The Tabard Inn (Brunch)

The Tabard Inn Brunch has been our list to tackle for some time now. And what better excuse to go to a brunch than a birthday? It was a beautiful weekend when we went and the patio was open a bit early. We went with a total of five people so we really wanted a cozy, fun, experience.

Walking through the doors of the Tabard Inn is like being transported to a cozy inn nestled in the English country side. There are low sitting patterned couches, dark wood touches, and dozens of knick-nacks, statues, and china cabinets. For a second, it made me forget it was 80 degree and sunny outside (in a good way). One thing we should note is that the Tabard Inn is BUSY…but they take reservations. Try to make one a minimum of 5 days in advance (just to be safe).

After walking through the two main dining areas and the small bar, we were in an outdoor oasis. It’s much more of a maze on the inside than we had realized, which made it fun to weave through all of the rooms. The covered patio has all the sunshine without the crazy dc-humidity and also has several serene pieces of art. It kind of felt like brunching in a tucked-away garden, which I totally loved.

Our waiters were attentive, but not overly so and they were wonderful about questions and us wanting to wait to order (we were all talking so much we kept forgetting to look at the menu!).

We started with a bottle of champagne and also coffees. As a note to those with dairy sensitivity (like E), there were no dairy-alternatives. The coffee came and was poured from an elegant silver pitcher. It was *bold* but really good coffee.

While we were waiting to order, a basket of complimentary vanilla and walnut-bread mini-muffins were delivered to the table with a side of orange butter. There were a little less than a dozen, more than enough for the table, and they were so yummy.

Then came time to order – I had been waiting all week to get their famous vanilla pancakes with orange butter and maple syrup. When they came out, they were the perfect golden color and the whipcream was absolutely divine. Also, it was a pretty big serving size! Sometimes when ordering pancakes out, you’re not quite sure what to expect or if they’ll really fill you up. But these certainly did.

The others at the table also got an egg white omelette with potatoes, veggie omelette, a side of bacon and the quiche which were all served and plated in just the right portions.

E had the cheese grits with fried oysters and crispy pork belly. She said it was the perfect balance of creamy, crispy and salty. Cooking pork belly successfully can be difficult but they nailed it.

It was a big enough portion that she took some for the road (and promptly ate it when she got home). She is the most adventurous eater and would definitely recommend it if you like to try *new* things at brunch.

Then came one of the most enjoyable parts of the experience. After we had finished, a slice of divine hazelnut and chocolate cake made its way through the patio and to our table.

All of the waiters began to sing and, surprisingly, one even popped his head out to sing out of a window connecting the dining room to the patio. It was so much fun and really made the experience of a birthday brunch that much more enjoyable as it was clear that the waitstaff really wanted our party to have a great time.

Although we’re not overly excited for winter right now but we’re definitely excited to go back and get the full “cozy” experience.