Tryst - Washington, DC
Imagine your most hipster friend you can think of. Then imagine how they would decorate their living room if they had no boundaries. That's pretty much the exact aesthetic of Tryst in the Adams Morgan district of Washington, DC.
Self described as a Coffeehouse/Bar/Lounge, this cafe feels like a more unique version of Starbucks. There are mismatched couches, love seats, and tables throughout the large room. They pride themselves on having no ties to corporate coffee and having no matching silverware. When you first walk in, you're given the daunting task of seating yourself. You pretty much stand in front of the room looking around like the last kid picked in gym class before you finally find a spot in the packed restaurant. We finally found a table near the back and were quickly attended to by our super hipster waiter.
The menu is the perfect size, with one page dedicated to breakfast food and another page for lunch. I had a hard time deciding between the Lemon Poppy Seed Waffle and the Linda sandwich but, considering it was already 2 pm, I chose the sandwich. It was a typical combination of mozzarella, spinach and basil pesto, with a fun twist in the addition of goat cheese and avocado on a hearty multigrain bread. I peeped some balsamic cherry tomatoes elsewhere on the menu, so I asked for those to be added to my sandwich as well. Definitely a good choice. It was probably one of the best sandwiches I've ever had. The goat cheese was a nice variation to the traditional mozz/pesto combo and it really took the meal from ordinary to exciting. It also came with some housemade chips, which were good but, to be honest, were just pretty average chips. Shannon was also feeling the lunch vibe and ordered the Molly. It came with chicken, cheddar, barbeque sauce, and quite literally an inch-high pile of bacon. (Shan sacrilegiously took some of the bacon off). While the chicken:bacon ration was admittedly a little off, the sandwich was still really good! Our friend Joy, however, was in a breakfast mood and ordered a latte, complete with a cute and unique animal cracker garnish.
All of our food was great and the atmosphere was wonderful, but hands down the coolest thing about this place is that it doubles as a bar! At night, they move some furniture out of the way and the taps start flowing. They have 6 craft beers on tap, plus canned beer, wine, and cocktails. According to Joy, it's a great place to go between bars to have a little rest while still keeping the buzz going. I don't know about you, but I can't think of any other coffeehouse that doubles as a bar. Even though it can feel a little cramped, the vibe is great and the food is even better. You can't go wrong!
I rate Tryst a solid 9/10.
2459 18th Street NW, Washington, DC