No matter how good of a cook you are, you get to the point where you want someone else to do the cooking. Spend enough time writing about a place and you eventually have to go and see it, or see it again, as is the case with this one. A DC institution, The Florida Avenue Grill has been one of the city’s most treasured breakfast spots, having probably served millions in its more than 60 years in service. I remember when the tech crew on BET’s Teen Summit used to order out from there each morning before the show’s live taping began.
Before today, I had only been to the joint once in all of my life. As I’d been writing about it as part of a creative project, I needed to see her again. And just as you know it, though the years had been plenty, what I’d captured on the page was mirror reflection of my memory.
Now as gentrified as everything else, the place is half-hipster and half homie, as genuine a snapshot of today’s DC as one can come across on Instagram. Chopping it up with my homegirl about everything from Obama and the Connecticut tragedy to marriage, and parental approval it always feels good to get a bite on someone else’s time and tab.
But the coolest part of the morning was peeping the man behind the griddle. How many omelettes does he make on Saturday? How does he get them all right the first time? How can he manage four or five orders at once, never scorching a thing? I might have had him on the french toast but he had me on everything else. And I don’t have to do it ALL day.
In writing a piece about love and random chance, what better place to set it than in DC diner where everyone’s been at least once? And if they have, they’ll be back. We always do.