H Street NE is notable for its ill-paved streets and random assortment of eclectic bars and restaurants. It’s our very own Epcot-like recreation of Brooklyn! And because it’s deliberately thematic, it has managed to avoid the onslaught of bistros–nondescript, sterile, nice restaurants that thrive on euphemisms (“approachable cuisine” anyone?). But Smith Commons, a new restaurant on H Street is all that, and it leaves us wondering what’s becoming of this former open-air crack market.

Smith Commons is essentially the Birch & Barley of H Street: A fine restaurant with a nice interior that serves good, pricey food, where the side dishes are referred to as “companions,” and the French Fries as “frites.” There’s no PBR or circus acts or Jews and Irish people forging a New World Order of latkes and Guinness. It’s a just big bar/lounge-y type place. It gets an extra point for having THREE stories with a bar on every floor, though it loses points for its puny beer selection. Anything less than 500 beers is unacceptable.
Look at those frites! Don’t they look spectacular? And that half-pound Angus beef burger (known in some circles simply as a “hamburger”) with its grilled portabella mushrooms and miso mayonnaise concoction? It is also spectacular.
where's the food

The newest trend in upscale food is making you work for your meal. In some bars you must pour your own beer. Here you must forage through the favored green of our produce fanatic president to find your meal. Somewhere under that pile of arugula is a rich combination of grilled eggplant, creamed spinach, and goat cheese.

This is a salad that comes with duck. Which is not pork, unfortunately.

Smith Commons is a fine establishment on H Street and just because it’s not overwhelmingly cartoon-y, it doesn’t mean that the area is losing its charm. Or maybe this Gentrification Part Two of the area is exactly what this means! We do not know these things. The New York Times hasn’t written a profile of H Street NE in years, probably because they’re too afraid to venture to the Northeast quadrant, so we guess we’ll never know. Oh well. We would just like some streetcars, please. The END.

Smith Commons, 1245 H St, NE, Washington, DC 20002, 202-396-0038
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  • nounverb911

    Aren't salads socialist and un-American?

    • freakishlywrong

      Yes. When consumed by a mixed race Democratic President.

    • jjdaddyo

      "Arugula" is a Kenyan word that means "kill the Dittoheads and take their gold".

      • Jason_inthe_Peg

        Also won't give you a fat ass. Unless you load it up with bacon and ranch dressing.

  • SorosBot

    Stop trying to make us all so hungry!

  • metamarcisf

    What's going on? It's been over a week since Bryan Fischer made an ass out of himself by denigrating a minority group.

    • jim89048

      He was on Thom Hartmann this morning; he did not disappoint.

  • Weenus299

    Wow. Dishes from Applebees. I'll be sure and go right now.

  • WhatTheHeck

    I hope those greens are deep-fried as no self respecting Mericun would eat them otherwise.

  • Guppy06

    There's "salad," and then there's "lawn mower clippings."

  • ttommyunger

    Food goes in, food goes out, never a miscommunication. A skid-mark or two, maybe.

  • Weenus299

    That pile of green clippings looks very, very similar to ragweed and oak leaves.

    • BaldarTFlagass

      It's probably listed on the popular 14-Dollar Value Menu.

    • Cicada

      It's arugula, the most socialisty of the socialist lettuces.

  • OneDollarJuana

    Pour your own beer? That's dangerous! I'm likely to latch my mouth on the tap a hang on to that handle for dear life.

    And I've never figured out the attraction of restaurants that make you get your own dishes, serve your own salads, cook your own meat, and then bus your dishes. Isn't that called "home"? But more expensive?

  • MildMidwesterner

    This Smith fellow sounds all well and good, but is his chicken a chemical free soy latte-fed organic free range heirloom varietal that has been humanely slaughtered at an open-air family-owned co-op farm?

    • BarryOPotter

      No, all the birds are beat poets who eventually succumb to an over-bearing ennui or final drop due to a crise existentielle. "Ah, mais non!" *Thud* "Dinner!"

  • MinAgain

    That burger is leaning to the left. Figures.

  • SilverFox

    woo! more places for overpaid government consultants to spend their (our) money!

    • CrankyLttlCamperette

      Government consultants don't go to H Street — too urban. They like to stay downtown where you're always within arm's reach of a steakhouse…

  • qwerty42

    Arielle, streetcars are soshulism. Or nazi commie muslim plots. Or something.

  • crybabyboehner

    An Angus beef burger, known in some circles as simply a anusburger.

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