The wife and I were both busy during the official D.C. Restaurant Week two weeks ago, but several area eateries were still offering the standard $35 three-course showcase meals. Among them was Del Frisco’s Grille at Penn Quarter, which bills itself as an “upscale American bar and grill.” Like famished piranha, we bit.
There are seven locations nationwide including the one in Penn Quarter, which is a soccer hooligan’s rock throw away from Elephant & Castle on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street NW. We settled into a table in the shaded patio and sipped pinot noir while watching D.C.’s shitty drivers earn their reputations this comfortably warm Thursday night.
We started with a four-pack of cheesesteak egg rolls (remnants pictured above), which came with a sweet chili sauce. The wife thought the sweetness didn’t gibe with the cheese-slathered savory filling. I thought it made as much sense as chicken and waffles or a McDonald’s McGriddle.
The wife had a lamb burger with sweet potato fries, while I had a mesquite-smoked pork chops with grits. The burger was good and reminded both of us of a gyro, which of course it was – the only difference being the lamb was served on a toasted bun instead of a pita.
My fear when ordering pork is that it’s grilled or cooked until bone dry and tasteless, but this slab of pig was delicious – juicy with just the right hint of mesquite. The grits were creamy and tasty, not lumpy or watery (which I’ve suffered through in past grits experiences in, of all places, North Carolina), and were the perfect complement to the protein.
Our hostess and server were both great – responsive, skilled and cordial, like a kid trying to make the final cut this football season. Overall, I’d recommend Del Frisco’s to anyone who wants to have an after-work drink and appetizers if you happen to be in Penn Quarter. The area isn’t exactly convenient for a happy hour or quick bite for either of us (too far from the Hill, Barracks Row or Arlington).
For dessert, we forgot to take a picture of the very pedestrian berries and sweet cream, so let’s enjoy Kelis’ “Milkshake” together.