Chef José Andrés was recently on Fresh Air. Beloved NPR host and Philadelphia institution Terry Gross asked D.C.’s beloved chef and restaurateur about one of his specialties. Andrés told her about his take on the Philly cheesesteak. Gross’ reaction was great, “Oh, that’s ridiculous.” Andrés went on to explain the origin of his cheesesteak, the differences between what he does and what people expect from a Philly cheesesteak and the point of making something new.
The most illuminating takeaway from the entertaining exchange is a fine summation of Andrés culinary career. “This is an homage to Philly. Even some people tried to crucify me back in time when I did it, but I forgive them. I’m a guy that believes that food should unite people, not break people apart.” America Eats may do the best job in the Think Food Group roster that unites all people.
Not every Think Food Group will please everyone. Our favorites, China Chilcano, Oyamel, Jaleo, might not please the less adventurous diners in your life. America Eats has the potential to please.
The menu at America Eats is American food. A hush puppy recipe that originated in Arkansas. A vermicelli mac ‘n’ cheese that originated in Pennsylvania. An AET burger recipe that originated in New York. On the menu nearly all of the mains and most of the starters list the place of origin for the recipe of each item. And since America Eats is about American food, they’re all American recipes.
The hush puppies and mac ‘n’ cheese are safe bets. The Steak Tartare American and Chesapeake crab cakes are stand outs, but may stand out too much to a cautious Georgetown diner.
Last week we highlighted the current Passport to Pero program at China Chilcano. One dish in particular, Cangrejo Reventado, a dish of snow crab, scrambled egg, yucca, ají amarillo, and red onion, might frighten fans of mac ‘n’ cheese and burgers. And that’s why it’s good America Eats exists.
The restaurant launched brunch last weekend. Similar to its lunch and dinner menus, it has options that will comfort anyone, chicken and waffles, Reubens, etc., and slightly more exciting dishes like the Hangtown Fry (scrambled organic eggs, fried oysters, caramelized onion, bacon, oyster ketchup). If you’re looking for a place that’ll please the parents and won’t bore your palate, this should be on your Georgetown map.
America Eats Tavern, 3139 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007, opens everyday at 11 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, midnight Friday and Saturday. Reservations are accepted.