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

by Prince Of Petworth June 5, 2014 at 11:15 am 66 Comments

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.
















  • kbloomingdale

    Outlets under the bar for phone chargers? Genius.

    • Anomyous-est

      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!!!

  • dcreal

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

    • hahaha good eye – it’s going to be filled with work from local artists.

  • Anonymous

    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.

    • timmyp

      +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.

      • JD

        Outrageous, especially since it’s free to open and run a restaurant!!!


    • Nope

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

      • Anonymous

        it’s not like it will hurt their business.
        not enough people would be willing to not go to make a point.

      • Eponymous

        Nope. It’s called fast food. There’s a Potbelly’s, Chipotle, and &Pizza within about a 10 min walk from there.

        • Mintwood


          • Anonymous

            how does that get a plus 1?

        • Anonymous

          +1! sandwiches at potbelly are up to $7 and a pizza is nearly $9 at &pizza… eating out is NOT the same cost as buying the food at the grocery store.

          • Whenever I get a sandwich from Potbelly it’s $5.50 with tax. What are you ordering?

      • Mintwood

        A meal as in a burger, fries and a beer?

        I’m pretty sure you can’t even do that at McDonalds!

        The Blaguard is my neighborhood spot and it’s usually $20 with tax and tip

        • ClevelandDave

          Mint, it is called an extra value meal and it is about five or six dollars with a coke instead of a beer.

    • sizz

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

    • Frogbeaver

      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.

    • Anonymous

      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.

      • Anonymous

        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).

        • Anonymous

          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.

          • hiphop anonymous

            Would you rather them be serving $2 Schlitz and Bud Ice? 10 cent grab and go wings?

          • Anonymous

            What? Not following you, hiphop.

    • anonymous

      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.

      • Anonymous

        +1. I don’t get why people are complaining.

        • It’s the Internet. Complaining is what people DO.

          • Anonymous

            its just frustration at the cost of things. consider yourself lucky if its not a problem. the rest of us are not in the same position.

    • Colhi

      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.

      • Petworth dude

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

      • hma

        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?

        • average

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • KKS

    OMG this menu looks awesome!!! So excited!

  • hma

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

    • Bartender

      It’s because we’re all sick of having to charge your phone for you!

      • Anonymous

        good to face reality.

  • TropicBird

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

  • AnonInBrookland

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

  • Anonymous

    This is great news!

  • Anonymous

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

    • Anonymous

      +1 Lol

    • Anonymous


    • dcdude

      With an extra dash of bitters…

    • Petworth dude

      How about the Steptoe Sour?

      • Eponymous


  • Frank

    CUA college students please stay away so I can have this place all to myself :)

    • Petworth dude

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

      • CUA Alum

        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.

  • Anonymous

    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!

  • average

    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.

    • Anonymous

      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.

    • Anonymous

      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.

      • average

        looks more like a restaurant than a bar.

        boundary stone is a bar.

        • Anonymous

          but it’s 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.

      • EckingtonProud

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

    • Anonymous

      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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • LLG

    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.

  • Mark

    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.

    • Anonymous

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

    • JoDa

      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.

  • JoDa

    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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