Drafting Table Soccer Brunch
By: Michelle Hershman @ Healthy Recipe Ecstasy
We all know there’s nothing better than a good brunch – in my opinion at least. But, in D.C., a good brunch is a dime a dozen. So, how’s a new bar supposed to make any waves? It needs more than just crazy good food or bottomless drinks. The bar needs something special to set it apart from the ridiculous array of happy hours in the city. Drafting Table has that something special. It’s called “Fútbol Weekend Brunch.”
For all you Americans, to the rest of the world, “fútbol” means soccer. While baseball may be America’s favorite pastime, soccer is actually the world’s most popular sport. For the most part, it’s been largely ignored in our country. However, ever since hottie David Beckham crossed the seas to play for the MLS (Major League Soccer), sports fans across the nation are finally seeing what all the fuss is about.
Like a lot of Americans, I watched American football and thought soccer was boring. They just kick the ball back and forth, right? Then I started dating a Scotsman, and I got my real “fútbol” education. Now that I’m engaged to said Scotsman, the English Premier League (one of the most popular soccer leagues) has become a steady source of entertainment in my life. I realized that I either had to jump on the soccer bandwagon or risk spending every Saturday and Sunday morning (and sometimes weekday afternoons) without my future husband. Plus, he watches American Idol with me, so the least I could do is watch the occasional soccer game.
When I heard about the Drafting Table’s Fútbol Weekend Brunch, I thought I would get major brownie points for taking my fiancé to a place that not only features a great beer selection but also plays the best English Premier League games. What I didn’t expect was to find a bar that boasted a mouth-watering menu, super friendly staff, a great wine menu, and a relaxed atmosphere.
Washingtonian native Aaron Gordon opened Drafting Table about four months ago with the idea that it’s more fun to eat at a bar than drink at a restaurant. As the name implies, Aaron wanted Drafting Table to be a place where people can relax, be creative and let their ideas flow. With a mix of regular tables and long wooden high top tables paired with industrial-looking metal bar stools, Drafting Table is not only a good bar to have brunch and watch the games, it’s also a laid-back place where I could hunker down with a mimosa and write this article.
I find most sports bar are crowded, loud, and full of men sloshing big pints of beer around. Drafting Table is different. This may be because the fútbol brunch is still relatively unknown and I visited the establishment close to the holidays, but the chill atmosphere was just as conducive to enjoying an electic brunch menu by Executive Chef Ciji Wagner as it was to allowing the diehards to watch their favorite European fútbol teams on the restaurant’s three flat screen TVs which, thankfully, do not detract from the cool drafting table-inspired décor.
When I say diehards, I mean fans who go to the bar as early as 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning to watch the first game of the day and eat breakfast. While most bars may serve the standard breakfast sandwich, Drafting Table serves a Sexy Egg Sandwich with herb aioli, roasted red peppers, arugula and prosciutto. I don’t know if I looked sexy eating the somewhat messy sandwich but it was so good I didn’t care that aioli was running down my arms. My Scotsman was happy that he could watch European fútbol and drink Sierra Nevada Celebration on draft while enjoying a real British breakfast with baked beans, crispy toast, poached eggs, sausage and delicious candied bacon.
The only thing the platter was missing was black pudding! If eggs aren’t your thing, you could try the Draftsman Burger made with beef, braised brisket, crispy blue cheese, apricot chutney and bacon-onion jam or the Pear and Prosciutto Salad with arugula, balsamic vinaigrette, lemon ricotta, cracked black pepper and honey. Or you can skip brunch and go straight for dessert – Snickers Pie with a chocolate cookie crust, peanut butter mousse and Snicker’s pieces. YUM.
The Drafting Table also offers an international wine program, along with 16 beers on draft (priced from $4-$8) and 20 by the bottle and can, making it a great place to sit and cheer on the favorite fútbol team. My favorite team is the Tottenham Hotspurs, though on that particular day we were watching Chelsea v. Aston Villa.
The game ended 8-0 – an impressive beat down, and also the highest-scoring soccer game I’ve seen thus far. It was a victory not just for the Chelsea Football Club, but for me, as I have three Chelsea players on my fantasy fútbol team, two of whom scored! Speaking of scoring, here are a few tips for soccer newbies:
1. To score in soccer, players can kick or head the ball into the net. Technically, they could bounce the ball off their chests as well, but that doesn’t happen as often.
2. Each team has defenders, midfielders, strikers, and a goalkeeper, all of whom can score, including the goalkeeper. Again, that doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen!
3. The goalkeeper is the only one of the 11 players on the field who can touch the ball with his hands.
Basically, soccer is a lot like hockey, without the sticks. So, if you like hockey, give soccer a shot! Drafting Table would be the perfect place to check it out, with a mimosa in one hand and a Sexy Egg Sandwich in the other, you can’t go wrong.
The Fútbol Weekend Brunch is available Saturdays and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. until the last game is played around 4 p.m. Drafting Table is located in the 14th street neighborhood at 1529 14th Street, NW, 20005. For additional information please call (202) 621-7475 or visit www.draftingtabledc.com.