Everything on the menu at Founding Farmers sounded so good that when the waiter asked me what I would be having, I just responded with a “Yes, I will take two of each” and handed the menu back to him. I am kidding of course but the selection – albeit it all over the map: fried green tomatoes, steak and enchilada, yankee pot roast – was globally appealing to me. I had been craving for comfort food for some time so that surely had an influence, but regardless, even before I had a bite of anything I decided that Founding Farmers was my kind of place. Speaking of which, the space itself feels like a modern farmhouse which truly reinforces the restaurant’s philosophy of only using of sustainably farmed, grown and harvested American foods.
Cost – $$$
Service – A-
The caveat with my rating is that my visit was on a Friday afternoon on a holiday weekend so the restaurant wasn’t very busy at all. Our particular waiter had a great sense of humor and seemed genuine and thoughtful. The food did take a little long to come out so I can imagine that the service may get a little spotty during peak hours.
Food – B
The food was actually not to the level I was expecting. Others had told me that certain dishes were to die for such as the mac and cheese, but I have easily had better. Same goes for the chicken and waffles. Looking around at what some of the other diners had ordered, I think I would have really enjoyed some of the other things on the menu like the flatbread or burgers. Some of the salads on the menu also caught my eye (even though I would never order one). I particularly liked the slow cocktail menu which was a nice surprise.
Decor – B
The eco-friendly design is sleek and at first impression, comfortable. The farmhouse theme works well and almost seems to prime you for a good traditional American meal. As some know, Founding Farmers is a LEED Gold certified, the first for a Washington, DC restaurant and for a full-service, upscale-casual restaurant in the entire nation.
Feel – B
As I alluded to earlier, Founding Farmers started out feeling very comfortable but after walking up to the second story, I started to realize that the restaurant was quite large and had a little bit of a chain feel to it. However, the place had a decent buzz and friendly atmosphere even during a holiday weekend and the slight institutional feel won’t stop me from coming back or recommending the restaurant to others.
Founding Farmers is located at 1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. They can be reached at (202) 822-8783.
What’s the Buzz:
June 20, 2009 – Sustainable Comfort: Founding Farmers (Only Here for the Food) – “Local” and “sustainability” are two of the key buzzwords in the restaurant industry right now, so it wasn’t surprising that Founding Farmers, a fairly new addition to DC’s restaurant scene, seems to live and breathe both of those practices. After reading their mission statement on their website, I was hooked, despite seeing both hit-and-miss reviews on Chowhound. Full Article…