José Andrés’ latest version of America Eats Tavern — the chef’s barbecue-themed tribute to the evolution of American cooking — opened earlier this month in the shuttered Old Glory space. The latest iteration of his historically themed pop-up features grilled fare, raw seafood, wines, cheeses, beers, and other ingredients plucked from the Mid-Atlantic region.
Thinkfoodgroup’s newest 193-seat restaurant (3139 M Street NW) is the third home for America Eats Tavern, which originated as a colloaboration with the National Archives inside the former Cafe Atlantico space back in 2011. It later migrated to the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner.
The revamp of the recently shuttered Old Glory from Studio for Architecture and Interiors polishes up the 26-year-old restaurant with shiny bronze bar tables, modern lighting fixtures, brown leather seating, and bright geometric tiling.
Read on to hear what the public is saying, a few weeks into service:
The Better Off Elsewhere News: Facebook user Alexander Miltenberger says, “This restaurant did not feel like one of [José Andrés] restaurants. Go here if you want a slightly above average piece of meat and beer that you might have to wait awhile to get. Spend your time at another Andrés restaurant that has a tasting menu.” Yelper Julie C., who says she has been to many Andrés restaurants, reports “This was my least favorite. The menu was a little limiting, but the pork ribs and brisket had a good smokehouse flavor.” Google reviewer Jacqueline Harmon “waited 45 minutes before our food was delivered ... the food was not worth waiting for.” [Facebook, Yelp]
The Meaty Main Event News: Yelper Cham K. says the giant beef rib “was as big as my face [and] extremely soft and tender. Every bite was melt in your mouth and I’m not just saying that to sound overly impressive; it was euphoric.” Yelper Brad E. says America Eats has “some of the best BBQ in D.C. Had the brisket sandwich which was amazing. The meat was excellent, and coleslaw on top was very good as well.” [Yelp]
The Mixed Bag News: Yelper Adam H. writes “the food was tasty, though not outstanding ... the hush puppies [were] admittedly yummy ... the burger was satisfying but not surprising.” And Halah A. says “the Brussels sprouts are soooo good! The shrimp and grapefruit was good, the tuna crudo and the crab cakes were OK but not amazing or special. The catfish wasn’t that great. All in all it was an enjoyable experience and the service was good.” TripAdvisor reviewer kaj2600 says “there is a disconnect between the server and the bar — it took FOREVER to get a glass of wine, every time we ordered one or two. Beyond the [Brussels sprouts and fried okra] the food is OK. No standouts.” [Yelp, Trip Advisor]
The Greatest Hits News: Yelper Chloe O. says “to start, you’ll definitely want to try the skillet cornbread. It’s so fresh ... warm and delicious” and the shrimp and grits “was nicely priced at $16 and is well worth it.” TripAdvisor’s Kenneth S. noted the “very creative appetizers, main courses and unbelievable desserts.” [Yelp, TripAdvisor]
The Booze News: Yelper Tiffany W. was “sad to see Old Glory go but still stopped in to have drinks on the patio Friday night. Still love the atmosphere there. I asked for Titos vodka in my cocktail and was told Titos was only served at the downstairs bar.” Google reviewer Taunja Pegues says the Stone Fence 12 cocktail with Appleton Rum, St Germain, cider, and Angostura bitters “will cool you down on a hot summer day. Amazing staff and bourbon/whiskey selection.” [Yelp, Google]
The Ask For These Folks News: Facebooker Greg Espinal notes that restaurant offers “great food, perfect for kids. Samuel our server was very attentive. Try the tartar!” And Kylie Carr commented about “fantastic food & service this evening. Thank you to our knowledgeable staff especially Michael.” And Yelper Demarcus D. says “our server Sean B., was very attentive, informative, and friendly. He made us feel as if we were a guest in his home.” [Facebook, Yelp]