Best No-Frills Brunch

The Passenger
1021 7th St. NW, (202) 393-0220
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There’s nothing amateur about breakfast, which falls before the hour of 9 a.m. Brunch, on the other hand, is the equivalent of the person who talks about her relationship with Jesus at a dinner party: It makes me uncomfortable. I don’t get the appeal of going to the meal that chefs hate to make, to stand in line outside and to pay thirty bucks for eggs and a mimosa (the carnation of cocktails), and to endure conversation that can be just as bubbly. But once in awhile, I do find myself brunching, and if I do, I go to The Passenger, the beloved bar near Mount Vernon Square. It’s dirt cheap. The food is quite delicious. It’s served until midnight on weekends. And I love the crowd. There are no gaggles on the sidewalk—who would want to hang out outside by the Convention Center, anyway? Check out the wonderful chilaquiles with tortilla strips and fried eggs. But honestly, a primary reason why I love the brunch at the Passenger is because it reminds me of how I’d imagine a diner in 1979: cheap, a little surly and desperately in need of some cigarettes—a simple, retro pleasure.
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