I recently had a non-DC friend tell me “Gosh, I feel like you go to brunch more than anyone I know!” Brunch in DC is more than just a meal. It’s an excuse to get together with friends and drink alcoholic beverages during the day in an acceptable setting for no set amount of time. Darty-ing for the young professional, if you will. Last weekend I took part in what could be called the “Quintessential DC Brunch.” It’s been covered by a bajillion (to use a technical term) different papers and blogs including BYT and the Bitches…and now, by Might as Well!
For those of you who have never heard of this, let me give you a little back story. This brunch, aka daytime drunk dance party takes place in a tiny restaurant called L’Enfant Cafe, which incidentally, is not located anywhere near L’Enfant Plaza. You have to make reservations months in advance and if anyone in your party cancels, you best find a replacement friend or face a $50 fee. This place means business. The brunch comes with three courses (although, come to think of it, I don’t remember receiving dessert…and I’m kind of upset about that right now). Lights are dimmed, blinds are shut, and doors are locked. There’s an emcee, a DJ, performers with tassels (and I’ve heard, ass-less chaps)….things get crazy and weird and people get naked. Who wouldn’t want to come to this?!
Last week’s occasion was in celebration of one of my best friends from high school. She recently turned the big 2-5, and what better way to usher in the mid-twenties (guh) than by knocking back bottles and bottles (not an exaggeration) of champagne with friends?
Our party of 8 met on the patio of the Cafe and waited to be seated….they don’t let anyone in until 2:00pm sharp. As I said before, the restaurant only seats about 40 or so people, and reservations are needed 5 months in advance… so it came as a TOTAL shock and surprise to us when we see the birthday girl’s ex boyfriend traipse into the restaurant with his friends. I mean, WHAT ARE THE ODDS??? Should’ve known right then and there, the La Boum gods had a crazy/disastrous/out-of-control day in store for us.
Once seated, the waiters did a great job of getting everyone’s orders in. A complimentary first round of pink champagne is handed out and from then on, it’s champagne or bust. We got our appetizers and ate them without incident. Entrees were delivered and as we started to tuck in, the show commenced. The owner of the restaurant wielded his microphone as though he were auditioning for a spot in a comedy show. Not going to lie, I was a little nervous about what he might say/act/do…or worse, what he might make us say/act/do. Thankfully, he cracked a few jokes at other people’s expense (sorry, Katie!) and told the DJ to hit it. And man, did he hit it. I’m talking 5 minutes after getting our food, everyone just jumps onto their chairs to dance. Throughout the course of brunch, I think I almost fell off my chair no fewer than 7 times. ALMOST.
I have a very distinct memory thinking to myself “oh, it’s okay, I’ll just snap a bunch of photos with my phone, even though its dark as hell and I can’t see what I’m taking pictures of…I’ll just instagram it and everything will look great!” Uhhhhh no. No amount of filters, photo enhancements and editing can save the “pictures” I took that day, but just because you all need to know what it looked like:
The beginning: nervous and excited for what’s about to come
Sparklers and champagne:
Trying to snap a picture of the tassled dancer…she’s under the flash light
Cafe patrons getting into various states of un-dress:
Blurry birthday girl in her birthday hat:
I kind of love this one:
Making new friends?
Please focus on the felllow just above Mark’s head:
More champagne and sparklers:
Aaaand another round:
High school buds:
Aaand heck, why not…another round!
It’s 3pm on a Saturday afternoon:
As you can tell, the theme of the afternoon was: grab the sparklers, uncork the bottle, pound the champagne. Repeat. Repeat, repeat, repeat repeat….
This is about the time where things get a little hazy. After a dramatic exit and a circuitous cab ride, I found myself home just in time to catch the Notre Dame/ASU game. “It was meant to be!” I thought to myself. I just had the best brunch ever, and now I get to watch my team play! I took the dog out, settled onto the couch, watched cutie Cam McDaniel run onto the field in our shiny new uniforms….and then the next thing I know, I wake up to find my left foot wrapped in medical gauze, SNL on TV and over 100 texts on my phone with no memory of the past 6 hours. Ohhhh boy…..
Cheers to you La Boum. You win.