Meridian Pint is a restaurant/bar specializing in American craft beers with an emphasis on environmental sustainability. Located in the Columbia Heights area, this sister bar to Smoke & Barrel is a great addition to an ever-changing landscape.
What makes this bar really stand out is its lower floor known as the Joint Chiefs -- a large rec room with a bar, pool table and large circular booths patrons can reserve to pour their own pints. Seriously, these booths are cool. There is a tap on each table and a small screen where you can order what you'd like, then pour it yourself.
On this night, I was there for the Vegan Drinks event -- the first time they'd ever held it here. I was really surprised at how big the space is because from the street, you'd never guess it is so big! There was another group there besides us vegan folk, but it was so big that both groups fit in that space just fine. I was lucky enough to snag one of the large booths and because of this event, they let me stay there even though I wasn't drinking beer. I ordered one of the drink specials -- this funky green drink that I really didn't like. It was like drinking liquid candy.
For our meals, we decided not to order the Vegan Drinks food specials because we wanted to see what the regular menu was all about. We started with the fried tofu served with mae ploy chili sauce. I'm not sure what kind of breading was on these little bites, but I really liked them and they paired well with the chili sauce.
For my meal, I ordered off the burger selections. You choose your burger, then choose what type of toppings you'd like. The Mediterranean sounded great so I went with that. I chose the vegan lentil burger with Daiya instead of goat cheese and a ciabatta roll instead of the non-vegan burger roll. It turned out great! The lentil oat burger was soft and hearty. It was topped with this delicious olive tapenade, a portabello mushroom and Daiya cheddar cheese. The only thing that would have made this much better is if they melted the cheese, but instead they just topped it with the shreds. I also chose a green salad, which wasn't all that great. They gave me red wine vinegar and oil as a dressing -- it wasn't very exciting.
Zach ordered the roasted vegetable sandwich, which was loaded with grilled portabello mushroom, eggplant, and peppers with hummus. It was also served on the ciabatta roll. It was pretty good.
I should also mention that my server was awesome. Despite being understaffed, she attended to our table pretty regularly. She was extremely helpful in identifying the vegan items and even mentioned which ones were gluten-free. It would be better if they just marked all of the vegan items with some sort of symbol, but in absence of that, she was great. The owner, John, was walking around to ensure things were going well. He seemed like a nice guy with a good sense of humor.
Meridian Pint is a great hangout spot-- perfect for bringing a big group of friends. I love that there are several vegan options on the menu including a quinoa stuffed acorn squash. The prices are a little on the pricey side, but not too out of line. The service is great and the concept is unique to this area. I've also heard their brunch is pretty good with lots of vegan options so now I have a good excuse to come back soon.
3400 11th Street NW
Washington, DC 20010