Restaurant Review: Founding Farmers

4 times Graham and I have spent the day in DC, we’ve tried to have lunch or dinner at Founding Farmers. We tried for lunch one day, and it was a two-hour wait. We tried making reservations for dinner a few times, but apparently I didn’t plan far enough ahead and they were always booked until about 9:30. So, when my mom & her man friend had to push back their visit, I immediately made logged in to Open Table once they rescheduled and I was able to get a reservation for the four of us at 7:30. Score!

That afternoon in DC, we split up and did our own thing. Dale wanted to see the Air & Space Museum, and I had no desire to be THAT bored ever again. So, he and Graham went and did that and my mom & I went to the National Gallery of Art, and then to the American History Museum (my favorite of the Smithsonian museums). They spent a lot longer at the Air and Space museum than I thought they would, so once we finally met back up, we hauled ass to make it to Founding Farmers before our reservation. We got there right on time, and only had to wait a few minutes for our table.

We were in a bit of a rush once we got there. We parked in a parking deck near the FBI building on Pennsylvania Avenue, which closed at 9:00, and we were a little over a mile from it. So, this wasn’t a leisurely dinner, filled with appetizers and desserts. We ordered our food as soon as he brought us our drinks.

(Here is some advice: don’t order sodas. They serve them in the can, which means no free refills, and they’re $3 each. Ridiculous.)

Our waiter kind of sucked, to be honest. He didn’t tell us what types of fish they had, suggest any appetizers, or tell us about any specials. He literally took our drink orders, came back with those, took our food orders and then came back with the check a little bit later. He didn’t engage with us at all, he wasn’t friendly or informative, and I was just really disappointed in the lack of service.

The food, however, was delicious. And honestly, that’s what matters most. And that’s why I can’t wait to eat here again on a future DC trip. My mom and Dale aren’t the most adventurous eaters, and one of the reasons that I picked Founding Farmers is that the menu is very normal. They have a pretty good variety of comfort foods & southern classics, and the prices are pretty reasonable. Especially for the portion sizes.

Mom ordered chicken pot pie, and it was delicious. The sauce was rich and creamy, there were huge chunks of chicken, and the biscuit topping was perfect. My only complaint with this is that there weren’t enough vegetables in it. It was mostly chicken, potatoes and a few green peas. This would have been amazing with pearl onions and huge chunks of sautéed carrots and celery.
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Dale ordered the fish & chips. I didn’t have any of this, but it looked really, really good & he said it was delicious. The fish was cod, and buried underneath the potato chips were a huge pile of fries. He said the fries were some of the best he’s had. I wish I hadn’t been stuffed from my dinner, because there is little that is better than a perfect French fry.
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I had the Yankee pot roast. It was delicious, but Graham and I both agreed that what I make at home is better. I adored the presentation, though. The huge sprig of rosemary sticking out of the top was so pretty, and I loved that it was layered in a bowl. With this plating, you’re able to get bites of the delicious roast, mashed potatoes and the vegetables in every bite. I don’t like crispy onions, so Graham took care of those for me. I also am not a big fan of butternut squash, but in this the big chunks of squash were delicious. All of the vegetables were perfectly cooked (still had a bit of a bite to them and not at all mushy) and the roast was very tender.
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Graham had this monstrosity of a pork chop. I wish I had gotten a better picture of it, but his food came out about 5 minutes after the rest of ours, and I felt bad making him wait. This pork chop was MASSIVE. It was about 2″ thick, and yet was moist and had a ton of flavor. The mashed potatoes were delicious, but he wasn’t a big fan of the broccolini. It didn’t have a ton of flavor, and is just an odd vegetable. But, he wanted something green, and their list of side dishes was severely lacking.
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All in all, it was a wonderful meal. I’d love to go back some other time when we have more time, aren’t quite as full from lunch, and have a better server. There were a lot of appetizers I’d love to try, and a few of the desserts they walked by with looked amazing! It’s a good thing we didn’t indulge though… We made it back to the car at 8:57… =)

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