Next Door: A…Review

29 Jan

Photo taken from Yelp, originally uploaded by Eddie C.

Photo taken from Yelp, originally uploaded by Eddie C.

The next stop on our eating adventure through Washington DC had us on U Street at a place called Next Door. While the name begs the question “next door to what?”, rest assured because I can answer that for you! Next Door is located in the adjoining building to Ben’s Chili Bowl. The restaurant is brought to us by the people who own Ben’s so one might expect from their new restaurant a crowded place that serves food that’s better followed with Tums than a fine wine or import beer.

Upon entering Next Door you immediately notice the much more modern décor compared with Ben’s Chili Bowl. The best part of this place is the 50 ft. bar that occupies most of the space. However, the décor alone does not warrant a positive review!

When looking at the drink menu, you notice there are no Happy Hour prices for drinks. When my friend and I asked if there any drink specials, one of the employees responded in a very defensive and rude manner by citing that their prices are the cheapest around ($6 miller lite is not the cheapest around)! To their defense there were more in expensive options for beer…but they were sold out.

After eventually settling on beer (I had Xingu…. which I was told was from South Africa…It’s really from Brazil), we asked for a food menu in hopes of having dinner also. We were told that there was still no official menu because they were still in a soft opening phase and that they just recently hired a chef. I found this to be a problem because I was there 2 weeks prior and told that the grand opening would be occurring that week and a full menu would be available. The limited options we did have were items that were served at Bens’ Chili Bowl ( such as a chili dog or half smoke with chili). I presume that the bartender (who was pretty likable) sensed our frustration with the lack of food options and gave us a “special menu” of more items that he said were being served. As hungry as my friend and I were, we didn’t see anything that was calling to us. Not to mention I should have known the beer prices would be indicative of the food prices…Everything was around the $17-28…only time will tell if the prices are worth it! In the end we just ended up going around the corner to Busboy’s and Poet’s for food…

I have to go back again to find out how the food is at Next Door, but for now, if you are looking for a nicely decorated bar with big flatscreen televisions…that’s your place! If you go there hungry, you’re better off stopping at Ben’s beforehand because you’ll end up ordering the same thing at the bar!

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