I don't spend a lot of time in the Brookland area of NE DC, but I have spent enough time there to see slow and gradual change over the past 10 years. Most noticeable is the new construction of lofts and other buildings that are going in around 8th Street. That must be pretty exciting for the neighborhood. On this Saturday night, Zach and I were headed to Dance Place to see a show and decided to stop by the Brookland Cafe for a quick bite.
We really didn't know what to expect. We found parking right in front and walked towards the front door. On the sign above, it stated that they had seafood, wings, burgers, a vegan menu & more. Well, that about covers it!
Brookland Cafe is a super small cafe with just a few tables and a bar. When we arrived, there were several people at the bar and a few other groups at the tables. We were happy to grab one of the hiboys to take a seat right away. The acrylic paintings on the walls and multicolored seat cushions brought some warmth and color to the cafe.
We started with some alcoholic drinks, which were acceptable, but nothing to write home about.
The menu had a separate vegan section with items like a veggie burger, mock fish delight, BBQ sandwich, mock shrimp basket, mock chicken sandwich, jerk sandwich, and vegan tenders. Zach and I, as usual, wanted to order the same thing. So, we both ordered the mock chicken sandwich. The waitress said that it really isn't very good grilled so we ordered it fried. Basically, they batter up a gardein Chick'n Scallopini and deep fry it, then serve it with a red pepper sauce, lettuce, and tomato on a bun. For what it was, it was pretty good. I mean, we like gardein, and gardein deep-fried is good, though not so good for you, so it was satisfying. I also ordered the grilled mixed veggies on the side.
They also offer vegan desserts, but we were so stuffed from all the fried goodness that we couldn't eat any more. The waitress said that the owner is vegan as well. Interesting. She admitted that none of the vegan items are housemade so the only reason to come here would be for convenience, that is, if you are already in the neighborhood and are hungry. It definitely isn't a place I'd go out of my way to eat at. But, for $9 for each entree, we were satisfied and happy to have vegan options in Brookland.
3740 12th Street NE
Washington, DC 20017