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.
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: 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.
The first sign of a good coffee shop is when it only stocks 2 percent, whole or soy milk.
The second sign — no syrups.
The Wydown Coffee Bar, named after a boulevard in St. Louis, isn’t messing around.
Co-owned by two brothers from St. Louis, The Wydown is the third coffee shop in an area that has underserved the coffee culture for way too long. It’ll be the second shop on 14th Street with a drip bar when it moves to its new location in December, only blocks from Peregrine Espresso.
The biggest difference between Peregrine and Wydown? Wydown has seating. And that’s huge.
While its pop-up location only has two outlets for day-long laptop junkies to latch onto, the open, warehouse-like space with chalkboard walls, a tree-trunk table with picnic tables and bowling alley benches on either side, is already making serious coffee shop goers feel at home.
Wydown serves homemade muffins, scones and breads, alongside French pastries from Georgetown’s Patisserie Poupon.
The shop’s co-owner, Alex, says The Wydown was named so customers would ask about its origin and thereby leave with a positive image of St. Louis.
It’s soon to do that and more in one of the fastest developing areas in the District.
Follow them @thewydown for details of their move.