“Pop Up” Blind Dog Cafe Uses Daytime Space at Darnell’s Bar

by Borderstan.com March 28, 2012 at 10:00 am 2,862 1 Comment

"Borderstan""Blind Dog Cafe"

Great breakfast options at Blind Dog Cafe. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.

Admittedly, it took me awhile to get to Blind Dog Cafe. I have a bit of an aversion when it comes to anything labeled “pop-up” lately. It’s not rational. I realize I am probably missing out on some good food, or fun experiences. I just hate the fact that everyone’s using the label as a ploy to get people to their boutique/restaurant/food-truck-gone-brick-and-mortar.

But then I realized, Blind Dog Cafe has been open for six weeks now and while co-owner, Noah Karesh maintains it’s still a pop-up, you start to get the feeling that they might be sticking around for awhile.

Having taken over the unused day space at Darnell’s Bar (it opens at 5 pm), Blind Dog is a full-service coffee shop and cafe named after Baxter, the de facto blind dog belonging to one of the owners. (Baxter is also the model for the company logo.) Comfy cushions line sun-washed window seats, curlicued cafe chairs complement large tables where you’re bound to mix and mingle with whoever happens to sit next to you.

In fact, during my visit last week I ended up chatting with another local blogger, whom I had been following for months but never met! Fresh home from a week in Austin, my morning at Blind Dog left me feeling as though a bit of that famously friendly city had been transported right to the corner of Florida and W Street.

But where Blind Dog really outshines its competition is in the quality of its food and coffee. My breakfast sandwich put quite a few of DC’s breakfast sandwiches to shame: a buttery, flaky croissant with a slice of fluffy egg frittata and two thick cut slices of chorico sausage… yes and thank you! Said sandwiches are served all day and easily worth the trek from any location in Borderstan.

Oh, and the baked goods welcoming you when you walk in the door? Well, they’re all made in-house, with one KitchenAid mixer. Their pastry chef, and sometimes barista, is working on perfecting bagels too. You know, no big deal. (I’d also recommend nabbing a cherry chocolate chip cookie if they happen to be there during your visit.)

If the perfect cafe’s trifecta consists of food, coffee and wi-fi, then Blind Dog has all three. (They’re serving PT’s Coffee, which was lovely.) It’s an easy spot to plop down with your laptop, get some work done and still eat and drink yourself into a blissful state. So, while the owners feels out the neighborhood, and gauge the neighborhood’s interest in them, I plan on visiting as frequently as my schedule allows. I’m crossing my fingers they stick around, or that if they have to move, they stay in Borderstan.

Blind Dog Cafe

  • Where Am I Going: 944 Florida Avenue NW, corner of Florida and W Street.
  • When Am I Going: 7:30 am to 4pm, 7 days a week.
  • Paycheck Pain: Not much. Coffees are anywhere from $2.50 to $4 and a breakfast sandwich will set you back $6.

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