From Sarah Lipman. You can email her at sarah[AT]@borderstan.com.
A good and greasy piece of fried chicken has been known to melt my heart. So admittedly, Eatonville is my kind of place.
Inspired by Zora Neale Hurston and named for her Florida hometown, Eatonville delivers dependably delicious southern cooking. Bold, bright murals cover the walls, and chintzy touches such as scattered rocking chairs set the southern ambiance.
With a mix of Motown greats like Marvin Gaye playing in the background, we started our meal off right with a couple of cocktails. On the sweeter side, cocktails at Eatonville have funky names like “Daisy Lemonade” and “Grown and Sexy,” the latter of which I almost ordered just for the fun of it.
An order of the honey-cornbread muffins served with sweet whipped butter is a must; an order of four muffins costs only $2. While unfailingly southern, the menu does feature a shocking number of healthy options, such as cauliflower and goat cheese spinach salad, vegan gumbo, and pan-fried tofu with mushrooms. That being said, if you’re here, I say go for it — if it has “fried” in the name or description, it’s almost certainly tasty.
The fried green tomato starter is served with avocado and has a surprisingly spicy kick of oil. Southern fried chicken arrives on a plate chock-full of collard greens, mac and cheese and a buttermilk biscuit. Other stand-out entrées include:
- Catfish and grits, which featured fish, which was at the same time flaky and crispy, and cheesy jalapeño gruyere grits.
- Pan-fried pork chop with sweet potato hash and broccolini.
- Pecan-crusted trout with hoppin’ john (essentially dirty rice).
That southern influence extends to their hospitable service. At the end of a meal I had there, a busboy accidentally removed and tossed a dish my friend wanted to take home. The waiter promptly fixed her a new (slightly smaller) portion of her entrée.
Next up on my list to try at Eatonville — the BGLT sandwich (bacon, fried green tomato, lettuce).
Eatonville: The Details
- Where Am I Going: 2121 14th Street NW (at V Street)
- When Am I Going: Eatonville is open Monday-Thursday, 11:30 am to 11 pm; Friday, 11:30 am to midnight; Saturday, 10 am to midnight; Sunday, 10 am to 11 pm. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 3 pm.
- Paycheck Pain: Starters are all under 10 bucks, entrees $21 and under, and sandwiches in the $9-$13 range. Cocktails will set you back about 10 bucks.
- Say What?: You can clearly hear both your dining party and the great tunes with ease.
- What You’ll Be Eating: Down-home, feel-good, southern cookin.’