Tallula

Written by on October 7, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(tallularestaurant.com) – Arlington, Virginia

How I heard of this place: Our friends Brian & Mary recommended it when we first moved to Arlington and were having a difficult time finding food that is not franchised or part of larger, corporate food mongers. They suggested Tallula as a place to get local, seasonal and organic fare at a spot where the menu changes with the season. We were sold!

Type of cuisine: “…Tallula has been recognized as the archetype for incomparable modern American cooking, stellar wine and informed service in Arlington, Virginia. Each night, the kitchen at Tallula creates a seamless culinary adventure based on the finest seasonal, farm-driven ingredients against a backdrop of nearly 400 unique wines, 60 of which are avaialble by the glass. Comfortable, smart, unpretentious and fun, Tallula is a neighborhood gem to come back to time and time again.” An additional note for anyone who loves a deal: “Tallula was conceived as a comfortable, causal neighborhood place featuring excellent, interesting food and wines at reasonable prices. To illustrate this notion, we’ve created a nifty little program that we believe captures both essence of this restaurant and spirit of the times: The Neighborhood Nosh. Select three courses from our Dinner menu for only $35. Available all night on Sunday and Monday. Also available from 5:30 to 6:30pm every Tuesday through Thursday. So come out, take a well-deserved break on a school night and enjoy a delectable meal at a decent price.”

Tallula Mixed Greens

Ambiance: The large, neon signs outside spell “EAT”, and adjacent, “Tallula” in a friendly, cursive font. Enter the single-story brick building with storefront windows leading into a dark space, and you have found yourself in an amazingly detailed and ecclectic setting, a treat for the eyes and the stomach. The golden chiffon drapes at the windows, romantically set half-way up the windows, similar to the red, velvet curtains at a movie theater. Above the windows, colorful bottles make for thestained glass look in the small, rectangular windows leading up to the intricately tiled, plum ceiling. The walls are dazzling, deep purple with a uniform pattern of lavendar flowers painted atop. Gold-framed holes in the wall, in varying rectangular and square shapes and sizes, Mediterranean blue-tiled interiors are lined with goblet-style glasses holding candles. The metal ducts overhead are hardly noticable with the detailed Mideval style lights overhead, resembling candle chandeliers. One rounded booth gives slightly larger parties a space of their own, while other diners feel the intimacy at the limited table and chair seating options throughout the small dining area. The amber tinge of mood lighting is captured at all times of day, including this brunch experience.

Tallula Sobrasada Sausage Omelet

What I ordered: One hot tea ($4), three cups of coffee ($4 each) and waters all around, our table of five was suddenly awake and ready to peruse our menus. Our new friends Hillah and Aaron enjoyed the Belgian Waffle ($9) with elderberry compote, whipped cream and maple syrup and the Three Eggs Any Style ($10) served with red bliss home fries, bacon, scrapple or sausage and toast. They introduced us to Tori, who also partook of the Three Eggs Any Style. I followed suit, sharing the scrambled eggs and bacon with Chris. He selected the Pancake Short Stack ($9), caramelized apple, candied pecans and maple syrup as his contribution to our shared plates.

On a return visit, Sunday, 24 March 2013: We returned, at the suggestion of some good friends from Germantown, Maryland, for a brunch of champions! I started with a simple latte, three sugars in the raw,

Tallula Latte

and continued with the Three Eggs Any Style ($11) served with one large tater tot, thick-cut bacon and toast.

Tallula Three Eggs

One of our friends ordered the same. His wife chose the Shrimp & Grits ($14) served in a smoked chorizo tomato sauce.

Tallula Shrimp & Grits

For their three-year-old son, the Silver Dollar Pancakes ($5) with apple syrup.

Tallula Pancakes

Chris, the hungriest amongst us, started with the Mixed Green Salad ($7),a side of tater tots ($4) and the Sobrasada Sausage Omelet ($8).

Tallula Big Brunch

What I loved: The home fries and the rich, bold coffee.

Why I loved it: A fun neighborhood atmosphere, taking me back to our Seattle days, where the entire family could enjoy a meal together, or one might bring a first date. Our server was friendly and patient, calm and had a beautiful, radio voice to boot!

Cost: Average ($9-$15 per brunch entree)

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