Photos By Nicholas Karlin, Words By Brandon Wetherbee
Breakfast pop-ups in bars and restaurants that are otherwise only open at night are great ideas. More locations should take advantage of this. Maybe it’s difficult to find reliable partners. Maybe insurance makes it cost prohibitive. Maybe people that work in the night can’t imagine waking up early for breakfast. Short Eats is currently open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., in Ten Tigers Parlour. It’s a good concept that translates into a good reality.
Short Eats offers five options. You can order one of three breakfast versions of roti pockets (turkey, vegetarian, sausage), iced ginger tea and coffee. That’s it. Yohan Ferdinando, co-Founder and former Operations Manager of Postmates and Favor, makes the Sri Lankan food. The other co-founder, Jonathan Beyoghlow, takes orders and serves the drinks. It’s a very basic, very small operation that does few things and does it well.
Since there are only five things on the menu, we tried all five options. The coffee is Compass Coffee. Great. Nice, good, local pick. The iced ginger tea is great if you like ginger. Don’t like ginger? Drink the coffee.
The food is the highlight. It better be when they’re only serving five things. This is a good time to point out that the food is spicy. Even the tea. But if you don’t like spicy food you’re not going to a Sri Lankan pop-up. There’s a Dunkin Donuts and Wendy’s across the street that has non-spicy breakfast options.
The turkey roti is the safest choice. Do you order turkey sandwiches because they give you protein and are hard to screw up? This is why the turkey roti is on the menu. It’s the safest option. It packs the weakest punch but the side sauces can pull out more flavor if inclined.
The vegetarian option is actually the most savory. It’s satisfaction level is surprising.
The sausage version includes breakfast peppers that give it a classic, American spice level. Think Bob Evans sausage. But a really good Bob Evans sausage.
Short Eats is serving comfort food in a comfortable setting. It’s not as fast as fast casual but not as slow as a diner. And if you’re in Petworth, your breakfast options are mostly limited to Slim’s Diner.
If you don’t already know about Short Eats, it’s easy to walk by Ten Tigers and assume they’re closed. Just look at the photos.
Short Eats will be at Ten Tigers through the end of June. Every Saturday they’re at the Petworth Community Market from 9 to 11 a.m. If they get more hours to operate, they’ll expand to a lunch menu featuring Sri Lankan curry bowls. If and when they do, we’ll be very happy to revisit for another Taste Test.