Satellite Room Is a Secret Worth Keeping to Yourself

Tucked behind the 9:30 Club and across the street from the overflowing rooftops at Brixton and Nellie’s is a quiet place for the hipster in you.

A.C. Slater

The A.C. Slater boozy shake at Satellite Room.

Satellite Room, which is owned by the Hilton brothers (also responsible for Marvin’s, Chez Billy, Hanoi House and Brixton), is an unassuming garage-like space complete with pinball machines, comic strip art and a row of red, pleather booths lining the cinder block and exposed brick walls.

An adjoining tin-roofed outdoor bar may mistake you for another ultra trendy beer garden, but the food at this off-U Street diner is legit.

Be as healthy or unhealthy as you wish with the build-your-own-burger, which can or can’t be defined as an actual burger. You can pick from beef, chicken, fish or a black bean patty, your choice of cheese, sauce and bun. For no-carb eaters, get your “burger” wrapped in lettuce instead.

But before you decide on a main plate, definitely go for a round of boozy shakes and apps.

Here’s what to get:


Elote, or Mexican-inspired corn on the cob.

Elote: I’m from the Midwest, and I’ve never had corn like this. The cooks at Satellite Room grill the corn on the cob until it’s a blackened to the point it’s charred. Hot off the grill, they roll it in butter, cotija cheese and cayenne pepper and serve it with a lime on the side. At $4 a cob, everyone at the table should at least have one.

Macaroni and cheese: This may be some of the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had. It’s baked in a ramekin with bread crumbs on top, which make it crusty and stick to the edges.

Tater tots: Served in a Chinese to-go box, these will be gone before anything else. They’re crispy, piping hot, and way better than what you remember being served in your high school’s cafeteria.

A.C. Slater: If you’ve never had an avocado shake with tequila (who has?) now is the time to get one. There’s no use waiting for dessert to order this light green, creamy delight. The chunks of avocado will surprise you. And so will the tequila.


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