Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

A Taste of a Decadent Sunday

COURTESY YIWEN HU Eggs Benedict at Tabard Inn Restaurant
Eggs Benedict at Tabard Inn Restaurant

During my adventurous — but admittedly rather crazy ‚ summer last year I spent over four months in Shanghai where I visited over 230 restaurants. But despite tasting a wide variety of culinary delights, both in Shanghai and D.C. there is only one dish that acts as the momentum to get me out of bed on a Sunday before noon to indulge in a delicious brunch: Eggs Benedict.

For those who have yet to taste this marvelous dish, a classic eggs Benedict is composed of half an English muffin, on which sits a slice of Canadian bacon and a poached egg; it is then finished with a splatter of Hollandaise sauce.

Whereas back home, I struggled to find a place that offers this addictive brunch classic, here in D.C., eggs Benedict is a common brunch item. Oftentimes, it comes with different options of variations, which replace the English muffin and Canadian bacon with substitutes; the poached egg and the Hollandaise sauce always remain — a clear proof of the essential role they play in this dish.

To guide my fellow foodies to the “yum” Bennies and avoid the “meh” ones, I have compiled a brief review of the most popular eggs Benedicts destinations in D.C.

From the Benedicts themselves to the side breakfast potatoes, the dish served at the much-loved Clyde’s (3226 M St NW) looked anything but appealing. Little care was given to either the look of the poached eggs or that of the potatoes: the former with an irregular shape and the latter with a flattened form.

A bit discouraged by its presentation, I was rather skeptical about the dish and half suspected that the egg would be more cooked than runny. However, as I cut the Benedict in half, I was pleasantly surprised to see the yolk ooze out onto the plate, mingling with the Hollandaise sauce. Dipping the piece with more Hollandaise sauce, I took the first bite and was immediately rewarded by a perfect harmony of different layers of flavors and textures. The slight chewiness of the muffin base and the right degree of saltiness of the Canadian bacon, complemented by the rich mixture of yolk and Hollandaise gave an unquestionable “yum” to the classic Benny at Clyde’s.

Just a reminder: Do not skip the flatly shaped breakfast potatoes.

Cafe Deluxe (3228 Wisconsin Ave., NW) offers a more Americanized rendition of eggs Benny by replacing the classic English muffin with a slice of sourdough toast. Although I hadn’t favored this substitution when I tried it in Shanghai, I placed an order for a Crab Benedict, hoping for a shift from previous mediocre tasting experiences. To my disappointment, I was once again let down.

The crab cakes were enjoyably flavorful, but the essence of an eggs Benedict — that is, the poached egg and the Hollandaise — failed to impress. The egg had been a little overcooked, rendering it less runnier than it should have been. Moreover, the Hollandaise, lacking the thickness or creaminess, had a drab taste.

At the Tabard Inn Restaurant (1739 N St NW), the dish came with a side of breakfast potatoes, which I found to be merely okay. The Bennies, on the other hand, were spectacular.

Instead of the traditional English muffin, a crispier bread — which has a name that eludes me — was used as the base of the Bennies. The Canadian bacon was replaced by the house-made tasso ham, which, despite its smoky taste, took on an ideal degree of saltiness. Every part of the Benedict was executed to perfection, which made me crave for more right after I finished the last delicious piece.

Delicious as the Bennies were, the complimentary bread and the freshly fried donuts were equally memorable. It is no wonder so many deem this place the best brunch spot in D.C.

Yes, I love pancakes and French toast for a weekday breakfast. But for Sundays, I will always long for the creamy texture and heavenly taste of eggs Benedict. An occasional decadent treat never hurts; it is a Sunday, after all.

Yiwen Hu is a rising sophomore in the School of Foreign Service. Tastes of the District appears every other Wednesday at

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