Tallula is a pretty solid place to take people for brunch. It's close by, relatively inexpensive,they have funky foamy outdoor seating (red foam square ottomans!), and the inside is an eye-pleaser, too. And unlike Central, there are soap dispenser holders so I don't have a label staring at me (shame, shame). Best of all, they serve Illy coffee, and when the service is good (it's somewhat inconsistent), I always have a full glass of iced java to start my day.

I've never eaten dinner at Tallula or it's connected neighbor, EatBar (which they describe as a "gastropub," Euro style!). What I do there is this: I brunch. I brunch with friends, family, or alone with J. On a nice weekend day, I'd probably go there alone with the newspaper.

The online menu has a few more things than are actually available, it probably changes with the season. Tallula's French toast is exactly what it should be, cinnamony and moist. A more sandwichy choices is the fried egg BLT, with nicely crisped bacon and an interesting balance of flavor--that fried egg rounds out the traditional BLT lunch. The ricotta pancakes (with bourbon, bananas, and walnut syrup) are delicious, but it would be a good idea to order the syrup on the side. The most recent serving I saw was doused, much to our dismay! I personally enjoy the pancakes, but they are almost like a dessert--very sweet, and after a few bites you want something else! I love when a friend orders them so I can just have a taste.

My FAVORITE thing to get is an 3-egg (white) omelet, which I fill with goat cheese. I wish spinach was an option, but you could get mushrooms, peppers, bacon, or cheddar, all at no extra cost. An omelet with the works would be a LOT of food! The "home fries" are actually more like roasted potatoes--delicious, but with a deceiving name! If you aren't feeling breakfasty, the burger or grilled hangar steak salad are for you.

For side dishes, I like the creamy cheddar grits and the buttermilk biscuits with gravy.

The downside of Tallula has been the spotty service. Our very first visit was great, with glasses being kept full and smiles on our faces. The next visit was a little less attentive, and we found ourselves a little thirsty while sitting outside in the heat! But, I've never had an issue with the food quality/heat/timing, and they even remember who got what at the table (even in a group of 6!). I don't rate a restaurant badly for handing me my pal's dish, but I feel extra special when they are placed as they should be.

Going on a trip to NYC soon, maybe I'll throw in a Time Out: NY, like the Boston post, for any of you travelers...

2761 Washington Blvd
Metro: Orange Line to Clarendon

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