- Hours: Mon-Thur, Sunday 7AM–10:30PM, Fri-Sat: 7am-11:30pm
- Price: About $15 per entree, give or take a few bucks
- Reservations: Tough to get! Arrive early, call in advance, be prepared to wait, or saddle up to the bar.
- Location: 1818 14th St NW
Walking into Ted’s Bulletin is a bit like walking back in time – in the best way possible. If you’re looking for kitsch and plastic and an overall sense of faux, you’re at the wrong place. However, if you’re looking for charming decor, well-crafted American favorites, and a constant rotation of your favorite TV shows from the 50s and beyond, well, this is the place for you.
We scooted up to the bar to order some lunch on a rare, but MUCH appreciated, work-from-home day. Now, the one continuously bad thing about Ted’s (and what also proves its worth) is how LONG the wait is. If you want a table or booth at peak times, well, you’re going to be waiting. However, if you don’t mind saddling up to the bar, finding an open seat is relatively easy. We were pleasantly surprised with the lack of wait since most patrons don’t realize you can sit at the bar without a reservation.
Now, Ted’s is renown for their brunch and their desserts, especially their homemade poptarts. You can watch them being made on a near-constant basis in the big picture windows facing 14th street. However, it is also a wonderful place to grab lunch!
The service was upbeat, and the staff is in constant motion. Our waters were brought right away, our orders taken even more quickly, and our food brought out in a timely manner. However, despite this quickness, we never felt rushed or compelled to eat our food and leave. Which, at a busy restaurant, is a rare luxury.
Ted’s menu is like your favorite home-cooked meals, but grown up a little. I ordered a classic grilled cheese and tomato soup, while E got the Ted’s Burgh with a regular bun (instead of toast) and cheddar cheese (instead of American). The burger was cooked perfectly, medium-rare, E’s preferred cooking. The fries were good (I know because I ate most of them). The grilled cheese, though simple, is a clearly perfected version of a classic food. There was the perfect ratio of crust, cheese, and crunch. The tomato soup was hearty, though a bit sweet for my taste. However, a dash of salt and several dips of the grilled cheese later, it was still pretty darn good.
Now, onto the fun part – the dessert! E went for a classic Brown Sugar & Cinnamon
poptart (her go-to), while I went with a mile-high slice of celebration cake. After a stressful work week, you have to treat yourself a little…and by a little, I mean a lot. The celebration cake is a funfetti-lovers dream. It is roughly six layers of funfetti-style cake with creamy buttercream frosting, and oh yeah, the ENTIRE side is covered in a menagerie of rainbow sprinkles. Usually cakes with this much oomph are dry. However, this slice was straight out of heaven – moist, even, and sugary but not overly so. I couldn’t finish it, so I had it boxed and ate it the next day. It kept surprisingly fresh, restaurant desserts rarely do, and eating the second half was just as wonderful as the day before. I would note that you should put it in the fridge, and not the freezer.