Lobster grilled cheese and other fun stuff

Nestled in a not-so-quaint strip mall, this place is really not to be missed

Just a bit outside of Washington, D.C., with the help of some very dear friends, we stumbled onto one of the best brunches we’ve had in quite awhile.  If your friends ever tell you good food in the DC metro area can only be had in the District, shake your head, bet them the meal that they’re wrong and make your way to Victoria Gastropub (what’s a gastropub click here).One night earlier we’d decided to try this place that priced its beers, at least in part, based on what was selling hot at the moment.  It was called The Big Board.  The novelty (explained here from a place in Austin) was very not worth the underwhelming burger and the less-than-engaging service. Plenty of good places to have a beer and a burger, sad to say this one can be missed.  I did have a delightful Cornerstone Copper ale from Chocolate City Brewing, but the spotty service and ordinary burger were not things to write home about…which I shall now juxtapose against a place I will recommend to everyone I meet and all my friends who live in the D.C. metro area.

As a little disclaimer, I feel I should mention it was after noon AND we were kind of on vacation.  So please, no judgment.

We sat down and ordered up a couple drinks to get started.  Impressed with the very extensive craft beer taplist and an extensive collection of bottled beer from around the world, I settled in with a New Belgium Cocoa Mole.  Which was an ale made with cocoa, chipotle, ancho and guajillo peppers.  It had only a subtle bit of heat and was really quite delicious.  Even one of my non-beer loving companions ordered one up.  Then it was time to dig in.  A quick perusal of the menu and this jumped to the fore

Duck fat French Fry Poutine with duck confit and duck gravy

Fries cooked in something other than partially hydrogenated soybean oil can actually be both tasty and much better for you.  Not ‘good’ for you, of course, but better.  And this particular goodness was mixed with some duck gravy and duck confit.  We devoured this little gem in short order.  Then we moved onto the entrees.  My wife ordered up the crab cake eggs benedict.  There’s a bit of prosciutto, lump crab and a perfectly poached egg.  The flavors combined well, I was, to say the least, pleasantly surprised.

Victoria version of the crab cake benedict–just lovely

And then I had this bit of a goodness, which really is a good enough reason to go all by itself.

Grilled cheese stuffed with lobster and some spicy chips. Yes, it was very, very good.

Yep, as I mentioned, this was the highlight of the food program.  I wish I could’ve pulled apart the sandwich and laid out the rather large serving of lobster inside.  A nicely proportioned sandwich (brief history of the sandwich here).  Here’s the other thing.  Sometimes you get a grilled cheese with other accompaniments and the proportions are all out of whack.  Usually it tastes like an overly cheesy mess with too much bread and not enough butter.  I’m talking so dry and thirst-inducing that you need the server to just leave the pitcher on the table with some chapstick.  This was not one of those sandwiches.  There was enough lobster that it was falling out of the sandwich, but still a nice background of cheeses and bread toasted to a nice golden brown and softened with some butter.  It was so good that I’m tempted to go back today, even though having the same thing two days in a row when you’re out of town is kind of a wasted opportunity.  It came with a choice of options and I went with the jalapeno chips–just potato chips dusted with a spicy salt of some sort.  Coulda went with a mixed salad instead, but by now what was the point?  No sense in pretending, we’ll go vegetarian for the next meal.

A couple additional words.  We went at 12:15 on a Saturday and got seated right away.  It wasn’t the most racially diverse crowd that one could expect to find in the DC area, but don’t be deterred, it was really a pleasant spot.  Also, the service was excellent.  Exactly the type of friendly attentive, but not overbearing knowledgeable assistance you really want from a restaurant.  If you have some extra time and are looking for a good place for brunch or dinner, this is the place to go.  Thanks for reading, if you’ve been please let me know what you thought.

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