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Judging Restaurants – By Popular Demand – Founding Farmers

by Prince Of Petworth May 19, 2009 at 12:30 pm 29 Comments


In yesterday’s judging buildings, folks were already singing the praises of Founding Farmers restaurant. Robyn checked it out back in December. Founding Farmers is located at 1924 Pennsylvania Ave, NW. You can see their menus here. Anyone recommend a particular dish? Any new fans out there?

  • new hampy

    i just discovered founding farmers. loved the friend chicken and waffles i had and we got a cornbread app. which was was tasty and came with a honety butter. but the best was the red velvet cake – huge and scrumptious. many places just can’t seem to get red velvet cake right, but they did. i though food was both appropriately priced and very reasonable. the only complaint is it’s location. there just isn’t much to do around that area so you go to dinner and then leave.

  • Nikki

    Food very good, service horrendous. Every time I have gone there I have had a wonderful meal that took two hours. So it’s fine if you have the time, but twice now I have scheduled lunches there and ended up taking my meal to go because it took so long to get greeted, have an order taken, etc.

  • dani

    Fried green tomatoes are awwesome!

    I’m curious to read others’ experiences here. I’d say this place is hit or miss at best. I’ve been a few times for drinks and apps- and I can say that they do make great apps and have an extensive cocktail menu that is worth the cost. They make all their cocktails by hand, meaning, muddling, grinding, infusing, etc etc.

    I can’t say ANYTHING good about the service. bleh! terrible! its awful. I’ve been at a table of two, where our wine came AFTER THE APP, AFTER OUR ENTREES WERE SERVED. another time, i was with a group of 8, and we had called ahead to get a table. I ordered a cocktail along with the others at the table. Now, handmade drinks for 8 do take a considerable amount of time to make. HOWEVER, the waitress waited until she served everyone else their drinks before telling me that the bar was out of whatever cocktail I chose. Ok no big deal, I order another. SHE NEVER GETS IT TO ME. As a server at fine place such as this, I would have expected her to alert me earlier about my drink and then not wait until everyone orders a second round to even bother to serve it to me.

    I wish it was better, I would like to be able to take people here. Its a good location and the food is (well, expensive) but very good. Its just gamble when I go in there, I never know what to expect.

  • anon

    I went there a few months ago for happy hour – I asked what was in the ‘Blood and Sand,’ but the wandering waitress didn’t know, so I ordered a sample of three mini-pints of beer (chosen from a list of maybe a dozen). They came on a nifty little paddle. It was fun, but I think they had just opened, and their service wasn’t streamlined yet. I’m sure by now everything’s ship shape.

  • Emmaleigh504

    I too loved the red velvet cake, although more icing would have made it better. The ice cream was divine. Oh and my burger was pretty amazing.

    The service was good when I went for supper, very attentive.

  • Anonymous

    I had great food, good service EXCEPT they said it would be a 45 minute wait and I said I’d be at the bar. I sat at the bar in the area closest to the hostess. 45 minutes later I went to check in and they said they’d been looking for me, seated my table three times already. They couldn’t find me because I’d removed my coat! Which was hanging on the back of the bar chair! They never actually tried to use the name I’d given them. No apologies from them either.

  • Jeff

    The Lobster Mac & Cheese is kick butt — and kick-wallet, unfortunately.

  • Nick

    Reasonably priced for what it is. Great food. Great space. Nice concept for a restaurant. Service needs work (this is an ongoing issue).

  • mmm

    The appetizers are delicious and I am happy to make a meal of them. But I find the main courses (almost universally) underseasoned, heavy, and too large in terms of portion. Just not at the standards of the apps, which is weird. The cocktails are tasty…

  • Had lunch the other day. My review is here: http://2bars3stars.com/?p=2292

  • pia

    Overrated, I think.

  • RD

    bacon lollis. om nom

  • eric in ledroit

    for some reason this restaurant group can’t manage to get your food to you while it’s still hot. i’ve had this occur every time I’ve eaten at Agraria and Founding Farmers. I think FF is pretty good, the handmade potato chips with various dips are tasty.

  • Alex

    I love it there. The food is great. And it is not fast food. Be prepared to enjoy your food and conversation.

    Also be prepared to drop a dime. The food is amazing, but it is not for the underemployed or underpaid.

  • ndninthecity

    I’ve been four or five times, and had a reservation 3 of times. Sitting at the bar is always a good time and the cucumber-melon-vodka drink is excellent. the berry juelp uses brandy which i didn’t prefer, but you can’t beat the price their 5 dollar two hearted draft. The sliders are good if your just drinking and hanging out.

    My mom and my aunt were in town two weeks ago and I took them and we had a reservation. We had the fried green tomatoes, the deviled eggs and the cornbread – all amazing and delicious. I had the spinach, blue cheese and apple salad, but it wasn’t made to order – though it was still amazing. My mom got the fried chicken, and being from the Carolinas, found the waffles confusing as well as the fact she couldn’t get dark meat. My friend ordered the fried chicken salad and it came in, to quote my mother, a “cake mixing bowl” that made it entirely difficult to eat. apparently, different food comes from different parts of the restaurant, which explains some of the discrepancies. i had the frisco burger and my aunt got a steak – both tender and cooked correctly. all the food was great, but the waiter never checked on us and when he finally did and asked “is everything ok?” my mom told him emphatically “as a matter of fact, NO everything isn’t ok. WHERE have you BEEN?” i almost died, but she didn’t let up – “is this your first week, sweetheart, because we’ve had our food 15 minutes and i can only assume you thought our orders were correct, cause you never came to verify otherwise.” He was speechless and she chewed him out for another few minutes. He apologized profusely and she just assured him that he better not be hoping to pay his rent with his waiting skills. We still left him a decent tip. I pulled him aside before we left and told him that, while I was sorry he got blindsided by my mom’s blunt statements, he needed to step up his game and despite his shiteous waiting, the food was good.

    That being said, i’ll take their shiteous staff over Jillian Clark’s douchebags ANY day of the week.

  • Nate

    Right about now this is my FAVORITE restaurant. BY FAR! I was there a week or so ago. I saw a guy eating a grilled cheese sandwich that looked delicious. Everything there seems to look and taste so good!

  • Kalorini

    Founding Farmers is the one and only blacklisted restaurant on the DC Brunch Club’s website: http://dcbrunchclub.com/2009/02/09/founding-farmers-fails-first-impression.aspx

    While I haven’t been for brunch, I have been for dinner and was disappointed with pretty much everything! I will say the wine was nice, despite its small portion, and the atmosphere was killer–I just wish their food & service was decent!

  • Anonymous

    Fried Chicken and Waffles are fantastic. Red Velvet cake was also good. Highly recommended. And don’t be stupid enough to go there for a business lunch. It’s a restaurant, so of course it’s going to take a little longer.

  • Anonymous

    jerk offs like ndninthecity are the reason why servers in this city are so bitter.

    if you’re going to complain, then just don’t effing go!

  • Jim

    IMHO, overrated and overpriced.

  • Victoriam

    ndninthecity – I love your mom! Good waiters love your mom. Only bad waiters are bitter.

  • the totten.

    agree with most of the sentiment here – the food is really great (love the deviled eggs app for FOUR bux – you get like 8 whole eggs! – and the chicken & waffles), but it’s waaaay out of the way from everything else – it has to be your destination for the entire evening…. which is good because the SERVICE IS ABSOLUTELY ATTROCIOUS and it will take you all night to get the hell out of there!

    I’ve been 3 times and would go back more, but i won’t make the effort to get down there knowing that the service will blow. I’m sure i’ll go again sometime, though.

  • KK

    I went a few months ago with my parents when they were in town and I have to agree with what everyone said. The service was pretty bad and the food was good. The couple next to us who were seated well after us were able to order and get their food before us – very frustrating. It was taking so long and we were getting annoyed. Luckily at some point, the manager came out and apologized to us and gave us 50% off of everything including drinks. The food was delicious though and my parents do want to go back next time they’re in town even with the bad service.

  • Oh, forget it!!! I’ve been twice, once with reservations and once we waited for a bar seat, and I would have to say the food is average at best. The service is awful, and it’s too darn loud! They claim to have local food, but how can they serve a decent tomato salad in May? Just doesn’t make sense. People think I’m nuts, but dollar for dollar Ebbitt has them beat every time.

  • El Gringo

    Food is pretty good, although it is definitely in obesity-inducing portions…and I too had CRAP service.

    It was a Wednesday night…and we had to get water from a random waitress and ask for our check from a busser who was checking our table more frequently than our waiter (i.e. twice). The waiter took our order and was never seen again until he dropped the check… Normally I am really patient with busy waiters, but this dude was just a total space case…

  • alaaro

    i work nearby and go all the time. It’s fantastic. Good dishes – burgers, fried chicken salad, squash ravioli, devilled eggs.

  • Decent food served by idiots. Aren’t we pretty much used to this by now? I’ll stick with edible food served by someone who knows WTF they’re doing.

  • MJS2000

    Their brunch is spectacular! Best pancakes ever with warm, cinnamon-infused maple syrup will you have you singing Founding Farmers’ praises. And as someone who has actually lived in the south, their red velvet cake is to die for.

  • JB

    Been a few times. Here’s the lowdown:
    Food is great. Service is borderline unacceptable. Drinks are awesome. Blood and Sand is the best drink in the city (and the ingredients are OJ, scotch, cherry heering, and sweet vermouth).


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