Travel Bite: Washington, D.C. – Brasserie Beck’s Croque Monsieur

I like brunch. Really what I like is a heavy breakfast. I generally have no need for the lunch side of brunch, but I have been known to grab a slice of prime rib or two if available.  I also like pretty traditional breakfast food, eggs Benedict, corned beef hash, bacon and eggs.  So when I read the menu at Brasserie Beck, I was feeling discouraged.  Chicken and waffles? No. Crab cake Benedict? No. Biscuits and gravy? Traditional, but not for me. Then I saw the croque monsieur, available with an egg.  (In case you, or the people at Brasserie Beck didn’t know, technically this makes it a croque madame.) It was served with fries, which I don’t normally eat for breakfast, but it was a Belgian restaurant so I figured it was worth a shot.
What a great sandwich! It was open faced with thin sliced ham stacked an inch thick and covered in a gruyere-béchamel sauce topped off with a perfectly poached egg.  The fries were also well done, just slightly thicker than a McDonalds fry with a crisp exterior and a fluffy interior.  The whole thing was served with three sauces, including a tangy aioli. The waitress was a little surprised when I asked for ketchup and reminded me about the other sauces when she brought it to me and with good reason.
In addition to the sandwich, I enjoyed a flavorful Hemingway cocktail and a few rich, sweet bites of banana-Nutella crêpes.  The décor was pleasant but nothing special, and I didn’t understand the five or six non-working clocks.  The open kitchen was fun and I had a good view of it, but it was also a little noisy and disruptive. The service was friendly and attentive. But really my experience was all about the sandwich and bottom line is I would go back anytime for that.

Brasserie Beck
1101 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

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