Written by on May 8, 2011 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Clarendon neighborhood, Arlington, Virginia

How I heard of this place: Chris and I were taking a walk through Arlington and into Georgetown the day prior and walked right by. We stopped to take a closer look at the menu, posted outside of the establishment, thinking “This is a great place to bring our parents when they visit!” Little did we know that the opportunity to take ourselves out for a sampling would come so soon! Having opened earlier this year, it was a timely culinary experiment.

Type of cuisine: Circa in Clarendon offers a typical American style brunch, with eggs, served in a variety of ways, including poached for an Eggs Benedict (classic, with Canadian bacon, or Chesapeake style, with crab), Belgian waffles, banana-stuffed French toast, an omelet Lorraine, steak & eggs, or a breakfast burrito. Also on the weekend brunch menu were a mushroom ravioli, grilled Atlantic salmon, pizzas, a burger, Jamaican jerk tuna, a grilled cheese and chicken salad club sandwhiches. Take your pick, everyone in your party will be pleased by the “American style cuisine with International flair, complimented by the extensive wine list, including over 20 wine offerings by the glass, and an original cocktail list for every season.

Ambiance: We spent our entire meal outdoors, seated on the patio in relatively close proximity to twenty others celebrating Mother’s Day over brunch. The space was cozy, lined with a decorative black, iron fence and small tables, covered in white linen. The floor-to-ceiling windows along the front of the establishment, allowed us to glimpse inside, under the black and orange awning, where we could see dark wooden hightop tables at the marblized counter at the bar, with backed barstools boasting yellow, leather cushioned seats. Large-tiled floors, hold brown, wooden tables, adjacent to patent-leather red-accented, cushioned chairs, and other wooden-backed chairs. Being such a beautiful day, patrons opted to be seated outdoors, making for a quiet indoor meal for the handful of diners that selected such seating. Plenty of waitstaff and bus-boys served and cleaned the tables with seamless ease, to ensure ample space for the next course, hand-holding, or cards and gifts for mom.

What I ordered: To start, we ordered a non-fat vanilla latte ($3.50) for me and a refillable mug of black coffee ($2.50), featuring Greenberry’s Coffee House Blend: A light-bodied cof ee with a lively, well-balanced flavor. It’s a blend of Guatemalan, Costa Rican and Colombian for him. My dining companion and I were both craving the same dish! I had pointed it out to him becuase he had expressed a desire for scrambled eggs, that seem to be limited in the breakfast and brunch options at every establishment where we perused the menu. After contemplating trying something new and different so we get a better sense of the varied menu, I, too, continued to come back to the Circa American Bistro Breakfast ($12), three eggs, served any style with our choice of bacon, ham or chicken sausage, home fries and toast (either white or wheat) with a ball of butter and berry jam on the side. I selected three eggs, served over medium and white toast. Chris opted for the healthier wheat toast, and requested three eggs, scrambled. Bacon fans, we both selected three slices of the paper thin bacon to accompany our roasted potatoes served with a dollop of caramelized, diced onions. To wash down the meal, my dining companion ordered a tall glass of cranberry juice ($3), diluted by the cupful of large ice cubes surrounding the lone, black straw.

What I loved: My dining companion loved the bacon most, as it was the last thing remaining on his plate, with which to complete the meal. He had commented, at one point during our meal, that the caramelized onions, slightly sweet, paired well with the salty, halved new potatoes. While the food was warm when it arrived at our tables, the gooey eggs allowed for perfect bread and potato dipping, while the bacon, thin and crispy made for a light touch of salty, greasy goodness without being overpowering. I enjoyed the meal, the outdoor, patio seating on a gorgeous Arlington morning and the insightful conversation and laughs shared with my dining companion.

Why I loved it: The outdoor, patio seating on the brick sidewalk in the shade of a beautiful, warm and sunny day made for the perfect spot from which to dine! Foodwise, I love that only one piece of toast, sliced on the bias, was offered to each of us, and everything else done in more edible portions. Nothing remained our plates, yet both of us were fully satisfied with our meals, and lasted until we made it to our dinner party invitation at seven in the evening, seven hours later.

Cost: Low to average ($7 – $19 per brunch entree)

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