“Ye diners out from whom we guard our spoons.” -Thomas Babington Macaulay
Capital City Diner has gotten tons of fanfare. Two guys bought a diner on eBay and had it shipped to DC. They opened up the only sit down restaurant in Trinidad. They only hired locals to work in the joint.
However, in all honesty, the fanfare should be about the food.
My trip took place late on a Saturday afternoon. I went with my best friend and we met his mom and one of her friends there. We were stoked after all the hype the place had gotten. Mom and company were slightly less stoked, especially after parking their car next to a very obviously intoxicated gentlemen slumped over on some stairs.
We came in and were really wowed by the ambiance. You really feel as though you’ve walked into 1952 (except for the black people and white people sitting next to each other at the counter.) The decor is great.
We were greeted by a talkative and funny waitress who took excellent care of us. Since I’m from Philly, I reject the notion that you shouldn’t sell a cheesesteak outside the city boundaries. Fortunately, Capital City sells a steak and cheese sub, which the waitress recommended to one of my dining companions. I had the Belgian waffle with cinnamon apples, my friend had the Western omelet, and his mother had the tuna salad.
The omelet was well- made, fluffy and didn’t skimp on the filling. The tuna salad was well- seasoned and had big chunks of onion and celery in it.
The steak and cheese got two thumbs up from this Philly native. The bun was excellent and flaky. The steak was coated in melted cheese. The sub was served with waffle fries, which were perfectly crunchy.
My Belgian waffle was amazing. It was light and fluffy and had a slight crisp. It came with homemade whipped cream. The real stunner, however, were the cinnamon and apples. They were made with tart apples and weren’t overly sugary. They had been excellently seasoned. I scraped up every last bit.
For two guys who have never owned a restaurant before, owners Matt Ashburn and Patrick Carl can cook some serious diner food. Don’t go to this place just to support local business. Don’t go just to support a neighborhood. Go for the food.
See more pictures here.
PS: I spent the better part of an evening discussing Anthony Bordain’s disappointing DC show. I love “No Reservations”, but the DC show was atrociously bad. The majority of the restaurants weren’t in DC, which is like doing an NYC show and having most of the restaurants being on Long fucking Island. Bourdain was also trying to avoid the whole “politics scene” for the show, yet managed to avoid nearly all of the non-political food culture that DC has to offer.
At the time of the show, Capital City Diner wasn’t open, but if it had been, it should have been a place the show featured. Because nothing is more anti-Capital Hill than Trinidad. And the food is amazing.