After living on Barracks Row for 18 months, it is amazing to reflect on the changes in the neighborhood as I move a few blocks east. I wish there was some way to uncover recent photos of a less-developed neighborhood somewhere. Oh hey, Google maps hasn’t updated their street view for awhile…I promise, no rants here, just the facts on the restaurants which became my new neighbors. Read parts one, two, three.
Before: A vacant locksmith really is of no use to anyone. Maybe the smithy locked the door, lost the keys and couldn’t get back inside to make new ones. Anything is possible. This place was pretty damn dingy and looked abandoned. Not as bad as tomorrow’s grand finale, but still, it was emblematic of a different time on 8th, when the neighboring liquor store WASN’T selling $100 bottles of wine. Even in this picture, the build out of the restaurant was taking place. And it took a long time.
After: It took a long time to build out because Ted’s Bulletin is elaborate. Everything is chromed out, flashy, with old-time movies playing in the back, exposing an attention to detail perhaps only locally matched by Toyland up on H Street NE. And the lines. God the lines. I only went here to try to eat once; it was an hour wait and we subsequently left. But people are still waiting six months after opening. Good for the Matchbox peeps — Tom gave ’em two stars, the only new 8th Street place he did a full review for rather than a first bite.
It’s just too expensive for me, largely the reason I only ate out on 8th so often. Ted’s needs to chill on the $16 meatloaf and $16 lasagna. Unless they are basted in a thick gold plating, I will pass. I did be-bop over for dessert fairly often. Milkshake, muffins, cafe and the pop tarts, oh yes the pop tarts. Fresh fruit filling and made toasty crust. They are $3 and small, but a nice treat.
Ted’s brought tons of people to the neighborhood. It is as popular as Matchbox and Cava, and yes, some of the people that come are obnoxious, circling around for parking a billi times because they can’t walk a block. But if DMVers are willing to $16 for spaghetti, more power to them. And Ted’s made the Times — though not in a good way. Ted’s may not be what I wanted here, but it’s better than what was here before, and that’s a lock.