It is a little known musical fact that Johnny Cash Kris Kristofferson was inspired to write Sunday Morning Coming Down while strolling 18th Street in Adams Morgan. Who wouldn’t be? I can’t imagine a more perfect location to lament Saturday night regrets than this particular scene of so many social crimes. Luckily you can bring your Sunday morning right back to its rightful place with a well-timed brunch at Cashion’s Eat Place.
We took in Cashion’s on a bright Sunday morning when the city was still shaking off last night’s cobwebs. The air was warm but not yet steamy. The restaurant was humming but not yet crowded. Baby Spice was sleeping peacefully in her stroller and I was looking forward to enjoying a meal with two hands when… the harmony was broken by Mike talking dirty to his Bloody Mary. It was damned indecent. But Mike is a connoisseur of the drink and it takes no small feat to impress him. This Bloody Mary was on its game: robust, spicy, and not shy with the horseradish. Mike was in brunch cocktail heaven.
It was just the start of a flawless meal. Cashion’s has long been recognized for its take on sophisticated/cozy foods featuring ingredients you may have in your own kitchen but whipped into a flavorful frenzy by the talented John Manolatos. Our brunch entrees kept the joy alive. Mike’s cornmeal waffles may as well have been delivered with a choir of angels. These golden waffles were perfectly crispy with a feathery light interior that would put any duvet to shame. The warm, ripe Virginia peaches were a juicy addition to the flavors. The syrup was served warm. Thank you Cashion’s. When did cold syrup become an acceptable condiment? It ranks up there with rock hard butter as a what-the-cuss-I-may-as-well-be-dining-at-IHOP-for-all-the-attention-to-detail-I’m-seeing-here dining annoyance.The powdered sugar added its intended sweetness but was a little overkill with the ripe fruit and syrup. Still, a killer dish. If all waffles were this good, I’d never leggo that Eggo.
A savory brunch dish and surprising dessert after the jump.
I chose the savory path with a wild king salmon perched on a summer succotash and accented with a cheese-free pesto sauce. The salmon was everything you anticipate in a wild salmon – gorgeous dynamic color and a round flavor teased with silky texture. I could taste each of this fish’s happy days swimming in the cold ocean before diving onto my plate. The kitchen had done it justice. I scooped the salmon onto my fork with unladylike amounts of succatash. I love that sections of the corn still clung together, a sign it had seen a cob in recent hours. The summer corn was crisp and sweet, mingling in an umami-rich red tomato sauce with slips of sauteed veggies and onions. I think this is how royalty starts their day.
The fun wasn’t over. A fennel-based cake dessert caught my eye and our waitress, a Mariska Hargitay lookalike, practically skipped to the kitchen to place our order, she was so excited for how happy it would make the chef. “He loves that dessert but it’s hardly ever ordered. That peach crisp really kicks its butt.” I’m sure the peach dessert would have been great but the fennel cake was a huge win. The moist cake came with layers of sweet cream and fennel, tasting ever so slightly like a birthday cake just grazed with black licorice. The Marcona almond brittle offered a candied crunch to offset the soft cake and filling.I’m not typically a fennel fan but this unexpected foray into dessert territory was a fun treat. It was sweet, savory, and delicate. A perfect twist ending to a gorgeous meal.
Cashion’s isn’t exactly a budget brunch option (entrees run from $12 to $20), but you leave feeling like you got your money’s worth. With the added advantage of a group buying deal we took advantage of, it was a splurge that felt like a steal.