Churchkey – Washington, DC
1337 14th Street
So a Canadian, a Texan, a Colorodan, and a native Virginian walk into a bar…
Nope, not the opening line of some tacky joke but what happened on my summertime visit to the Churchkey gastropub in the funky neighborhood of Logan Circle, that I grew to love during my time in America’s capital city. In desperate need of some shelter from the sweltering heat, along with some food and liquid sustenance, the four of us ducked into this two floor establishment well before the big rush of customers came not too long after the sun went down.
The burly fellow who was checking ID’s at the door gruffly noted they didn’t have a happy hour (or at least when we entered). Alas, that didn’t stop our crew from going inside, as one member had heard this place had a wicked beer selection. Now if you’ve been following along lately, you’ll probably remember that I’ve cut back my consumption of this popular adult summer season liquid, but this day was an exception. Why is it that the hotter the weather, the stronger my craving for ice cold beer becomes?
With booths and long tables among the choices of seating, we opted for one of the end tables closer to the window, with high stools to sit on. Our server was clearly confident in his beer knowledge and openly advised on our choices, after carefully diagnosing our likes and dislikes or mood of the day when it came to our first beer order. I found that a nice touch, something I didn’t experience at another reputed beer bar in Toronto that I visited earlier this spring.
The brews themselves were listed with an array of details, and split out by general categories as well as subcategories in each. For example, the “Crisp” listings were further split out in those they called “Delicate Fruit” and “Malt Accented”. And each listing had notes besides the beer name, which were the brewer, style of beer, country of origin, alcohol percentage and even serving temperature! The value is in the details, and they sure did up their beer menu well I thought.
The food menu was seemingly traditional but with some twists. Their smaller appetizers (which was our choice since we were going elsewhere for dinner later) had items like the baked potato croquettes served with a broccoli sour cream, an orange/fried wonton/sesame/almond salad which they called a “Crispy Asian Salad”. Burgers and BBQ were also noted. I can’t recall now fully our various small plates aside from this one shot I took of the humorously named Disco Fries. A nice crisp texture and yes, that’s cheddar cheese and sausage gravy on top!
A few rounds passed and some more members of our dinner party arrived. After hemming and hawing over other choices in the area, we just got more drinks, and made our way in some taxis some blocks away to our dinner destination, which was absolutely fantastic and will be reported on here in the coming days. As we departed Churchkey, the place was absolutely jam packed! It definitely felt it must be a hot spot in town these days, judging from the slightly upscale and younger crowd that populated the many chairs and having a good time. When I’m back in DC, I’ll surely come back and check out more of the food here…