Roofers Union Restaurant Week Review
This week I decided to go to Roofers Union for Restaurant Week. Washington D.C.’s Winter Restaurant Week is a bi-annual promotion where customers can eat at over 100 local restaurants for either $22 for a 3-course lunch or a $35 3-course dinner. It is supposed to be an opportunity to eat at a nice restaurant for a cheaper price than usual. Restaurant week allows broke ass food lovers to try restaurants that are a little out of their usual price range. The promotion allows middle-class food lovers to stretch their budget and try multiple restaurants. And it allows local food snobs to look down their nose at the flood of peasants who are invading their favorite hoity-toity restaurant. It is an arrangement that works for everyone. . . except sometimes it doesn’t. Roofers Union decided to charge their customers more for ordering off their abbreviated restaurant week menu than they do for the same exact food on their regular menu.
Overcharging for the Same Exact Food
The Restaurant Week entrees were a Grilled Flatbread, Potato Gnocchi, and a Houses Stuffed Chicken Sausage. There is one HUGE problem with the entrees offered for Restaurant Week. They are charging customers more for restaurant week than they would for the same dishes on their regular menu. On their day-to-day menu entrees range from $12 to $29. If you order the Flatbread ($18) or the chicken sausage ($12) you will be paying more than you would for the same exact meal on the regular menu. At the very least this goes against the spirit of restaurant week. At the worst, it is just plain dishonest.
I honestly did not notice that Roofers Union was overcharging for their food until I started writing this review. I wanted to show how much money you could save by participating in Restaurant Week, and realized that the numbers did not add up to $35. It sucks because my friends and I really enjoyed the food and atmosphere. The service was a little slow, but they gave us two free beer flights to make up for it. It is unfortunate that I have to address the dishonesty of their pricing before I praise their food. If you are still interested, see my review below.
Roofers Union is a modern American gastropub in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington D.C. The homey, casual atmosphere reflects the menu that ranges from bar snacks to sausages to classic comfort foods. The restaurant week menu was a little too abbreviated for my tastes, but still provided a good variety of dishes to try.
Roofers Union offered Crispy Brussels Sprouts, French Onion Soup, and Trotter Tots as appetizers. I tried both the brussels sprouts and the tots and enjoyed them both. The Crispy Brussels Sprouts were served with a pomegranate vinaigrette, pecorino cheese, and smoked sour cream. The sprouts were perfectly cooked with crispy outer leaves that gave way to tender, but not mushy inner leaves. The pecorino and smoked sour cream provided a fatty contrast to the earthy, slightly bitter sprouts. Unfortunately, the pomegranate vinaigrette was barely noticeable, but I honestly didn’t miss it. The Trotter tots were little deep-fried gems of braised pork trotter. These crunchy, rich, and porky tots were served with a side of spicy remoulade sauce. These tots were just begging for cold beer, a football game, and a complete and total disregard for your weight loss resolution. In other words, I liked them a lot.
I did not have the opportunity to try the Grilled Flatbread, but I’m not disappointed at all. The House Stuffed Chicken Sausage was juicy and flavorful. They should open a stand at National’s Park because this sausage was better than anything I ever had at a baseball game. As good as the sausage was, the Potato Gnocchi was even better. The gnocchi was served with a braised lamb ragu and mint oil. The gnocchi were super light and pillow soft which was the perfect base for the hearty lamb ragu. Mint and lamb are a classic combination, and the mint oil on the bottom of this dish provided a touch of brightness that complimented the rich lamb sauce.
The two desserts offered on Roofers Union’s Restaurant Week Menu were a Market Pear Cobbler and a Dark Chocolate Pot De Creme. Neither of these desserts was special. I wouldn’t call either of them bad, but if you gave me the choice between either and a bowl of my favorite ice cream, I’m choosing the ice cream. The pear cobbler tasted like something you’d get from a decent home cook who wanted to substitute pears for apples but didn’t take into account that apples are naturally sweeter than pears. It was well made but lacked flavor. The Dark Chocolate Pot De Creme was good, except for the fact that it lacked the rich, deep, bitterness that you expect from dark chocolate. It tasted like the best possible version of Jello pudding. That’s not a bad thing, but if I ever find myself at Roofers Union again, I’ll skip dessert and raid the freezer when I get home.
The Final Verdict
Roofers Union is a restaurant with very good food, and a fun atmosphere. It is a perfect place for happy hour or a casual dinner after work. If I would have gone to this restaurant any other week of the year, I’d recommend it. . . but I didn’t. I went the week when they decided to offer a menu where most of the items were charged at a higher price than their normal menu.
I have sent a tweet to Roofers Union’s Twitter account, but have not heard back from them. There is a chance there is an explanation for the difference in pricing. I don’t see what it could possibly be, but I’m willing to listen.