Editors' pick

GBD

American, Chicken, Donuts
$$$$ ($15-$24)
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Editorial Review

2013 Fall Dining Guide

2013 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
October 10, 2013

The letters stand for Golden Brown Delicious, three words that apply to two hot dishes here: fried chicken and doughnuts. Lunch finds this fan in line for a juicy thigh and a drumstick, served with a fluffy warm biscuit and a choice of sides: chunky potato salad mixed with tangy yogurt some days, chickpeas tossed with feta and tomato another. Nights deliver a slightly expanded menu, with "big plates" of fish and chips and chicken-fried steak.

Regardless of the time, I seldom leave without a doughnut or three, offered in such fun flavors as Campari and grapefruit or the new Dough-reo dusted with Oreo crumbs (and better than it sounds).

Place your order at a counter up front, then admire the whimsy of the room as you wait to hear your name called. Lighting up the joint are fryer baskets repurposed as lights; the dimples in the metal chairs suggest doughnut holes.

Credit for the savory side goes to chef Kyle Bailey of sister restaurant Birch & Barley in Logan Circle; the sweet stuff comes from his wife, pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac. May their trends live on.

Early look

Breakfast: There are 11 doughnut varieties by pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac, many incorporating seasonal ingredients. They'll be starting out with flavors like Key lime curd-filled brioche, bourbon-butterscotch glazed brioche topped with bacon, grapefruit-Campari old fashioned, and honey peanuts and salt. Another breakfast option will be a fried chicken biscuit that comes on a sweet potato roll. Madcap Coffee will provide the morning brew. Lunch: Fried chicken lunch boxes will be offered beginning at 11 a.m. You can opt for white meat "tendies" or a dark meat thigh and drumstick, and each comes with a biscuit, a sauce and a side. Sides will include pimento macaroni and cheese, creamed kale, snap peas and kohlrabi slaw. Chef Kyle Bailey has created at least eight dipping sauces for the chicken, from a chipotle-barbeque to a take on D.C.’s own mumbo sauce. A menu option called "Sauce Town" will let you try them all at once. If all of the fried food is a little too heavy for you, there’s also a salad option in the works. Dinner: Adding on to the lunchtime offerings, dinner choices include chicken fried skate (a play on fish and chips) and chicken-fried steak. The infamously caloric Luther sandwich from Birch and Barley will also be on the menu. Snacks, like wings and fries, are geared toward those who come by for a late-night drink, but there will also be some adventurous small bites, like fried gizzards and pickled eggs. The dinner menu will be available beginning April 10. Drinks: Expect 19 drafts, one cask ale and four wines on tap. The cocktail menu (designed by Room 11's Dan Searing) will be focused on punch served in vintage containers that are so cool, PR director Megan Bailey says she fears they will be stolen. So, as if it even needs to be said: Don’t steal the punch jars. --Maura Judkis (April 2, 2013)