1324 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005 | Cuisine: Belgian | $$ | ★★★★★
A place for adventurous and traditionalist Georgetown brunchgoers alike, B Too offers a plethora of equally enticing brunch classics with fresh ingredients and time-honored brunch food with a Belgian twist.
Nestled on 14th Street right outside Logan Circle, B Too opened in May 2013 as the second Belgian restaurant owned and run by Bart Vandaele, a chef and Belgium native. B Too offers high-quality, well-prepared food, complete with fresh ingredients and reasonable prices. The food is well-balanced: It avoids the traps of excessive saltiness or sweetness, to which many restaurants often succumb. The extensive and alluring menu options make picking just one item tough.
Vandaele comes from an extensive background in European cuisine, which includes working at Michelin-starred restaurants in Belgium, as well as being a contestant on Bravo’s 10th season of Top Chef. He also served as the executive chef to the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. Vandaele’s vast and varied experience shines through in his B Too creations.
B Too is situated on the historic 14th Street in Washington, D.C., a prime location for families, tourists, students and locals alike. This diversity is reflected in the clientele at Sunday brunch; the mixed crowd of customers from all parts of the city and the world augments the dining experience. The upstairs portion of the restaurant is filled with natural light, accentuating the walls adorned with cowhides and assorted trinkets — including a mini saxophone. A bar sits adjacent, intended for more casual seating, as well as outdoor seating for perfect D.C. spring days. The downstairs section exhibits the same rustic charm, with wood-paneled walls and floors and a gorgeous wine wall, in addition to another bar and more seating.
My group was seated downstairs for Sunday brunch. The brunch menu included a variety of Belgian waffles, egg dishes and seafood to suit all different palates and tastes. We began with the “doffle” ($3), a cross between a doughnut and a waffle. The “doffle” was slightly thicker than traditional Belgian waffles, and this specialty was the first of many balanced dishes. It was not overwhelmingly sweet, as many doughnuts tend to be, and paired well with coffee.
The perfectly portioned Liege waffle ($11.95) was a dish well-composed in both texture and taste. It consisted of a Belgian waffle, a slow-cooked pear, creme brulee, fresh berries and powdered sugar. The waffle was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. In addition, the combination of the sweet waffle, sugar and creme was balanced out with the subtle tartness of the fruits, preventing overpowering sweetness. This dish is a great option for those who prefer a more traditional waffle experience.
The similarly balanced cornbread and pulled pork waffle ($16.75) is for the adventurous diner looking for a twist on brunch. A cornbread waffle is topped with a heap of pulled pork, a sunny-side up egg and sour cream, served with a side of avocado slices. The waffle was soft yet still textured with bits of corn. The pulled pork was tender but lacked some flavor, for which the avocado compensated, adding a great freshness to the dish.
The poached eggs and smoked salmon ($15.50) was incredible as well. It comprised of a toasted English muffin topped with fresh asparagus, smoked salmon, a poached egg and a perfect Hollandaise sauce. The salty smoked fish and the fresh asparagus, combined with the creaminess of the Hollandaise sauce and the crunchiness of the English muffin, made for a harmonious symphony of both textures and flavors.
Other adventurous menu items include B Too’s green egg “McWaffle” ($14.50) — topped with green eggs colored with spinach, salmon, cheese and a coating of avocado cream — and the lobster waffle ($16), which is served with lobster bisque and an herb salad.
B Too offers breakfast Monday through Saturday, lunch Monday through Thursday, brunch Saturday and Sunday and dinner every night. B Too is well-worth the trek off the Hilltop. The variety and versatility of dishes, coupled with the well-prepared and inventive food, lends traditional American brunch items a Belgian twist. No matter your taste preferences, there is something for you at B Too.