From Cara Scharf. Email her at cara[AT]borderstan.com.
A few weeks ago I wrote about Borderstan’s charitable bar, Cause, the Philanthropub, starting Sunday brunch service with a few trial menu items. Now that they’ve had success with the first few brunches, they are rolling out a permanent brunch menu, which features an interesting twist on a morning favorite: “Adult Cereals.”
Yes, alongside the French toast, omelets, and Huevos Rancheros, you’ll find cereal and alcohol combos such as the “Silly Sloe Rabbit”, made with Trix, Sloe Gin, lemon syrup, and Half & Half. See the full menu here.
I encourage you all to go to Cause’s brunch and try the cereals because, well, where else in the city can you simultaneously day-drink and donate to worthy charities? For me, though, I have to admit that a boozy breakfast just makes me think of the immortal words of Lethal Weapon character Roger Murtaugh: “I’m too old for this.”
Am I aging out of DC drinking culture at just 28-years-old?
A couple weekends ago, a friend of mine came to DC for his bachelor party. I’m female, but this was a non-gendered affair, so I trekked out to H Street and tried to work up a healthy buzz with beer and wine. We played mini golf at the H Street Country Club until 1 am and then moved on to the Rock and Roll Hotel to dance to some songs that were popular when I was in middle school. Everyone seemed to be having a jolly-good time and I was glad to be part of it, but mostly I just wanted to stop drinking and go to sleep.
I often joke that DC is full of “perpetual college students”, people who still act like they’re in college well into their 30s. It’s understandable: this is a great place to be a young professional and, with myriad opportunities to integrate drinking into activities like sports and brunch, it’s easy to keep the buzz going. But I think everyone hits a point where they’re not into it anymore. Sometimes, I feel like an outsider because I’ve reached that point a bit earlier than others.
It would be great to know I’m not alone: any of you in your late 20’s feeling the same?
From Cara Scharf. Email her at cara[AT]borderstan.com.
Brunch now has a meaning. Now you can add Cause, the Philanthropub (1926 9th Street NW) to your list of Borderstan brunch joints. Starting this Sunday, May 5, the socially conscious bar and restaurant will be open from noon to 8 pm, serving food and traditional brunch-time drinks.
Opened last October, Cause is the first restaurant in DC to donate all profits, after expenses and salary, to charity. The self-professed “philanthropub” features four nonprofit beneficiaries each quarter, chosen by Cause’s advisory committee. Diners can choose one of the four by marking their bill.
Doing good isn’t the only reason people are going to Cause. The seasonal, creative dishes are also top-notch. One of Cause’s founders, former Peace Corps volunteer Nick Vilelle, cites the positive response and requests from patrons as the reason the restaurant has expanded into brunch territory.
Cause’s chefs are still working on a set brunch menu, but in the interim Sunday brunches will feature weekly specials. This Sunday’s menu includes Huevos Rancheros, homemade cornmeal pancakes, and breakfast sammies. You can also enjoy $15 bottomless mimosas or Bloody Marys between noon and 4pm.
Vilelle is open to hearing menu suggestions from the community, so feel free to get in touch through the website.
After working for more than a decade in electoral politics, Nikki Enfield decided she wanted to change the way people converse.
“Especially in DC, we tend to talk over and past one another,” Enfield says. “We stop listening, and we’re missing connections between each other.”
To create a casual environment where people can come together and interact in a way that encourages individual thoughts and opinions, Enfield started the Wandering Minds Society in January.
For Wandering Minds, Enfield picks a topic of interest (past topics include War in the Age of Twitter and Civic Engagement in America), invites a local expert to moderate the conversation and then invites the public (usually around 40 people) to a local bar for a few hours of dialogue.
“No matter what we talk about, it’s usually in the form of a question,” says Enfield, who explains that the topic expert is not there to talk at the participants, but just guide the discussion.
The past two Wandering Minds events have taken place at CAUSE (1926 9th Street NW), but Enfield hopes to switch up the location in order to engage different audiences.
The next Wandering Minds session will take place on Sunday, March 10 at CAUSE. The topic is “What is Funny? The Art and Science of Making People Laugh.”
“I’ve always found that comedians are such intelligent people,” Enfield says. “But what makes a person think a comedian is so funny? It’s like partisanship and dating. If you’re on a date and someone who has different views, that can be a deal breaker.”
Enfield is hosting a second Wandering Minds event this month on Monday, March 25. This event, at The 201 Bar (201 Massachusetts Avenue NE), will explore how today’s political movements came to be.
Tickets to the Wandering Minds events are $5 for early birds, $9 in advance and $12 at the door. Those interested in participating as a “topic expert” should contact Enfield at nikki[AT]wanderingmindssociety.com.
Cause, the Philanthropub opened a few months back bringing a unique concept to DC – operating just like any other bar, but donating their profits to various charitable causes.
But even if you completely ignore all the good charitable things they do, this place is still delicious and a great addition to the area. Why?
- ‘Cause they have awesome cocktails and a great beer selection. I got the “Madiba” — South African Pinotage, cognac and ginger. Refreshing and delicious. My friends had the Mahatma and the Truth, and claimed both to be very good.
- ‘Cause of the service. The service has always been attentive, friendly and prompt, even if the place is full. The owners even set aside tables specifically for us when we were a large group, without us specifically requesting it.
- ‘Cause they have great food. We got to try an assortment of the menu. To start with, we got the duck hearts on toast. I am not particularly an adventurous eater, but I loved this dish. Crusty bread with buttery duck hearts. Yum. I love wings, and really enjoyed the General Tso style chicken wings. My vegetarian friend got the “Quentil” burger — Quinoa and lentil burger. When a place offers not one but two vegetarian burgers that are not the standard “Boca” burger, I am way more than impressed. The African chicken groundnut stew with chicken confit and ground peanuts is warm and filling. Prices are reasonable and the portions are plentiful.
- ‘Cause of the dry erase tables, which provide for hours of entertainment. They are meant for “brainstorming” while eating, but serve just as well for Pictionary.
- ‘Cause you feel better about paying your tab when you know there’s some money going to charity. At the bottom of the receipt, you check off the charity that you would like your contribution to go to.
At the end of the day, Cause is a great neighborhood bar. I will definitely go back to try some more of the innovative cocktails and interesting menu items.
If you have been, what did you think?
The Details on Cause
- Where Am I Going: 1926 9th Street NW (just south of U Street)
- When Am I Going: Sunday to Thursday, 5 pm to 1:30 am; Friday and Saturday, 5 pm to 2:30 am.
- Paycheck Pain: Cocktails are about $9, beers average $6 to $8, $10 bottles of wine between 7 and 9:30 pm, Food prices range from $8 to$12 on average, with large portions.
- Say What?: Loud, but fun.
- What You’ll Be Eating: Eclectic, but something for everyone. Vegetarian friendly.
Ever wonder how our nation’s historical events would play out in modern times — especially on social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook?
At Cause Philanthropub on Sunday, January 27, Civil War expert Aaron Killian will lead a discussion on how the country might have responded to a national war in today’s current society and culture. How could our nation endure such carnage? What changes occurred in society, religion, and the role of women? These are just some of the questions Killian will ask to a group of wandering minds.
Tickets are $5 for “early birds” (the first 20 customers), $9 in advance and $12 at the door.
Cause Philanthropub is located at 1926 9th Street NW. The event is from 6 until 8 pm. For more information, visit the website.
From Katie Andriulli. Email her at katie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @kandriulli.
Good news guys: we’re apparently the 9th drunkest city in the country (suck on that, Omaha!) Normally I don’t put much stock in these kinds of rankings, but since this particular list assuages my personal guilt about binge drinking, I’m embracing it. On that note… hey look, it’s the weekend!
OK, so technically Mellow Mushroom is in Adams Morgan, not Borderstan, but any event that combines pizza and shopping gets a free pass in my book. Find those Zubaz pants buried at the bottom of your closet and bring them by the Xchange DC Fashion Swap taking place from 5 to 9 pm. Enjoy some eats (the Kosmic Karma pie is a personal favorite) and specials on DC’s own Chocolate City beer while you peruse the offerings.
Or, if you’re more in the mood for caffeinated art, check out DMV Coffee‘s first Thursday Night Throwdown (TNT) of the year, where you can watch skilled baristas go head to head in a latte art competition (yes, that is a thing!) This month’s battle, which is being hosted at Room 11, kicks off at 9 pm, and if you’ve never seen someone craft a swan out of milk foam, trust me, you don’t want to miss it.
Celebrate barely surviving your first full week back from vacation at Cause Philanthropub’s 5-5-5-5 happy hour from 4 to 7 pm, where draft beers, select bites, featured cocktails and wine are just $5 (even better: 100% of Cause’s profits go to deserving charities, so don’t be a teetotaler!) If you’re still hungry, walk a mere 20 yards across the street to grab dinner at 1905, which just rolled out a some new, sure-to-be-delicious menu offerings like pork belly with black eyed peas and braised beef cheek with fried yucca.
I have it on good authority that the double-bill tonight at the Black Cat is going to be a face-melter. Co-headliners Kingsley Flood, whose sound my friend described as “foot-stomping, raucous, Americana rock,” and DC’s own Ugly Purple Sweater, whose new EP, DC USA, is named in honor of the eponymous Columbia Heights shopping center, are both releasing new albums tonight at the show. Locals kindlewood open. Doors are at 8:30 pm, and tickets are only $12, which is same price as a ticket to Texas Chainsaw 3D (and, I would imagine, a much better value).
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are hosting the Golden Globes tonight, which is basically going to be this times a million. Before the show, catch up on some of this year’s nominated movies that you might have missed, including the insanely great Django Unchained, which is playing at Borderstan’s very own West End Cinema, and Rust and Bone at E Street Cinema (which is basically Amelie meets Free Willy I think?) Then head home and make some cocktails before the show starts so you can ensure that you’re as liquored up as the celebs in attendance.
DC’s U Street area is no stranger to the city’s latest and greatest bars and restaurants. But no other bars, as of yet, possess a business model quite like CAUSE, a “PhilanthroPub” set to open sometime this fall on the U Street corridor.
That is because this American cuisine-style restaurant and bar (the brain-child of Nick Vilelle and Raj Ratwani) will donate its dining and drinking proceeds to charitable organizations. The designated charities (a mix of local and international) will rotate quarterly, and the patrons of CAUSE will decide where they want to donate their dining dollars.
Vilelle and Ratwani, co-founders of CAUSE, teamed up with restaurant veterans John Jarecki and Dave Pressley of The Light Horse in Old Town Alexandria. Additionally, former Queen Vic chef Adam Stein will work as the executive chef for CAUSE. With a deep passion for local farming, Stein will focus on utilizing seasonal local foods in the menu, including a number of vegetarian options.
CAUSE is at 1926 9th Street NW. For more information, visit the website.