An Open Letter to DC’s Tonic Brunch

Dear DC Tonic Brunch,

I love your neighborhood bar and restaurant at night, but for brunch, you have failed me miserably!

So Beware Tonic Brunch upstairs, you have officially pissed off Liza.


You didn’t even provide the BASIC necessities of any establishment. NO WATER! We had to ask five, YES FIVE times to get a cup of water. NO SILVERWARE! Oh, you were out of knives and spoons… well I had to work REALLY hard at cutting my food and I refuse to do any kind of work at all during brunch. NOT COOL. NO COFFEE REFILL! This is a MUST at brunch, and beyond unacceptable. WTF! Your food- if I wanted a bowl of butter I would have asked for that, but no, I ordered GRITS! And your new tortilla buenas… you might as well have given me scrambled eggs with a side of tortilla’s because that’s essentially what this was – no chile flavor at all like you claimed.

You know, I had given you a second chance, even when everyone had already claimed you were not up to par, and what did you do, you basically spit in my face. And in the MORNING! You can’t treat people like that in the morning. Brunch is the one thing I look forward to EVERY weekend, and you ruined one of my favorite experiences. I could not WAIT to get out of your restaurant.

So Tonic Brunch upstairs, you should really just stick to your tater tots, and leave the brunch to someone else, because you did NOT cure what “ails” me, you created an ailment that I was bitter about all day!

Your former loyal customer,


Tonic Restaurant Bar and Grill in Washington

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  • BS April 14, 2008  

    sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays

  • Liza April 14, 2008  

    I reckon I do because of TONIC!

  • gansie April 14, 2008  

    rock on Liza. fuck that place.

  • Ramona April 14, 2008  

    I agree! I went there on a Sat. for lunch and was surprised that the none of the interesting lunch items were on the menu-only brunch (it’s Saturday, folks-I need a club sandwich) item, mostly eggs.
    Everything was unremarkable and I couldn’t believe I schlepped up to third floor to eat it.
    Once was enough for me.

  • Britannia April 14, 2008  

    Totally agree, I stopped going over a year ago. One waitress for the entire upstairs, not cool.

    I also had a miserable brunch at Polly’s this Sunday, all I wanted was a refill of coffee and not to be intimidated by the waitress when ordering. I sincerely hope she got laid last night, she needed it.

  • Liza April 14, 2008  

    HAHHA i’m laughing so hard right now!
    And yes, all I want is to not feel intimidated to order an f-ing water!!!! I really am very understanding of the service industry, but this was just bad. Like just don’t do it if you can’t do it right, or even moderately right – I’m not asking for a lot here! A knife, spoon, and water!

  • BS April 14, 2008  

    yeah, i also don’t like to hate on servers, BUT the only thing required to make me love love love your brunch service is a cup of coffee that never gets half empty

  • Pinch of Minch April 14, 2008  

    Worst brunch ever! Tonic, lay off the gin at brunch!

  • kitchenwench April 14, 2008  

    Word. I’ve brunched there three times in the last year and a half and have had consistently abominable service. They seem to be constantly understaffed. Never again… now I go to Don Jaimes for brunch in MtP.

  • miked. April 14, 2008  

    all true … but haven’t you all lived in dc for a while? The northern charm and southern efficiency extends to the transplants that work at places like Tonic too … My bad Tonic experience: i was there for an early afternoon football game on a saturday in january and all i wanted was to have a cup of tea and an effin’ granolla parfait while I sat at the bar (just like any red blooded american). Dude gave me so much shit. And then they bring it to you in a 1950s ice cream sunday glass with a 9 inch spoon–so they can keep giving you more shit! Good news was that he didn’t charge me for one of my beers (maybe he felt guilty… not sure).

  • BS April 15, 2008  

    Not to be a one-note Bourdain-head, but I am finally reading his book, and he says he would never go out to brunch. His explanation is that the entire kitchen staff just finished the busiest/latest dinner night of the week, then probably went out partying to blow off steam and now have to wake up early to cook. So just think about how wrecked you are on sundays and mulitply that by a lot – explains why you can’t get a g-damn glass of water.

  • Liza April 15, 2008  

    What gets me is I can go someplace else for WAY cheaper, WAY better food, and WAY better service – like I just wish they didn’t charge so much when you don’t get any of this!

  • gansie April 15, 2008  

    i can certainly testify that the sunday morning 9-4 shift at american city diner was surely a shit show. i had to kneel down, put my elbow on the table to hold my head up and then try to take an order.

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