dc is quickly becoming a city of neighborhoods. i've lived in dc proper since 1996, and for those that know me they'll agree with two things: i don't have the most refined palette (i'm a picky eater) and that i say that dc is missing the neighborhood experience like other big cities across the world have. what i mean by that is that we don't have areas to explore and that are defined by their uniqueness. sure we have georgetowne, dupont and a few others, but when looked at across the map, we're a pretty square city. we lack micro-retail and entertainment districts.
that is changing -- quickly and for the better! the key to that neighborhood feel is having places to go and entrepreneurs that capitalize on the success of others. mark butcher and medium rare are doing that. mark has built a cult following (at least within my extended family) that has brought me out of my neighborhood to explore woodley park by tempting me with what I crave the most as a red-blooded male picky eater -- steak and potatoes.
medium rare offers a simple menu: bread, salad, steak and fries. that's it. while I don't eat veggies - if god wanted me to, he would have made them out of meat - i'm told that the salad is good, a great refreshing starter to an unbelievable meal that reminds me of the meals mom used to make.
culotte steak is not by any stretch of the imagination a great cut of meat, but the chefs at medium rare prepare it so well that you'd think you were eating a filet. the sauce is amazing, and this is coming from someone who doesn't like sauces and is a firm believer in the 70's saturday morning tv commercial montra -- don't drown your food - yet I ask for more sauce each time!
as a fast-food junkie, i'm quick to say that mcdonald's has the best fries, but medium rare gives even an old clown a run for his money. they are perfect, just right amount of crunch and "meat". mark says it has something to do with the hubcap they use to prepare them - whatever that means, all I know is that they're fantastic!
surprises abound at this little bit of meat lover's heaven on earth - the great music that's played there, the surprising bathroom french lessons, the second course (i'm not telling you - experience it for yourself), and on most checks the appearance of bazooka joe himself. if you're a carnivore, like myself, you're in for a budget saving meal, that will no doubt bring up or make memories that inspire great table talk! I highly recommend medium rare and mark's culinary vision for not only good food, but to get me out of my neighborhood to explore others.
medium rare is located at 3500 wisconsin avenue, northwest and i can't say enough about it. you should go tonight, while you're there tweet to them - mark's always listening - that i sent you!