If the stereotypical New Yorker is loud and rude, what’s the stereotype of someone from Washington, D.C.? If the first D.C. Grub Match is any indication, that person is driven, discerning and a model of good taste. Also, a tall, skinny white female whose name begins with M. And so it was that I found myself deep in the heart of Alexandria with Martha, Mignon and Margaret as they prepared to fight it out for the title.
Round 1: Lyon Hall (Martha’s pick)
Things got off to a smooth start with high praise of the food at Lyon Hall. The word “amazing” was used liberally to describe everything from the sausage to the spaetzle. Though the menu is rife with pork products, even our vegetarian contender Mignon found plenty to like at Lyon Hall, particularly the happy hour specials like the warm pretzels with three different dipping sauces and the pickled vegetables that change weekly.
Margaret did find a few weak spots on the menu, however: “When it came to the cassoulet I was a little disappointed because they didn’t cook it all together, they put some stuff on the side…the whole point is that everything is mixed and delicious together.” Also, she felt that the dessert selection didn’t live up to the high standard set by the savory dishes. Even so, Lyon Hall managed to dodge any serious punches during this round.
Interlude: Vince makes a guerilla grab for the title.
Here’s another difference between a New York Grub Match and the D.C. version: in NYC we make do with beer at a bar, while in D.C., Vince, Martha’s paramour, makes a seriously bitchin’ brunch for everyone. He actually baked loaves of brioche two days beforehand for the express purpose of making it into French toast topped with berries and freshly whipped cream. Which begged the question: was he trying to upend Grub Match by being some sort of dark horse candidate? Things just got interesting. Continue reading