I am a self-diagnosed brunch addict (much to Mr. J's chagrin because he hates brunch). I'm always in search of new brunch places, particularly for when out-of-town friends are visiting (if any Washingtonians have any suggestions, please provide!). Fairly recently, I tried out Billy Martin's Tavern in Georgetown on two occasions for brunch. Martin's Tavern is a tried and true restaurant located at the corner of Wisconsin and N Streets and celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. Known for being steeped in DC history and being a Georgetown staple, I had been meaning to try it for quite awhile. Particularly well-known are their booths -- my favorite spot to sit -- although a bit on the tight side, these dark brown wooden booths have seen much history. My favorite booth is Booth #3 -- where JFK proposed to Jackie Kennedy -- I love telling that story to any guests in town!
Martin's Tavern serves up a good, hardy breakfast (plus an assortment of lunch options for those of you who don't want eggs after 10 am), for reasonable (for Georgetown...and DC) prices. Often crowded, arrive early-ish or reserve a spot -- plus seating outdoors during the warmer months!
The first time I came to Martin's Tavern, I had their corned beef hash with poached eggs (mmmm, drool), but this time around, I wanted something a little bit more...decadent. I had eyed this cheese covered, creamy rarebit sauce slathered dish the last time I was there, and decided to go for it -- the HOT BROWN (see above) ... Sliced roasted turkey on toast smothered in their homemade rarebit sauce topped with sliced tomato, parmesan cheese and bacon ... all broiled together in a skillet. (For you foodie-philes, hot browns are open faced sandwiches that originated at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in 1926. It was created to serve as an alternative to ham and egg late night suppers... thank you Wiki).
If you're a poached egg fan, this is the place for you, with at least five different poached egg possibilities. Although it's not listed on the website, there is an additional brunch menu, that includes a eggs benedict with avocado (one of my faves) and I believe crab meat (oh the Marylander in me...). Don't like poached eggs? No worries, most of the egg dishes allow you to pick how you want your eggs cooked.
My friends got some pretty delicious dishes too. Check out the "Tavern Treat" -- Sautéed jumbo lump crabmeat and sliced mushrooms over an English muffin and topped with Hollandaise sauce served with french fries" and the french toast.
And no brunch would be complete without the proper beverage. I happily tried a pomegranate mimosa -- instead of OJ, pom juice with champagne. Not only a beautiful color, but fabulous tasting. Hope that you found brunch here as tasty I did.
Billy Martin's Tavern
1264 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007