Vintage Charm, Tasty Fare at Ted’s.
Having heard good things about Ted’s Bulletin, a small group of friends and I decided to check it out for brunch, and we were thoroughly impressed. From the newspaper-style menu to pieces of décor salvaged from the old Philadelphia Civic Center, the place is brimming with old-fashioned flair. It has an inviting atmosphere that’s kitschy without being over the top, and some great food and drink to match.
Despite a decently long wait for our bloody marys while the bar staff made a fresh batch of the mix, the cocktails were superb. The “famous” grilled cheese and tomato soup lived up to their billing, while breakfast fare such as the light, fluffy french toast, hearty biscuits with sausage gravy, and perfectly cooked bacon and eggs won me over. Despite our full stomachs, the waiter sold us on the homemade poptarts at the end of the meal, and were we ever glad he did – flaky and delicious, they are not to be missed. Next time, I’m saving room for a milkshake!
Fantastic food and ambiance in Barracks Row.
The brilliance of Ted's Bulletin runs far past the cuisine. No detail was spared in leaving an indelible visual imprint of a time long forgotten in American lore. Yet, somehow, the restaurant intelligently incorporates modern aspects as well. The result is truly incredible. You can see the pastry chef working on "homemade pop tarts" in the window. The faux "bar manager" door is brightly hued red. The interior design and costuming is throwback, and the menu is a clear homage to all-American favorites with interesting twists.
This is not to say that Ted's Bulletin is foolproof. While the milkshakes might surpass Good Stuff Eatery for the best ones in Capitol Hill (and really all of DC), they are an expensive treat. One might find better value splitting a Nutella calzone with their sweetie at Seventh Hill in nearby Eastern Market. I understand that Ted's Bulletin might make great burgers, but I'm hard pressed to pay these prices with Good Stuff Eatery in the neighborhood and Ray's Hell Burger not too far away (yet, I don't think it will be too long before I try the $14 short rib sandwich topped with Vermont cheddar).
Having said all that, let me speak one more time about those milkshakes. For the love of God, splurge on a $6 milkshake. Sure, it's kind of ridiculous, but they are well crafted. Our only complaint was that we were hoping for a bit more overpowering flavors from our specialty orders. For example, I could not really taste the marshmallow flavor in the S'mores milkshake. Yet, I was later told that certain parts of the milkshake were definitely marshmallow-y. The Heath shake that I ordered had a similar issue, however, the Cookies and Cream one we ordered was incredibly smooth. Even with the slight textural issues, there was no doubt that the overall flavor profile for the milkshakes was tremendous.
Citysearch Editorial Review. This Capitol Hill diner (on Barracks Row near Eastern Market) is a clever nod to a bygone era. Owners Mark and Ty Neal--also behind D.C.'s Matchbox restaurants--named the joint after their father, a West Virginian who was the unofficial "cook of the neighborhood." The old-timey throwback feels like the real deal here; art deco details, like carved marble door frames and metal air vents, are salvaged from the Philadelphia Civic Center circa 1928. Tables--salvaged former doors--are set with folded dish rags and a newspaper-like menu that features comfort food classics such as milkshakes, meatloaf and grilled cheese with tomato soup. Breakfast items such as short stack pancakes and home-made pop tarts are served all day.
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