Hello all! So sorry we've been so absent. I'm sure you've been on the edge of the seat waiting for our next post...or not. Anyway, we are back!
So far our favorite restaurant in DC has been Matchbox. We've been to both locations in Chinatown and Barrack's Row on 8th. The Barracks Row location is way closer (walking distance) to us so we've been there more. I'm slightly obsessed. J makes fun of me.
We had a married couple come visit us (separately though, but within a week of each other) and they both wanted to go there...which was fine by me! BF was so excited to get to eat hamburgers and pizza in the same meal.
Matchbox is known for their drinks. They have a very large drink menu and some great wines by the glass and reasonable (read: below 10 dollars) prices. They also have a fun section called Fancy-schmancy spirits with all kinds of liquors if that is your kind of thing.
We have ordered the "mini burgers" a couple of times. They are sliders that you can choose 3, 6 or 9 of. The mini burgers are hand-pattied certified angus beef on a toasted brioche with a giant pile of onion straws in the middle. I can't describe how good these burgers are. The bread is buttered, toasted and light. The beef is extremely juicy and incredibly flavorful considering its size. I want to know what they marinate the beef in to get that much flavor in each bite! The onion straws are amazing! J doesn't eat onions but he grabs these by the handful. The batter is great, salty and light.
Now comes the difficult part. J likes meatballs and pepperoni and sometimes sausage. I like prosciutto, olives, anchovies, arugula, capers, etc., but I enjoy pepperoni too! So we always have an issue when we order pizza. I want to branch out, but he doesn't. Last time we just ordered two small pizzas (which is not the best value, the large pizza is between $15 and $20 and the small is between $12 and $15, the large is much bigger and I think a better bang for your buck) so that we could get what we wanted. J likes the Matchbox, which is pepperoni / spicy italian sausage / crispy bacon / zesty tomato sauce / mozzarella. It definitely has a spicy kick to it. I couldn't handle the Spicy Meatball pizza because it's all spicy meatball and nothing else (spicy meatball house-made spicy meatballs / crispy bacon / crushed red pepper / fresh garlic puree / zesty tomato sauce / mozzarella) where the Matchbox at least has some nonspice elements.
I ordered the Coppa Italian Ham and Arugla last time. It is coppa italian ham & arugulapesto / ricotta / roma tomato / mozzarella. Coppa italian ham seemed to be a thicker cut of proscuitto. I love pizza with fresh spinach or arugla on top and this fits the bill. They cook the pizza (like all of their pizza) in a big pizza oven. Last time we ordered take out I hung out by the pizza guys and watch the guys work their magic. It looks like a highly specialized skill to cook in a pizza oven. He was constantly moving the pizza around the oven, bringing it out to check the crust, rotating them, etc. When you pizza comes out it is literally sizziling. I love my crust almost burnt and Matchbox cooks it to crusty deliciousness. Then they pile the arugla on top and it is this great combination of rich pesto and ham with fresh, lite lettuce on top.
I would love to try the serrano spanish ham & pecorino romano with roasted garlic / ricotta / buffalo mozzarella / oven-dried tomato or the white anchovy & capers with roasted garlic / red onions / buffalo mozzarella / arugula. Wish me luck trying to talk J into that!
With the other half the married couple, EF and I downed a whole pizza and then we wanted to try dessert. Their dessert menu is pretty tasty looking!
I want to try the fresh fruit pizza, the molten chocolate cake and the chocolate chip bread pudding with banana. EF and I had the coffee & doughnuts. The donuts are actually beignets and the coffee is a little espresso cup with Kahlua and espresso sauce. They are delicious! The beignets come in orange and cinnamon flavors in a cute paper cone. It is surprising how many beignets fit in there. This is definitely a dessert to split! All the desserts are below 10 bucks or you can get a trio for 12. Seems pretty reasonable to me!
Talk about a meal, burgers, pizza AND donuts!
A quick note about the service; the takeout guy Mike is awesome. (is it sad I know his name?) He is super friendly and helpful. We've had a couple of service road bumps but they've always made up for it. One time our sliders took about a hundred years to come out so they gave us free dessert. We don't mind restaurants making a mistake as long as they realize it and say sorry. We realize that the waiters/waitress/kitchen staff are human, but good service is extremely important to us. Please don't treat us like we should feel privileged to eat in your restaurant (this is definitely not toward Matchbox, just a lot of other DC joints we have patronized recently)!