Old Ebbitt Grill, the oldest saloon in Washington, D.C.

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We flew to Washington, D.C. today on Father’s Day. I wanted to have dinner to celebrate the occasion at a restaurant that’s not only interesting but perhaps with a little bit of history. Keith likes history. Upon researching all the DC restaurants, I found the Old Ebbitt Grill. It is known as the oldest saloon in Washington founded in 1856. Although the restaurant no longer stands on the original location, they have brought all the paintings to the current one. Some of the artwork dates back to 1800’s. There was even an original painting of Ulysees Grant’s portrait by the bar. The restaurant has many different rooms that can seat about a few hundred people.

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The manager gave us with interesting tidbits about some of the paintings. I asked him if there were famous people who have dined there lately. He said the President of Estonia came last week. Presidents Clinton and Bush have also been there and some of the previous Vice Presidents (and I think Joe Biden has too). Although President Obama has not been there yet. I asked him what happens when dignitaries show up—whether they close the whole restaurant or still let people in? He said it’s still business as usual for them only with an unusual amount of secret service standing around. They also have a room for them downstairs that is a little more private and away from prowling eyes.

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As much as I enjoyed the restaurant’s ambience, I was not too impressed with the food. Our server told us that they are famous for their crab cakes and oysters. We didn’t order any oysters but I got the crab cake sandwich. It was just okay, nothing to get excited about. It was in fact bland. Keith ordered the strawberry salad with goat cheese and seared salmon burger. I tasted the salad and again didn’t care for it. Joshua ordered the wild salmon that looked the most interesting of all the orders. Jude had grass fed burger off the kids menu. Joshua said the salmon was not breathtakingly delicious but it wasn’t that bad either.

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What we enjoyed was the dessert. It was a blondie topped with vanilla ice
cream and butterscotch. All four of us shared and it was all gone in two seconds!

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Old Ebbitt Grill is located across the Department of Treasury, on 15th street NW between F and G streets. The White House is just a minute walk from the restaurant.

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Update: A few days before we left, my father in law texted me about going to the restaurant. I told him it was in my itinerary and in fact going to celebrate Father’s Day there. I greeted him an advanced happy Father’s Day. A week later he passed and that was our very last communication.

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