Monday, September 05, 2005

Old Glory

old-fashioned American barbecue food, in all its glory.

grab a toothpick on your way in, roll up your sleeves and use the wide-mouthed sink to wash up…no frills, no fuss, it’s barbecue time at Old Glory..

you know how good it feels to go out for Mexican food and find an all-you-can-eat basket of tortilla chips with salsa waiting for you to get a head start on the meal as you go over the menu? well think that, multiply it by barbeque and you’ve got the basket of just-baked cornbread (with real kernel chunks) and biscuits welcoming you within minutes at Old Glory. both are great when slathered with the partnering honey butter, but the glory is in the barbecue sauce.

if you've never soaked the two in barbecue sauce, be prepared to start now. the dipping game takes place throughout dinner, from the ordering phase through the last nibbles as you're paying the check. try to figure out which of the six region-specific sauces speaks to you.

they take their sauce seriously here -- every table is covered in white butcher paper (stamped with a navy blue Old Glory seal upon arrival), an ode to the mess about to splatter everywhere. the six sauces sit confidently in a wooden rack already on each table.

from East Carolina (a spicy vinegar-based sauce) to Savannah (a thicker mustard one), the flavors are named after Southern cities and regions known for their unique art of barbecue. handy descriptions of each sauce are located on chalkboards on the surrounding brick walls (my personal favorite is Memphis).

let's get down to business, the ordering. the Georgetown combo under the "True Q" category dons the MVPs of BBQ-- a generous plate of chicken and ribs. for best results, replace the "quarter of a Roasted Bar-B-Que Chicken" with "Glorious Pulled Chicken;" it'll save the fuss of spitting out fat and de-boning. the meat is all there for you, conveniently sliced in bite-sized tender strips.

and don't forget the chicken's partner in crime-- half a rack of the St. Louis Style spareribs. now is the perfect time for the pile of recycled-paper napkins to come into play.

the "Favorites of the House" and "True Q" menu items include two sides--decent, but the glory lies in the meat, bar none. when sopped up with one of the six sauces, the small portions (titled "Heapin' Helpins" and supposedly enough for two..) begin to taste the same after a while. point is, the gourmetless garnishes can go unnoticed, but go for the collard greens, mashed potatoes with gravy, BBQ red beans or corn on the cob.

and don't forget dessert-- a silver bucket of Tootsie Roll Pops gets passed around the table with every color present, proving that, once again, the meal is fun.

Old Glory knows how to keep everyone happy. the cornbread and biscuits, iced water, and napkins are always well-stocked, actually over-stocked (even better). speaking of napkins, the six-inch pile is not only functional but a reassuring reminder that leaving sauce in between teeth or underneath fingernails is not only normal but encouraged.

everything about the decor screams red-checkered picnic and southern hospitality. dangling metallic colanders serve as lamps and faded red bricks cover the walls. television sets are planted in each corner and play Nats games.

junior year is officially in session and Old Glory has the friendly Fourth of July ambiance a bewildered student needs to gradually get oriented back to campus life. forget delicate tablecloths or fancy hor d'oeuvres-- eating here is messy and fun. it's only a matter of time before i find remnants of the meal underneath fingernails while daydreaming in class tomorrow.

On Friday, September 16th from 5:00 – 9:00pm, Old Glory will join J. Paul’s, Paolo’s Ristorante and Neyla restaurants in Georgetown in donating 50% of their bar revenue to the American Red Cross to aid in their Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts.

Old Glory is located at 3139 M Street, NW , next to Georgetown's favorite back-to-school shopping source, Urban Outfitters.


At 2:59 AM, Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...

Holy crap, you wrote all that and didn't even mention the Bourbon Club? Old Glory has the largest selection of bourbon in the DC area. If you drink each selection they have, they will put your name engraved on a metal plaque and mount it on the wall. I've been trying to get that plaque for like two years.

Other than that, the food's pretty mediocre.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger the kitchenette said...

You make a good point, Lonnie. I'm actually underage, which clearly hasn't stopped me before, but let's just say I was more focused on the tootsie pops than the bourbon. Next time I'll bring along my handy fake (remember those days?) and run for Bourbon Club president.

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Natan said...

It still amazes me, the emotion that people will put behind a flag. Here is a symbol that is guarded and protected, almost like a holy or religious object. People have dedicated and lost their lives to its meaning. That is why I find the whole topic so interesting. flags


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