Sports fan? You need to get to Willie’s.
Not a sports fan? You need to get to Willie’s.
Although the “Brew ‘N Que” opened in Navy Yard just last week, I’ve managed to find myself there twice already. On Sunday, I took it all in while fans representing their various football teams took in the games. Sitting in the midst of twelve easily seen TVs, Fantasy Football conversation, and mild cheering, I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it was.
The restaurant itself is aesthetically pleasing. The practically floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides allow you to look out onto the neighborhood and get that clean, open feel provided by all of the natural lighting. Both visits made it clear that this is a laid-back place to watch games, eat good food, and enjoy good company. While there was the standard rooting, cheering, and groaning that accompany games, it was still possible to maintain conversations at a normal volume.
It was so friendly a place that when one patron noticed that another was no longer eating his chicken (of which, there was plenty left), he offered to finish it off for him. The chicken made its way down the bar, with a “Sure, this is a communal table”, while the bartender got in on it, commenting, “Share your food”. I had ordered the brisket, and it was the best I’ve had in awhile. It passed the all-important “no knife needed” test and since I didn’t even notice sauce was an option, I enjoyed it all by itself. Well, mostly all by itself. I also tried out two of the twelve beers on tap and have to say, they paired very well with my meal!
I had already planned to make a return trip on Wednesday to see what it is like at night and to try a new menu item. Those plans became set in stone when on my cold, rainy lunch break I noticed Willie’s Facebook page posted a picture of their cider with bourbon. It is one of those drinks that essentially is the holiday season. Warm, with lemon and a strong cinnamon taste, it’s going to be the perfect treat when it really starts to get cold around here. I also ordered the pulled pork sandwich and sampled it with two sauces. I personally preferred it with the molasses sauce, but the sweet BBQ was pretty delicious too.
Lessons learned that I’d like to pass along:
- Locate the sauces before you start eating. I made it most of the way through my brisket before noticing that 1) there are sauces available and 2) they were at the other end of the bar. There is also a condiment station located in the back with anything you might need. You can be sure I was on top of it the second time.
- If you are interested in trying the kale – Get. There. Early. Obviously, living on the Hill, kale has become a staple food in my diet. Both visits I eagerly ordered the side, and both times was told that they had run out. Lucky for me, third time’s a charm! Here’s hoping, anyway!