Table talk: 47,000 farmers helped make this brunch
Farm-to-table Farmers & Distillers is one of the hottest, award-winning restaurants in Washington DC. We bring our eating pants and test out its weekend brunch.
Tue 23 May 2017
With Wayfarer sunglasses poking out his waistcoat pocket and his hair scraped back in a man bun, a 25-year-old hipster-looking George Washington looks right at home in Farmers and Distillers.
This award-winning Washington DC restaurant, bar and distillery has a specially commissioned portrait of what the USA’s founding father would look like as a millennial hanging on the wall overlooking patrons as they sip on iced teas and cocktails over brunch. The restaurant reckons that Washington’s farming spirit is present in all it does – which is a lot – from making its own booze to promoting the real farmers who grow and produce its ingredients.
Weekends see it offer a brunch buffet for a fixed price with live cooking stations, a selection of international cuisine and tops of it with Homer Simpson’s dream - a donut station (proving do good doesn’t have to be good for you).
There’s something for everyone, ranging from traditional breakfast foods (including our favourite eggs Benedict) to a Chinese station which pays homage to the restaurant's Chinatown neighbours. There’s also a cold table with grapefruit and salads and a carving station with locally reared chicken, beef and salmon. A dessert counter features a range of homemade donuts, trifles and breakfast breads.
Hangovers will be eased by the huge amount of comfort food, think mac and cheese, pizza, sweet potatoes, meatballs and chilli (all grown organically and created onsite) or you can indulge in one of the bar’s seasonal cocktails.
Included in the brunch price comes drip coffee, iced tea and farmers’ tea. Brunch cocktails and other soft drinks are available for an additional charge. There’s a good choice of fresh blended juices like the Roger Rabbit – apple, pear, lemon and carrot or spicy lemonade which has a turmeric kick.
On a Sunday morning there’s a mix of out-of-towners along with local families, big groups of friends and yummy mummies. Although it’s busy, it doesn’t feel overcrowded and you can eat, drink and chat without feeling that the staff are waiting for you to clear out.
The sustainability bit
Restaurateurs Mike Vucurevich and Dan Simons are behind Farmers and Distillers, along with more than 47,000 farmers that make up North Dakota Farmers Union.
The restaurant aims to ‘unbundle the industrial food chain and take it back to our roots: family farms and natural products’. It wants customers to know that what is on their plate has been farmed by a real person.
Wherever possible items are sourced from scratch and the restaurant bakes its own bread and churns its own butter.
Its commitment to a greener environment is evident in various elements of the restaurant – there’s a filtered water system which helps them say no to plastic bottles and it has also pursued the LEED certification (for buildings which use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse emissions) and Green Restaurant Certification.
When to visit
Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 9am until 2pm. However the restaurant is open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Booking is advised.