Whitlow’s on Wilson for Breakfast

Coffee and Cream IMGP0012_1
Coffee and Cream at Whitlow’s

I recently had the pleasure of having breakfast at Whitlow’s on Wilson over in Clarendon. I had not been there before but when my wife suggested it I jumped at the opportunity. I love the idea of having breakfast at a bar. I suppose it makes me pine for those younger college days when I spent a lot more time at bars and would stumble to the local IHOP or Waffle House to get a bite at sunrise, just before going to bed.

I can’t do that stuff anymore, nor would I want to relive it if I could, but those years provide me with good fodder for storytelling.

Whitlow’s gave me that fun sense of nostalgia, except with better food and a nicer atmosphere. The hostess, who was very friendly and forthcoming with information, explained the history of the restaurant to me and pointed out some interesting aspects of the Clarendon location. The original Whitlow’s, once a fixture in DC, is long gone but the Clarendon version has a lot of old fixtures and memorabilia from its predecessor, making it a cool, visually appealing place.

The cabinets behind the bar are old and gorgeous, made of wood that has seen better days but has also been taken care of over the years. A jukebox in the back, apparently out of service, still holds a good number of records (do you remember records?) and the bar is made of a section of bowling alley. No joke. The whole restaurant had a feeling of antiquity and grace, as if a holdout from a bygone age.

On top of the attractiveness of the place, the food was great. My eggs were just slightly undercooked but were good all the same and went well with the crusty homemade bread. Two factors stand between a good breakfast place and one I won’t return to: potatoes and coffee. These are not hard to get right but many restaurants just seem to not care about making them well.

Whitlow’s passed both tests. The potatoes were soft but tasty, not overcooked and flavored with a subtle blend of spices. The coffee got to me hot and fresh and full of caffeine. My two tests were satisfied. Plus they had hot sauce, which is number one in the list of the seven most important breakfast accessories. Number three is grits, which Whitlow’s did not have on the menu but would be a great addition to make it the perfect place.

Whitlow’s is certainly a keeper, at least in my book. Not only did it make the final cut as a definitive patio bar, but it’s also a great place for weekend breakfast with your sweetie. Go check it out and let us know how you like it.

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