Eleventh Street Lounge is the only place in this city that actually has a weekly commitment from us - not even church, family, or friends garner that level of devotion. Eleventh is the quintessence of a great neighborhood joint for so many reasons.
1) The service is friendly. By friendly, I mean we have made REAL LIFE friends over there. The staff is intelligent, down-to-earth, and the kind of people you’d want to hang out with outside of the establishment. They take care of their regulars and make newcomers feel welcome. It all adds up to a laid-back and neighborly vibe that stands out in Clarendon.
2) The food can’t be beat. This isn’t a quesadilla and potato skins type of place. They don’t have just 1 burger on the menu - they have at least 6. One of them - the lamb burger, pictured below - is easily one of the best dishes in Clarendon. They don’t serve just fries on the side - they serve a mix of seasoned regular fries AND sweet potato fries. They don’t just hand you a plastic ketchup bottle - they give you a little silver dipping bowl filled with ketchup.
We were a little skeptical the first time we ordered “Deviled Eggs” off the small plates menu. Yes, we like deviled eggs, but we like them in small, annual doses - served on a silver tray at holiday parties, for example. The deviled eggs at Eleventh put those holiday deviled eggs to total shame. After the eggs are deviled, they are then hand-breaded in a fine breadcrumb mix, then fried to a golden crisp. Yes - chicken fried deviled eggs! These are not your mama’s deviled eggs.
3) The happy hour food and drink specials are generous. Wednesdays and Saturdays, for example, you have half-price gourmet sirloin burgers. Drink specials will get you a great work-week buzz for a very small price. This is what our table typically looks like at happy hour:
4) They don’t just serve people at Eleventh.. they serve dogs. Anytime we brought our dog, Charlie, to sit on the patio with us, the staff went out of their way to make him comfy. Along with our cold drinks, they would always bring Charlie out a bowl of water, accompanied by a belly rub. Charlie would plop down right in the middle of everyone’s way, and nobody ever made us (or him) feel bad about it, nor were we ever asked to move. Eleventh actually became one of Charlie’s favorite places in Clarendon. Trying to take him on a walk became brutal if we ever walked by Eleventh without stopping in for a meal. Here he is in his usual spot, with his Eleventh-face on.
If you haven’t already, go to Eleventh. Order the deviled eggs for your app and the lamb burger as your main meal. If you’re anything like us, that exact meal will go on regular weekly rotation in your diet.
(this post is in memory of Charlie: DOB (?)-June 14, 2010)