Monday, June 22, 2009

Review: Founding Farmers

I had dinner with friends Saturday evening at Founding Farmers, which is located in downtown Washington. Here is my overview.

Overall, the food was excellent. The highlight of our meal was the appetizers that we shared -- skillet cornbread, brown-sugared bacon on a mini-skewer, and (believe it or not) deviled eggs. Each was superb. If you haven't already figured it out, "comfort food" is what Founding Farmers is about.

Sandwiches are sizable, and they are a good option for those with a medium appetite.

The wine list is economical. Twenty Bench, one of my favorite CabSavs, is on their list for $40. That's fairly reasonable for a restaurant wine list.

The other thing that stood out for this restaurant was the space. Very pleasant, nice decor and plenty of ambient light. And you can feel good about the fact that the design and architecture has been certified "green."

Now, let me share a few less-than-glittering elements. It took them almost 15 minutes to bring our cocktails to the table. My salmon on a plank was just so-so and probably should have been removed from the grill a minute or two earlier. Don't bother with the "fresh cut" French fries; how they are cut doesn't matter nearly as much as what oil they are fried in and what temp the oil is.

All in all, some things flopped, but most of our meal was quite enjoyable. I will be back to Founding Farmers. If I have a worry about this restaurant, it's the menu -- much too large, I fear, for a chef de cuisine to maintain oversight and quality control.
The owners of FF also need to ditch the freestanding sign that's out front -- it looks almost identical to signs that are outside of Cosi coffee-sandwich bars. And that probably makes pedestrians assume that FF is a takeaway sandwich shop-bar.

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