Thursday, October 25, 2012

Smoke and Barrel's brunch buffet

In my opinion, eating at a BBQ joint always poses an ethical quandary for vegans. It's difficult to enjoy your salad while others are enjoying their slab of ribs. Lately, DC has exploded with BBQ places. It is hard not to hate on this meaty trend. However the owners of Smoke and Barrel, at 2471 18th Street NW in Adams Morgan, haven't forgotten how to make vegans feel welcome. As their sign says, they offer a brunch buffet with "Vegan Options Too!"

Smoke and Barrel is located in the former space of Asylum, a once popular, pseudo biker bar that had some killer vegan eats. In its new incarnation, the restaurant/bar feels more like a high-end man cave than its previous punk rock grotto-vibe. Think craft beer, flat screen TVs, and a wooden barrel and red brick decor. (The owners are also responsible for Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights.)
These are some blurry photos of the weekend buffet. The drink on the left is my boyfriend's half empty full Bloody Mary. This was an excellent libation; a delicious meal in itself. On the right is a buffet plate with french toast, tofu hash, hash brown potatoes, grits, and a flour tortilla filled with tofu scramble and vegan chili. 

Even though it looks like an unattractive, brown blob here, the french toast was my favorite item--chewy and cinnamony. My boyfriend preferred the roasted jalapeno grits. The buffet also featured plenty of condiments, including salsa, maple syrup, and various hot sauces. And they offered unlimited coffee with soy milk.    

Overall, I enjoyed the buffet. It helped that the vegan food was well-labeled and kept in separate warmers from the meat and dairy offerings. In fact, the veggie stuff seemed loads more popular than the meaty BBQ brunch fare. Maybe one day the owners will make the buffet all-vegan. That would be a rad return to the ethos of punk rock.     

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