Brunch Spotlight: Estadio

The 14th Street tapas place isn’t just for evening eats.

By: Anna Spiegel

Cocktails aren't just for evening, either. Have on in the AM with fried eggs and chorizo and sausage hash from Estadio. Photograph by Erik Uecke.

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The coffee: La Colombe, roasted in Philadelphia.
The mood: Early on, a laid-back neighborhood spot. Primetime is still buzzy, but nowhere near the evening clamor.
The booze: You’re in pretend Spain! Drink cava and/or sangria. Then again, the cocktails at Estadio are among the city's best. It's never too early for one of those.

Anyone who’s tried to snag a table at Estadio on Saturday night knows you can be packed in like boquerones around the bar while you wait (and wait). The solution: Saturday and Sunday brunch. Though it’s popular, I’ve always managed to walk in and get a seat—even during peak hours between 12:30 and 1:30—which is an anomaly during dinner.

It’s tempting not to let the secret out, because chef Haidar Karoum’s menu of tapas and raciones—larger dishes that could serve as entrées—is just as tasty. I love spins on classic brunch dishes, such as warm toast spread with honey butter and sprinkled with sea salt, or fried eggs with zesty chorizo and morcilla sausage hash. (If you’re rueing the lack of solid, hangover-curing Mexican brunch options within the District boundaries, the latter is a good choice.)

A handful of favorite regular dinner items make an appearance as well, so you can still go for that simple-yet-satisfying slice of grilled bread rubbed with tomato or a mini pork belly sandwich with pickled shishito peppers. If you have room, a side order of patatas bravas, far more delicious than most breakfast potatoes, never hurts.