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Vegetarian Restaurant Review: Busboys and Poets

February 3, 2012

Busboys and Poets

2021 14th St NW, Washington DC 20009  |  (202) 387-7638
1025 5th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001  |  (202) 789-BBAP (2227)
4251 South Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206  | (703) 379-9757
5331 Baltimore Ave,  Hyattsville, MD 20781 | (301) 779-ARTS (2787)
  • Veg Friendly: Excellent
  • Menu: Endless options for vegetarians and vegans
  • Cuisine: Bistro Lunch and Dinner options, with a Middle Eastern Flair
  • Service: Family friendly

In some ways, posting a restaurant review for Busboys and Poets on a vegetarian blog is something for Captain Obvious. However, I know there are people who have yet to venture into the restaurant; they need to drop what they are doing and run over with their family and friends. Busboys is a community center. People meet to have coffee, brunch, listen to lectures, shop in the bookstore, grab a drink, eat dinner, hold a function, participate in discussions on social issues, etc. Busboys is the DC area activist hot-spot. I have to admit, I am a bit biased.  In the days before Serafina, I used to frequent the one on U Street after work. One of my PhD independent Study classes split between that location and Cakelove–since you need to enjoy salty and sweet in order to understand philosophy. I couldn’t leave my patronage to one location. Our old house was in walking distance of another location, and we went so frequently that the staff knew our names, lingered at my table while I studied to discuss my syllabus, celebrated our pregnancy more enthusiastically than ever expected, and played with Serafina when we brought her as a baby. After five years of living near Shirlington, Busboys became our Cheers.

As a vegetarian, I have enjoyed many dishes at Busboys. Last week after getting my haircut, I was in the neighborhood and I couldn’t resist. I ran in and ordered my all-time favorite: the Tempeh Sandwich. Served with vegan mayonnaise, arugula, roasted red peppers, sauteed onions on rosemary sun-dried tomato loaf, it is my favorite vegetarian sandwich served in a restaurant. We also enjoy the harira, brie panini, vegan nachos, hummus,  and the pan seared tofu. Brunch, where we spent long hours–so long the waitstaff could have killed us– and numerous trip creating baby name lists, we frequented the most. We both love the Oaxaca Omelet, which has black beans, pica de gallo onions, and avocado inside. Served with toast and hashbrowns, the omelet is enough to feed a small army. Busboys offers meals with and without vegetarian alternatives, for example for brunch you can bypass the fake meat or you can get vegan sausage. I love the options.  The food is fresh, and they try to buy local and organic when possible. Busboys proves that a restaurant can have a conscious, serve delicious food, and still be profitable, for that reason be sure to get there early because the line is usually out the door.

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