In a city obsessed with politics there is always an issue up for debate. Politicians, lobbyists and social rights activists advocate their ideologies year round and everyone in this city is exposed to it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is only necessary that the nature of this town manifests itself into our culture.
This takes us to our next restaurant which in reality is more than a place to eat. Busboys & Poets is a beehive of intellectual thought and debate. The origin of the name pays homage Langston Hughes who was himself a busboy before rising to fame as a poet. Each location is comprised of a restaurant, bookstore and fair trade market with the goal of igniting debate about social justice.
The one I frequently visit is located in the center of the radically gentrified U St. corridor. My visits began when I discovered that this was a location were intellectual thought and debate occurred on a daily basis. Everyday there is a different event promoting thought on an issue that is critical to the world at hand.
Upon entering the 14th and V St. location your eyes will lay witness to a vast library containing books that promote thought, books about DC, or even biographies about prominent social activists. You will also lay your eyes on plush furniture occupied by people who are either striking up a small conversation about current issues or glued to their books and laptops.
As you walk down the dining hall you will enter another private room that holds daily speakers who speak about a wide array of issues. Whether it's civil rights, cultural divides, race, or socioeconomic disparities there is always a debate to be heard.
Busboys & Poets prides itself on promoting healthy and sustainable eating. I try to visit every once in a while to enlighten myself on a hot topic and also indulge in their food which is fantastic. Recently I decided to take my sister who is a fan of their muscles which are cooked in a garlic tomato sauce. Their superb flavor put them on par with Bistro La Bonne's.
Aside from the environmentally friendly produce that they serve Busboys prides itself on serving some of the best vegan food in town. Before dining here I could never fathom being a vegan. Blinded with ignorance I was like most who thought that lifestyle had limited options when it came to eating. Those notions were mildly relaxed after eating two vegan dishes here.
The first dish I had was a vegan wrap which I ordered during brunch. It consists of tofu which tasted exactly like eggs, as well as vegan bacon and cheese. The dish was delightful and refreshing, you could hardly tell that all these ingredients were vegan. The best way to characterize the brilliance of their vegan dishes is that it is actually quite easy to be a vegan if you could eat here everyday.
I am also pleased to say that Busboys & Poets has a fine selection of both organic beers which I had never tried prior to dining here as well as mixed drinks. My favorite drink here is the DC Tap Water which if you have lived here long enough is a very clever pun on a longstanding issue.
(Picture brought to you by Yelp)
I am also a huge fan of their paninis, a favorite of mine is their grilled brie which is topped with spinach, caramelized onions, and tomatoes. I have also had their Tempeh which is a vegan option and the grilled chicken. This particular sandwich oozes with decadence and flavor. I enjoyed it so much that I myself have made a spin off which I will share in the near future.
(Grilled Brie Panini)
All in all Busboys & Poets offers a multitude of options. From great food to food for thought Busboys is a place that needs to be visited on a monthly occasion. Their wide array of events draws a diverse audience. Whether it's a guest speaker, an open mic night, or even an organic beer happy hour there's no reason not to try this place if you have an open mind.