Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cafe St-Ex

I dropped by my friend Bill's house to visit with him, his mother (visiting from Boston) and his toddling daughter Eileen. After some pleasantries, we ventured around the corner to Cafe St-Ex, one of my favorite little places in DC.

We were seated promptly at an outside table, which proved to be a mixed blessing as it was early (6:30) and still quite warm. We all anxiously awaited the moment when the sun dropped behind a nearby apartment building.

The restaurant quickly filled up. We were there to catch up and keeping Eileen reasonably close to the table (she has recently become proficient at walking and is happily exercising this new power) took precedence over food and drink. Nonetheless, we had a very pleasant meal.

We started with a shared appetizer of "chicken confit sliders" which was perhaps the least successful dish I have ever had at this restaurant. There is probably a reason why I have never seen chicken confit anywhere else as I think it is just too insubstantial to stand up to whatever treatment it received. What we got was two small buns smeared with a chickeny paste which was more or less the exact consistency of tuna salad. Not bad, but not good, and distinctly odd.

Main courses were more successful. Bill and mother Jean had the burgers which were as good as always. I briefly pined for one but was very happy with my choice, a fried green tomato BLT which was both delicious and relatively light, given the heat, and accompanied by tasty sweet potato fries. (The regular fries that came with the burgers were also excellent).

With dinner, and before, I had a couple of Unibroue Maudite beers. I mourn the disappearance of Delirium Tremens from the draft beer menu here and hope the management will restore it (it is still on the bottled beer menu, at a staggering $24 per 750 ml bottle). However the Maudite was an excellent substitute, a bit darker than DT but with the same quality and overall taste. Bill had some sort of nondescript lager and Jean had a G&T, neither worthy of special note.

Cafe St Ex remains one of those great local places that makes me wish I still lived closer.

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