Hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays: 11:30-3 p.m.; dinner from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday: brunch only, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Closed Sunday evenings and Mondays.
Atmosphere: a casual neighborhood cafe.
Price Range: Lunch from $2.95 for omelettes. Dinner from $5.50 for fresh fish. Lower-priced sandwich menu. Brunch from $2.95 for eggs.
Credit cards: none.
Special facilities: Street parking. Inside and outside dining. Occasional music.
Finding a casual Sunday restaurant is often a challenge. Brunch is popular in this city, and that often means waiting in long lines for steam-table preparations.
If you're willing to order and entertain the children as the food is being prepared, then the Kalorama Cafe, on 18th Street in the heart of Adams Morgan, is perfect for a Sunday-brunch outing.
It's a very small restaurant with outdoor seating available, depending on weather, crowd and staff assistance.
Indoors, each table is covered with a brightly colored print cloth protected by glass. In this cheerfuly lit and windowed cafe, the effect of the different-colored cloths gives the room stained-glass look.
This is a busy restaurant where one cook and one assistant are preparing the food to order, and then arranging everything. There is just one waitress and one assistant.
Brunch is a fine time to sample modified natural foods. One warning: the menu is limited in entrees and drinks. There are no off-the-record possiblilities, but daily specials are listed on a large blackboard.
Pancakes, waffles, french toast, eggs and omelettes are the categories. Drinks are limited to unfiltered apple juice, coffee or tea (each 60 cents).
After we placed our order and realized the children were never going to last the required 40 minutes, we added a fresh fruit cup for immediate gratification.
The fruit cup, although small, ($1.65) held fresh strawberries, orange slices, banana and apple pieces with a dollop of yogurt dressing. It helped stave off the hungries. When our food did arrive, our son's egg breakfast was missing and had to be re-ordered. That was not how to win friends.
Waffles -- thick, whole-wheat creations served either plain or with whipped cream and strawberries -- make a beautiful plate.
Two young children could easily share this. Honey is available at the table, and maple syrup may be requested. One caution here is that an extra-small container of additional syrup will cost an additional 60 cents. That surely is one efficient way to bring down costs and cut waste.
Our little girl, a waffle lover from way back, enjoyed separating the features by first eating the fruit slices, then the whipped cream, and finally syruping the waffle itself. Even a plain waffle would make a complete meal.
The raisin whole-wheat french toast ($3.25) had a wonderfully sweet taste without syrup or honey.
When our son's eggs arrived, the accompanying home fries unfortunately were large potato chunks that had been rushed out of the kitchen and were not properly cooked. Mine, on the other hand, were part of the restaurant's first batch of the morning, and were perfectly seasoned, browned and cooked. If just wasn't our 9-year-old's day.
My omelette ($3.95) won top honors. From a variety of offerings, I chose the spinach and cream cheese filling, which was perfectly melted and finely sauteed inside a finely seasoned, large omelette.
The two slices of whole-wheat bread that come with egg orders are almost unneccessary, so large are the portions of eggs and potatoes.
Aside from the individual preparation of the food, which means brunch will not be an instant happening, and the lost order, the Kalorama Cafe was a fine way to begin a day. Many people arrive with the Sunday paper and seek out a quiet corner.
The dinner tempura offerings of vegetables, fish or shrimp make the restaurant a perfect place for a second visit. We just need to pick times when everyone is not arriving at once.
Our brunch bill for four, with tax and tip, was $22.12. We even managed to revise the children's feelings about apple juice as an acceptable drink.