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.