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Washington DC & Baltimore Brunch

Thumbs Down for Founding Farmers for Brunch


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Restaurants & Bars Washington DC & Baltimore Brunch

Thumbs Down for Founding Farmers for Brunch

mjhals | | Feb 22, 2009 10:04 AM

Yikes. Just had one of the worst dining experiences I've ever had, at Founding Farmers. Really surprised and disappointed seeing as how FF comes highly recommended on these boards and I've had it on my list for awhile (due primarily to the CH recs!) Went today for brunch with a friend and it was awful from start to finish, but I must say the atrocious service was really what put it over the edge for me.

First, we both ordered drinks right away to start (a bellini and a gin fizz) in hopes they'd come fairly promptly (ie before our food) so we could start our fun. Nope. They came with the entrees even though we ordered them well in advance of the food. To be fair, they were pretty busy, so all things being equal I wouldn't knock them for this, but no apology/explanation for the delay, so not great.

For my entree I ordered the hash w/ lobster and crab, and wasn't asked how I wanted my eggs (at that point I didn't even really know there was an option, I skimmed the menu and saw "poached" and that was what I wanted), so when the server didn't ask I didn't mention what prep of eggs I wanted. When my order comes out it looks like an omelet, which I definitely didn't order, so I tell the runner (not the original server) that I think the order is mixed up. She goes back to check and comes back and says, "no the server says this is the hash," I gently explain I thought it came with poached eggs and ask that she have the server come by to clarify (it's her first day so poor thing doesn't know what to make of any of it). So the server comes by to explain that the dish can either come w/ scrambled or poached eggs, and apologizes for not asking which I wanted and then asks if I'd like the eggs poached. I say yes, I would, and he sighs and says, "well, ok, but I'm really going to get yelled at for this"! Geez, I'm sorry, but at that point I don't know what to do, I just really wanted my poached eggs, but felt horribly guilty at that point.

The dish itself was very dry, the main ingredient being very dry potatoes, with no other discernible vegetables in the preparation. There's two decent-size chunks of lobster and some crab flakes, which are rubbery and over cooked. I also find several shell pieces in the dish. And the "poached" eggs are way closer to hard boiled, yolks not runny at all, but chalky and crumbly, and have obviously been sitting a very long time.

Then, my friend sheepishly mentions that she thinks they've forgotten some of her order. She'd ordered the Farmer's breakfast which came w/ 2 eggs, bacon and then some side options (we think at least a salad or fruit plate and potatoes). But she just has eggs and bacon. She's starving, so she asks the server about the missing items and he starts to interrogate her! "It should have come with potatoes, are you sure it didn't? Yes we're sure! Her plate is absolutely clean, she would've had to lick the potato crumbs from the plate had there been any. And we both repeatedly assure him that she did not, in fact receive the potatoes. So, he finally asks, "well, do you want the potatoes?, because now I'm really going to get yelled at"! I have never, ever had a server make me feel so bad for asking for things that should've been done right the first time. It made us both very, very uncomfortable. And then the manager came to deliver the forgotten potatoes and didn't apologize for any of the mix ups or delays (my friend was completely done with her dish by the time I got mine).

All in all, I was extremely disappointed with FF and I'd really wanted to love the place. I've been eyeing it to try for dinner as the menu looks great (and again, always recommended around these parts), but I can honestly say, I will never go back and will never recommend it to anyone. On the way out we did see George Stephenapolous, but other than that, what a dismal experience!