It is times like these when I'm thankful for great friends who like to eat. I don't think I ever would've set foot in Lincoln's Waffle Shop if it wasn't for our friend Matt who dragged me there for lunch. The restaurant is located on the part of 10th street NW by Ford's Theatre that makes my shoulders tense up because of the crowds of middle school tour groups dressed in tie dyed DC shirts that they purchased next door.
However, if you can squeeze your way through the crowded sidewalk and into Lincoln's Waffle Shop, you're in for a treat. What I love most about this place is the huge variety of customers that pack the stools and tables. You might find yourself sitting next to an FBI agent or a family visiting from Illinois. The 5:30 am opening time allows the very friendly staff to serve to-go orders to construction workers and early birds on their way to work. One time we saw a guy pour an entire container of sugar into his coffee cup. Probably would've been more efficient to dump the cup of coffee into the sugar, but I digress.
After the iconic Waffle Shop down the street closed in 2007, the staff and menu moved in to the Lincoln House Restaurant, and became Lincoln's Waffle Shop. I'm not certain that Lincoln liked waffles but I know he would've appreciated the value. For just a few bucks, you can treat yourself to a classic diner-style waffle. For just $6.45 you can get a waffle served with 2 eggs and a side of meat. If you're of the pancake persuasion, you can't go wrong with an order of banana pancakes. If you can't get moving early in the morning, they serve breakfast until closing time (7:00 pm weekdays and 3:00 pm weekends). If you're a day drinker, they have a full bar in the basement downstairs. You are guaranteed to meet some interesting people in the basement of a waffle shop imbibing during daylight hours.
If you're not in the mood for breakfast, Matt swears by the club sandwich served with a side of collard greens. I ventured out of my breakfast comfort zone to try the bacon cheeseburger. This baby flips the bird to the trendy burger restaurants that have been cropping up on every corner. It is a no-nonsense, no-frills burger that won't win any awards but won me over with its simplicity. The fries are your standard out-of-the-bag frozen variety, so you'd be better off taking Matt's advice and trying the collards.
One of our favorite things about writing this blog is hearing about your favorite diamonds in the rough. What's your Lincoln's Waffle Shop?
Second Thoughts from B
It is the simplest of diners in a far from simple part of town... and what an oasis it is. Its menu is a stereotype of every roadside diner you've ever been to. Reliably greasy and cheap, while also filling and familiar. Is it this culinary change of pace that makes me smile or something about their charmingly awkward interior? Whatever it is, this is a DC dive that I'm happy to have on my short list.