    I do like the interior from what I can tell, mainly because they actually have tables–a restaurant concept lost on Menomale.

    I’ll likely go here because there are few options around, but I really hope they live up to their hype, and pricing.

    • is it hype that people are just happy a place is open and pleased that they have hooks under the bar?

    • Wait…when did Menomale get rid of their tables? I always sit at one when I go there…sometimes inside, sometimes outside. Granted, they are few in number, but Menomale is also the size of a shoebox. I credit that to being an experiment of sorts (first non-take-out on this end of 12th), and we’ve talked to the owners and they’ve expressed an interest in expanding since they’ve been so popular. If you agree that expansion would be a good idea, LET THEM KNOW. Simple as that.

  • Popped by this evening, and I was pleased. Everything was tasty, the service was as good as can be expected for opening week at 100% capacity (no notable mistakes, though a slightly-longer-than-average wait for food…I give restaurants some leeway during opening week, but I’d say they met (though did not exceed) my expectations for a restaurant that has been in operation for some time…no doubt they’ll exceed if this is where they’re *starting*), the space was very pleasant (they worked some kind of miracle with noise control, and I could hear my dining companion despite the 110% capacity crowd), and the crowd was a nice reflection of the neighborhood (everyone from young families to friends out together to people easily identifiable as “long-time residents”).

    One thing I will note is that their “sides” serve triple duty…as sides, appetizers, and “bar bites.” THOSE are quite affordable, if you were looking for that “thing” to pop by for when you just want a beer and a snack. 2 will put a good coating on the belly, and set you back $10 or less.

    It was also nice that they were clearly interested in who their patrons were. Our server had some “stock questions” for us like did we live in the neighborhood, how did we hear about them, and how did we travel there. Obviously, Tony and crew know what they’re doing, but noticing that everyone was being asked these questions really drove it home that they want to know their market and truly serve the community well (the statistician in me had a little nerdgasm realizing they were conducting a little informal survey disguised as friendly conversation).

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