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Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1207 U St NW
District of Columbia
phone: (202) 462-2640
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 18
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
This place is down the street from my brother's house. He had told me about it not too long ago. We stopped in the other night.
The first thing that strikes you is all the rules and disclaimers. No TVs. No Standing. That's right on the front door. I suppose I've heard of bars without TVs before -- that's no big deal -- but no standing? Now that's a new one.
We sat down at the bar and the bartender, an older guy with graying hair and whose ethnicity I couldn't quite place, opened up some menus and set them in front of us. More funny rules in the menu. I wish I could remember them all.
The bartender took our orders and then folded up the menus and set them aside. More than once I grabbed for the menu to peruse it only to have the bartender take it up again. Not with malice; just because it's part of their service I guess.
I ordered an Optimator on tap. The beer selection is mostly German and Belgian options -- tap and bottle. Good glassware with careful pours. Somewhere in the middle of our round the bartender laid down a plate with some pistachios on it. Nice.
Prices were not terribly bad for D.C. I wish we could have spent more time there but last call arrived and we got the boot.
Check this place out. Just don't stand.
01-08-2008 16:44:30 |
More by VoodooBrew
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
This place is one of the few beer bars in DC without TVs, so that can be a big plus depending on what you're looking for. It's a relatively small space with low ceilings and a very cozy feel. Lots of beer stuff on the walls. There's 12 on tap and 11 in bottles. I didn't see a separate bottled list, and the bartender didn't tell me about one; it was just those 11 that were advertised. It's a decent (odd) selection, that has some interesting stuff but could use some more options. It's heavily German/European. The crowd is a great mix of people; there seemed to be a lot of regulars. Good glassware is used, and service was average to good.
05-12-2007 02:27:33 |
More by shivtim
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This is certainly a place to stop if you are in the U-Street or Adams Morgan districts of DC. Went here with pbr85 and had a very pleasant experience. We went on a thursday night at around 7pm. We walked in and the bar to the left had mostly people that looked like regulars in conversation with the bar tender who seemed very nice. We were eating so we choose to grab a table. It took a few moments for our waiter to come over, not a big deal we weren't in a rush and knew that this place is pretty laid back.
Our waiter was very nice and very prompt with our beer and food. My first beer was a black lager, Kostritzer. This was nice, as I can't find too many black lagers in the stores. Second beer was Spaten Dunkel. This too was good. Both were served in the proper glassware (although there was ice in my second one, a simple mistake that they quickly fixed). The selection is primarily german and belgian (with the tap exception of Brooklyn's Pennant Ale). The bottles remain the same, but there are a few american's thrown in here and there. They have a nice selection, one that is proud of its quality and not quantity, a nice respit from many beer bars. The food was good, and the prices are reasonable (they do offer $2 off tap beers for happy hour too).
All in all, after a nice game of chess around a nice beer this was a more than pleasant experience and one that I will look forward to having again. A top notch place.
01-17-2007 03:53:05 |
More by jslot38
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
As other reviewers mentioned, don't go to this bar if you enjoy sitting around drinking beer and watching tv. There is a nicely setup bar as you walk in to the left and a fair amount of seating on the left. We went around 6:30 on a Thursday and the place was pretty empty but started to get more crowded as we ate. Beer list is alot of German and Belgian stuff, with some rareties on tap. Food was good and came out quickly and the beer came out quickly too. They have some chess and backgammon sets to play too. Had a Leinenkugel and a Spaten Maibock. Both came in proper glassware and were fresh and delicious
01-12-2007 17:56:56 |
More by pbr85
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I happened to stop by this place before a show at the 9:30 club on a Friday, having noticed it a few times before. The place is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
From the outside, the bar looks small and can easily be overlooked. The tap list is on display just outside the front door which is a few steps down from the sidewalk. When you walk in, the atmosphere is cozy with a number of tables scattered about and a small bar lined with stools. Dark wood furniture, brass and metal accents, and a large number of emptied bottles decorate the interior.
The space is not very wide, but rather deep with the bathrooms and kitchen all the way in the back. On a Friday, around 8:30pm, there were several tables unoccupied as well as 1 or 2 seats at the bar.
The beer list is impressive in quality with pages of bottled beers. The main focus seems to be on Belgian and German beers. The tap list was not as impressive with 2 out of the 10 taps out. Of the remaining taps, three were of Spaten beers (Maibock, Lager, and Dunkel). I enjoyed both the Maibock and the Dunkel and I was happy to see both beers served in the proper glassware (the dunkel was served in a tall, curvy, 0.5L glass).
I didn't try the food, but it looked good as nearby tables received their orders.
It should be noted that there are no TVs, pool tables, etc. in this bar...beer and conversation are the center of attention. Our server was very friendly and knowledgeable. He made a few recommendations for my wife as she is partial to Scottish ales, but none were on-tap. He brought us a glass of water when he saw that we had tasted each others' beers, saying that the water would help cleanse the palate. He was also eager to hear what we thought of the beers we ordered and that was nice.
Overall, I really liked the atmosphere of the place and would definitely go back again.
04-17-2006 14:08:47 |
More by jaluria
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
For the 2 years that I lived in DC (up until 6 months ago), this was without question my favorite bar. Does it have the best beer selection in DC? Nope-- for that, go to RFD or the Brickskeller. Does it have the best food? Probably not, though what I've had has been good.
What makes the Saloon great? Its atmosphere, which, as other reviewers have noted, is the closest thing to a neighborhood, old world pub you'll find in DC or most other big cities.
They have a varied and unique selection of drafts (complemented by a fairly extensive bottle list), mostly German stuff. The regular bartender, Robert, is the best bartender I've ever met and generally a great guy-- he loves beer, is ridiculously well-travelled and well-read, and is generous and kind. Some time spent chatting with him will be time well spent.
The overall atmosphere of the place varies tremendously depending on when you're there. U Street tends to heat up rather late in the evening-- if you're at the Saloon any time before midnight, it's likely to be fairly quiet. Come back after catching a show at the 9:30 Club (a short walk away) and it'll likely be crowded and loud.
As other folks have mentioned, good beer and good conversation are paramount here. Most times I was there, it appeared that at least half of the patrons at the bar were regulars, chatting with each other and the bartender. All the folks I met there were friendly and beer-loving. Good people.
If I had lived closer to the Saloon, I would have spent all my free time there. Now that I live hundreds of miles away, I miss it terribly... Go, and tell Robert that Eric sent you.
12-12-2005 23:19:31 |
More by mtullius
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
After about a month of thinking about The Saloon, I finally made my way on the green line over to U street. I fantasied about a western theme bars complete with swinging doors and a hitching post for my horse, but no such luck. Still, I did find a wonderful beer bar with quaint ambiance. The bar reminded me of a local European watering hole thats had former lives.
They had about 12 taps of mostly European lagers, which is not my strongest suit. Im more of an American ale drinker, but the lagers ran the gamut from pale lagers to black lagers and from maibocks to eisbocks. I dont recall seeing any American beers on tap besides Flying Fish dubbel, which seemed out of place ..but lets not let one bad beer undermine a whole establishment. They had about eight different glasses to go along with beers on tap and serving were around 22 oz. They also offered a few bottles like Delium Tremens, which seems to be all over the place and is most likely a clever Republican marketing ploy.
The bald bartender wasnt too talkative about the beers, but gladly offered samples. He kept the beers coming and used proper glassware...at one point moving from a smaller goblet into a sniffer about two ounces smaller....which both impressed me and seemed a little much, as Ive never made such a minor adjustment in my glassware selection.
In conclusion, the Saloon seems like a friendly bar to saddle up with you friends and enjoy some beer. The patrons seemed both young and old, yet not as upwardly mobile as some trendier places down the U St. strip I had a black lager and an Eggenberg brew and wished I could of paired these brews with the Bens chili dog with cheese which came later in the night. Check it out.
04-23-2005 20:45:08 |
More by Starchild
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
As a Philadelphia beer drinker, (a city with a well developed pub culture), this is the place I've been most impressed with in DC. This the closest thing to a pub feel I've seen in the city. The selection was pretty varied. The waitstaff was pretty friendly and knowledgable. They concentrated on Belgians but also had a compliment of regional beer. The bar does not have a TV, it is definitely all about the beer and conversation. A welcome respite from the DC scene which can tend towards appearance.
04-15-2005 20:23:41 |
More by eldondre
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The Saloon in Washington, DC
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