After a quick roadtrip to Washington, D.C., to check out the cherry blossoms (womp, womp they weren't great this year), resulted in - of course - one tasty meal.
Founding Farmers is well-known for initiating the farm-to-table movement, so I made reservations to go check it out.
Located just three blocks west of the White House, the award-winning Founding Farmers flagship restaurant has been a destination for locals and tourists alike since its opening in 2008. In this urban farmhouse, guests gather and enjoy their meals in a variety of specially designed spaces. From our handcrafted community farm dining tables and the mezzanine’s silo-shaped booths to our more intimate seating arrangements, the LEED Gold Certified design is a 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant® and exemplifies our full devotion to aesthetic beauty and sustainability.
A “love for local, seasonal food” fuels this “farm-to-table” chainlet where “big portions” of “something-for-everyone” American dishes - Zagat
This spot was doing farm-to-table before it was even cool; enjoy your tasty, sustainable, family-farmed eats in a LEED-certified setting that's as green as the food. - Thrillist
Those reviews are good enough for me. After a bit of a wait for our reservation, we were led upstairs and seated - in pretty close quarters - with a nice view though. The interior was cozy with a few farm-inspired touches.
The food prepared in our Founding Farmers kitchens is made in-house every day. All of our locations are part of the Certified Green Restaurant® association, and work diligently every day to continue the success of being a green restaurant – from using the most sustainable hot cups on the market to operating with the most energy efficient equipment.
Our dedication to serving high-quality, real food, with an emphasis and focus on cooking from scratch is what sets us apart. We bake our own bread (approximately 170,000 loaves per year), we grind our own beef, we press our own juices, we even churn our own butter. Our purveyors are carefully chosen and measured against our high standards.
Our menus are inspired by our country’s rich culinary tradition, including our versions of all-American classics, as well as innovative creations based on a wide range of American cuisine.
Simply put, it’s real food & drink. All served with pride (FOOD).The menu features comfort food kicked up a notch. This menu seriously had my name written all over it. I could've easily ordered any number of things - it all sounded amazing!
For an appetizer, we got fried green tomatoes. These were very good, and I especially enjoyed the ramp goat cheese side. Fried until golden brown and crispy, they were well-seasoned and perfect.
For my entree, I went with the chicken & waffles. It's served with a rigatoni-noodle macaroni & cheese and another side - I went with sweet potato. This was great! The chicken was well-seasoned - not super crispy. The waffles were fluffy. The macaroni was nice and hearty.
The values of the American family farmer are at the heart of all we do at Founding Farmers. Like the more than 47,000 family farmers who own our restaurant, we strive to work hard and operate with a genuine concern for our land and our community. We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy high-quality food that is delicious, and grown with care.
Our story began in 2005 when the members of North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) began talking about the future. They were looking for a way to bring their products directly to consumers. They wanted to take people back to the source, to the foods that are grown, raised, and harvested on American family farms. They wanted to affirm that family farming was, and remains, essential to our nation’s well-being.
Our restaurant is owned by the more than 47,000 family farmers of NDFU and is supplied by hundreds of family farms everywhere. That doesn’t mean we know every farm, and that doesn’t mean we never have to buy product from the traditional (corporate) supply chain, but it does mean we’re working hard to direct our purchasing dollars where it aligns with our values. The “as much as possible” prefix is important; we want to provide transparency, and acknowledging that it isn’t feasible to promise we know the source of every morsel is important. We’re serving the best food we can, made from scratch in our kitchens every day. We continually strive to unbundle the industrial supply chain by cooking, mixing, and baking from scratch. We are constantly looking for suppliers that align with our principles. Our innovative, American dishes are made primarily with pure ingredients honoring the farmers and their hard-earned bounty.
Our name “Founding Farmers” is a nod to our Founding Fathers, many of whom were devoted farmers long before they became trailblazers for our country. While those leaders built and contributed to the American agricultural tradition, we recognize that our mission is also about growing a new venture with farmers at the root: one that strengthens their livelihood, gives back to the community, and makes quality food accessible to all.Overall, this is a pretty neat place. I wouldn't mind trying a few other dishes, too. Plus, it gets at the heart of small town America. What could be better.