When the majority of Americans imagine all of the components that come together to produce the perfect steak, they simultaneously cringe when they imagine how deep in their wallets they will have to dig in order to get it.
Lucky enough for them, there are restaurants like D.C.’s Medium Rare that serve up some of the city’s best cuts at prices that won’t empty the piggy bank.
This hidden gem features menu classics like steak frites (we will explain these later) and french toast with artisanal sausage, to more modernized dishes such as steak benedict and egg frites with sausage.
For those of you that don’t know what steak frites are, let us change your lives.
Widely known as “steak and fries”, frites is a very popular French dish that is served at Brasseries throughout Europe. In fact, across the pond, finding a steak not accompanied by a mountain of fries and a cold pint of beer is unthinkable (and we think they are onto something).
While most of us don’t have the time or the luxury of jetting halfway around the world to find authentic steak frites, we sure are glad that two best friends and fellow restaurantiers brought them to the heart of the nation’s capitol in March 2011.
Each Saturday and Sunday, Medium Rare offers an extensive, three-course brunch menu in both its Cleveland Park and Capitol Hill locations.
Before we indulge in our frites foodie adventure, let us go ahead and discuss the one component of brunch that we can all agree is the most important: bottomless drinks!
As most D.C. brunch establishments that offer a bottomless option require patrons to stick to one type of drink, Medium Rare allows diners to switch things up (which can be dangerous or fun depending on how you like to roll).
Want to start your brunch off with something a bit more tame? Have a mimosa.
Feeling spicy? Have a Bloody Mary.
And if you really want to kick things up a notch, order a screwdriver (heads-up it comes in a BIG glass!) We had 5 each so trust us, we know from experience.
For the non-alcohol drinkers, there’s endless tea and coffee options, too.
For our first course, we devoured an entire basket of freshly-baked artisanal bread smeared with mounds of cold, creamy butter (medium rare includes this bread basket in the cost of the brunch, fyi).
For our second course, we chose to lighten things up a bit and ordered the vanilla yogurt parfait with dried fruit and granola.
The sweetness and crunch of the dried fruit and granola was the perfect paring with the tangy, thick yogurt. One thing we should make clear: Medium Rare doesn’t skimp when it comes to portion size! If you come hungry, you will leave full (possibly after the bread basket), but don’t let that stop you!
For our entrees, we chose the steak frites and the steak benedict with egg frites which both came out piping hot and smothered in Medium Rare’s signature “secret sauce” in a matter of minutes. The steak was rich, flavorful, and the perfect consistency.
One of the worst kitchen crimes that a chef can commit is over or under-cooking a perfectly good steak. You won’t find any of that nonsense at Medium Rare!
After completely licking our plates clean, the gracious staff continued to supply us with screwdrivers for the next hour without hesitation. In light of this, it was so surprise that our sneaky yet oh-so-wonderful waiter surprised us with a giant, silky-smooth, 5-layer slice of red velvet cake. The slice had the perfect amount of heavenly cream cheese frosting, and each bite included both moist cake and crunchy chocolate pearls.
After bringing out one last round of drinks (this time a mimosa and a beer because we could switch it up like that!) we stuck around to chat and enjoy the lively atmosphere while coming down from our sugar high (and a bit too many screwdrivers…)
With our bellies and hearts full, we headed home to take a much needed nap, and fell asleep to the sweet dreams of the next time we could get our hands on Medium Rare’s juicy steak.
For affordable, quality food, positive and helpful staff, and a lively atmosphere, check out Medium Rare for your next mid-week pick-me-up or weekend brunch. (Don’t forget to mention we sent you!).