January 2007: 100 Very Best Restaurants

A splashy, retro-cool spot for updated comfort food.

No. 97: Jackie’s Restaurant

Disco balls dangling from utility lights. Desserts with kooky names like Your Peanut Butter Is in My Chocolate. A soundtrack that shuffles from Lucinda Williams to DC punk to Euro-pop. This auto garage turned restaurant—the brainchild of Jackie (with a heart over the I) Greenbaum, who favors tall boots and big hair—might be the least-serious serious restaurant in town.

The kitsched-up industrial space looks like a mod, ’60s-era teen dream: bright pink booths, shiny plastic chairs, shag carpets—all that’s missing are hip-swiveling servers in patent-leather go-go boots. But here’s a surprise: You can get a pretty groovy meal.

Each night brings a Nostalgia Plate, which might be a dense meatloaf, a skillet-fried chicken, or a braised brisket—but chef Sam Adkins isn’t strictly Betty Crocker–inspired. You might also find wonderfully smoky pork tacos, a simple plate of prosciutto with figs and grilled mushrooms, or a flatiron steak with kicky chimichurri. The most reliable option is also the guiltiest pleasure: mini Elvis Burgers, smeared with pimiento cheese.

Brunch doesn’t feel like a toss off—or a recycling bin for the week’s leftover ingredients—as some do. You’ll find worthy renditions of sausage, biscuits, and gravy; Eggs in a Nest, with turnip greens and hash browns; plus spicy home fries and Mayorga coffee.

Get Our “Brunches This Weekend” Newsletter

The best breakfasts and brunches to try every weekend, plus our most popular food stories of the week.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.