Half smoke benedict

Half smoke benedict

I noticed last weekend that while Ben’s Next Door was advertising that they were showing March Madness games, and they were also serving brunch. Score! I went in on Sunday and was thrilled to see an awesome, chili/half smoke inspired brunch menu. The food was great, my companions and I tried the half smoke benedict, Ben’s omelet, and the Belgian waffles. We liked it all. My one food complaint were the eggs in the benedict were a little over cooked for me, there were no runny yolks.

The other problem was, and the waiter/manager noted this, the food did take a while to come out. They’re still working out the kinks, and I don’t think they had enough people working there to get the food out in a quick manner. But the food was great. Thumbs up for that. And I confirmed that they’ll continue brunch after March Madness is over.

Pictures of the menu after the jump.

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Ben's amended sign

Ben's amended sign

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but Ben’s has amended its sign regarding who eats for free.

The Washington Post informs us that Hell’s Kitchen winner, Alexandria native Rahman Harper will be the chef at Next Door. Apparently the original concept for Next Door is changing – once meant to be a relaxed place to get a beer with a half smoke, in the past few weeks the Ali family has decided to make it more “upscale” – while half smokes will still be on the menu, so will ravioli stuffed with turkey, marscapone, and sweet potato.

I don’t know about this. I know it would be silly for Next Door to have a copy cat of Ben’s menu with beer. And I like that the the inside has a different look than Ben’s: cool, inviting, warm, with all of the wood. And I’m fine with changing the menu to offer some other dishes, it only makes sense. But bringing in a quasi-celebrity chef? I’m skeptical.