Let's start with the big guy in the building, Iron Horse Tavern. Created by the Wong brothers who also have Mix and Cafeteria 15L, it's a great new place that's sure to be a big draw.
I love the layout. Inside there is a long U-shaped bar with loads of bar stools, flat screens mounted above, and a couple of cozy nooks that would be great to snag if you have a group of friends. Next to it are long communal bar tables before the actual dining room seating starts. There are plenty of tables to feed the crowds that are sure to come.
There's a great patio on the outside with lots of long tables. My only thought on the patio is the lack of shade/cover structure for extreme heat or winter weather. Perhaps that is coming down the road.
I'm pretty excited by the menu. Starting in the bar, there are mocktails. For people like me who do not drink, this is a great consideration. In fact, the Wongs are good about putting mocktails on all their menus and I really appreciate it. The best one here is the Watermelon one because it has a bit of tang with the addition of li hing mui powder! If you've been to Hawaii, you know this tart plum powder is awesome on so many things.
|Tuna Poke Cups|
The Wongs have always done well with their great mac n cheese at Cafeteria 15L and they've upped the game here with a Mac n Cheese Bar, allowing you to choose from 9 types. I tried the Chicken Chorizo and the Black Forest Ham. I would have loved to try the Jalapeno and the Pesto ones as well. And, of course, Lobster. You can order a single serving or a trio sampler.
For the dessert fiend the uniqueness doesn't stop. On the menu are the Red Velvet Ho-Ho, Coconut Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and Monkey Bread, to name a few.
Moving next door to Dos Coyotes, I've always been impressed by whatever I've eaten at Dos Coyotes the few times I've been. But with none near me, going was a rarity. I'm thrilled to have this new location in Midtown just a few blocks away from me. I've been told by my coworker that the Paella Burrito is fantastic. What is great about Dos Coyotes is that it's not Mexican or Tex-Mex, it's Southwestern. Sure there are burritos and quesadillas, but these are American Southwest versions that are creative and delicious.
Next door to that is Roxie Deli & BBQ. I've never been to the original location, so I was curious to see their menu. Excitement again to see their BBQ menu. Sometimes you are just in the mood for BBQ and to have this one so close by makes it really convenient for me. They barbecue a different meat each day of the week, so expect to see me on rib days for sure.
They server breakfast items but I think that they need to take advantage of a breakfast menu + lots of State workers and open up earlier than their 10 a.m. start time. On weekends they were telling me they have a great Sunday brunch starting at 9 a.m. with some unique brunch items. Unfortunately as I check the menu I see no mention of the brunch items. Guess I'll have to check it out in person some Sunday.
There's a vacant space still left. Personally I think it will end up with a service store. Maybe a nail salon or a tattoo parlor. Ha! Get a tattoo while on your State lunch break.
Lastly is the European Wax Center. I'm a bit surprised that the only service they offer is waxing. Is that enough to keep a business running and profitable? Must be a lot of hairy people getting waxed, I guess. For new customers you get a free waxing (brows or pits or bikini).
As I said, I'm excited by this new complex and the tenants. R Street has been popular already with Shady Lady and Magpie. Now Magpie is moving (looking forward to that re-opening) and so these new businesses will help keep the vibe busy and strong.