First Look: Ted’s Bulletin

Walk up to Ted’s Bulletin, the latest restaurant from the owners of pizza-and-slider spots Matchbox, and you’re likely to see a guy in the window slathering icing on strawberry-jam-filled pop tarts. Inside the dining room, diners sip tall milkshakes and gaze at a Three Stooges episode being projected on a wall. Dinner is called supper.

Burgers and sandwiches may be front and center on the menu—designed to look like an old-time newspaper—but what the place really serves up is blue-plate nostalgia. The grilled cheese sandwich that comes with a bowl of creamy tomato soup is filled with slices of American, not Gruyère. And when was the last time you saw a sloppy joe on a menu?

It’s hard not to give into kid-like excess. Those milkshakes are delicious, either G-rated or pumped up with dashes of rum or tequila. There’s a slightly greasy but good corned-beef Reuben and an even better turkey version—both come with extra Thousand Island dressing for dipping. The excellent Cobb salad is laden with fried chicken.

But along with too-salty lasagna and bland chicken salad, the big disappointment is that pop tart. It was adorable but tasted as if it had been sitting around all day. That provided at least one opportunity to exercise some dietary restraint.

-July 2010 

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 Petworth.