Log in or Sign up
The Big Hunt
Taps: 31 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1345 Connecticut Ave NW
District of Columbia
phone: (202) 785-2333
« first ‹ prev
Reviews by johnmichaelsen:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I'm sorry. No disrespect to any of the previous reviewers, but why this place doesn't have an A grade is an absolute mystery to me.
Granted, this place is a dive bar of the first order, but given the location (right off of Dupont Circle), this place gets extra points for that. Also, love the fake mounted trophies of celebraties over the back ceiling area, and even more the laid back, frumpy, divish vibe. I can't believe this place exists in ultra trendy dupont circle. I'm still shaking my head.
Of course the place's delicious tackiness would matter not one wit were it not for the fact that this place also happens to have a world class beer selection. They had some 26 or 27 beers on draft the day I was here (have no idea what the bottle selection is like and could care less), and the selection was very well thought out. Not only that, who in the world would expect that a dump like this would serve my glass of Aventinus in corrrect, appropriate, .5L Aventinus glassware. Service was friendly, prompt and well informed. The guys and gals at this place were funny, laid back, unpretentious (shocking for DC), and just all around good folk. Went ahead and got the wings, which were nothing special, but at $8 a lb. I had few complaints.
Here's a sample of the dialogue I had with the bartender: "Ummm... like to get an order of the wings.... but I'd like them a bit spicey." Bartender: "naturally, of course... a bit spicey is how we'd all like life to be, and that includes deep fried wings." Me: "Yepper... and could I get some extral blue cheese?" Bartender: "I can't see why not. Sure wouldn't want to try to choke them down without enough blue cheese to drown them in." Me: "Ah yeah... could you possibly come by next weekend and babysit my cat" (OK. The last question didn't actually occur, but it crossed my mind).
Churchkey and Pizza Paradiso are undeniably outstanding and classy, but truth be told, this would be my bar of choice if I lived in the District. This place is outstanding. Took me 2 minutes to realize I couldn't go through life any longer without a Big Hunt T-shirt. I'll be back.
Edit from 3/7/10. Stopped by again recently, and really need to say something about the pricing here (it's a DC problem, not just a Big Hunt problem). Prices here are definitely on the high side. A glass of something like two hearted or victory pils is $6, and that's for a "cheater pint" glass (13 or 14 ounces depending upon who you talk to), and then they add on tax after that. So we're talking about essentially a $7 pint (or more) for beer here. Just something to keep in mind when getting a beer or three here (or any place else in the disctrict - BH prices are no higher then any place else, and are cheaper then what you'll find at some other places. Church Key for example).
11-12-2009 00:23:34 |
More by johnmichaelsen
More User Reviews:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$$$
Cheater Pints! All the beers are served glasses with extra thick bottoms.
So I was here to meet some friends last week. I walk in and the place is a lot bigger than I had expected. Tables that go all the way to the back, and there is another side with pool tables, another bar, and even more seating.
I was able to walk up to the bar and get a beer almost immediately, even though the bar was full. Their selection was pretty good, even having some stuff from Baltimore that I don't see and Bell's.
We had a big table and the server was pretty good in the beginning, until it got later and apparently she was the only server for the entire bar. By the time we left, she was like a chicken that had their head cut off. She told us that she couldn't separate out our bill because she was too busy.
It also was a Wednesday and they had a dinner special, a burrito. I ordered it and it arrived about 15 minutes later, room temperature. It wasn't even slightly warm.
Would I come back? Probably not. The service was sub-par, the food wasn't even warm, and again, cheater pint glasses. When you have to pay $6 for 12-13oz. of beer, plus tax and then tip on that, it is very expensive.
02-04-2012 15:26:54 |
More by dauss
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | $$
Visiting DC and were in the area with some friends. It was her recommendation and she thought it was closed when we walked up. Turns out it was just dark and dingy.
I have been to a number of bars that look crappy from the outside (and inside) that turn out to be real hidden gems, diamonds in the rough, or other cliches. This falls short.
I ordered a "pint" of Racer 5. The "pint" arrived quickly, and I quickly realized that my "pint" was more likely 14 oz. given the inch thick glass bottom. I refused to order another given this discovery. If they had just said "14 oz" on the menu I probably would have had ordered another beer. But I don't like being lied to. Prices are decent for a true pint, but a little high for the short pour.
The was not quite right. I have had Racer 5 before and this barley tasted like it. I would have to guess that either the beer was quite old or the lines were dirty. Not impressed. DC is a long way from CA so maybe it was not handled well en route. I usually give a bar the benefit of the doubt and order another beer, but I was not interested (see above).
Probably not a bad option if you are in the area in looking for a quick beer. But, it is not somewhere I would frequent often if I lived in the area.
11-21-2011 17:11:42 |
More by Hotlanta
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Was here while in D.C. for a conference. Went with my advisor and some other old graduate students of his.
This is definitely a dive bar. Dirty, old, and crumbling with a dingy bar, dingy stools, and dingy lighting. Kind of homely but exactly somewhere you'd bring a date.
Quality was decent except for the fact that their imperial stouts were served a bit too warm and everything seemed to be served in pint glasses. Lost points for lack of attention to glassware.
Service is decent. There was one waitress and only 1 bartender when we were there so there was a bit of a wait considering the place was pretty crowded. However, considering how packed it was, there's not much to complain about.
Selection is pretty solid. About 10-15 items on draught as well as a some bottles. It seemed like they also brewed their own beer? Which is interesting even though I didn't end up ordering any of the house offerings.
A decent place and one that's quite lively and homely if you're into the Dive bar scene. I went with people who knew the area quite well so maybe there's some sentimental feelings there but overall this is a place I'd recommend, just don't make it the first bar you visit in D.C.
11-17-2011 02:16:33 |
More by SpeedwayJim
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
Tap list isn't too bad, lot's of decent choices from the region, and few beers brewed specially for the bar as well. I was able to try a Founders CBS on tap. I believe they had KBS too! I enjoyed my time at this establishment. From the door, the place looks very small, very dark, and very smoky. It is, however, two and a half flights, the ground floor bar is the largest and most crowded, the second floor consists of a smaller bar (both with many regional and seasonal beers on tap) and a pool table, also gets crowded, and half a flight up is a deck that is open year round with large tables and open skies. Service is decent.
02-18-2011 20:37:09 |
More by CuriousMonk
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Like the late Brickskeller, the Big Hunt has been in the D.C. area for years - not as long as the former, of course. Located about a block south of DuPont Circle, you couldn't miss it if you tried with its' stripped awning and jungle motif beckoning.
As soon as you enter, there is the obvious appearance of a dingy, dive bar, dark and foreboding. It is that. On the left, is a long and battered copper bar that has probably seen more than anyone could imagine. On the right, along a grubby wall, are torn and tattered booths splattered with stains and patched with duct tape. All the while, one could be distracted away from the safari atmosphere. Bwana beer? Venture towards the back for additional wonderments.
Step up to the bar and hop atop the wobbly stool, which has seen more asses than a retired proctologist. (Assman, where are you with Kramer's tags?) The surly bartender approaches: "Waddle ya have?" Scan the beer menu; lo and behold, it is amazing! There are sixteen taps holding some very excellent crafts, a majority being porters and imperial stouts. For my jungle adventure, it was to be a Bell's appropriately named Expedition Stout; then, as an added extra attraction, there was Schlafly Coffee Stout. Not bad at all.
Basically, this is an impressive beer bar that bears many scars and has many flaws - like the typical D.C. douchebag atmosphere on weekends. Still, check it out if in the neighborhood or if the nearby Pizzeria Paradiso (See My Review) is too crowded.
01-21-2011 22:16:45 |
More by jjboesen
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Visited during DC beer sojourn with the ever-knowledgeable John Michaelsen, I totally agree with John that this place is rated far too low.
If you are looking for highbrow beer atmosphere, this ain't the place to visit, brother. World class dive bar, from the ultra-dark stinky atmosphere to the torn vinyl upholstery on the booths. Am in in Toronado East? The bar staff ranged in helpfulness, the older gentleman was a bit, errr, surly, but his demeanor was more than made up for by the young bearded chap who reminded me of the Horse Brass' awesome King C., ready to make sure these two beer geek fellows left happy campers. Prices were above average for DC area. We paid $10 for small nonic glasses of rare beers and were happy to pay that amount for what we got.
The selection was absolutely mind boggling, in large part due to visiting two days after a Founder's tasting. While we missed out on KBS, we were able to try Backwoods Bastard (good) and Devil Dancer (don't bother). Given John's immense beer knowledge, I let him order for us, and we were bummed to find that the keg of Canadian Breakfast Stout had just blown. However, when he saw the dejected look on our face, he went to the back and pulled out another keg. Big snaps for service. I'd be leery of trying the food, everything I saw looked like frozen pub fare. Given the fine restaurants in the area, you'd need to be really desperate or in search of 'authentic dive bar grub' to sample this fare.
Other than the Founders products, they had Green Flash IPA, and a number of other high quality brews that to be honest I don't remember. There was about 20 taps, good stuff from Great Lakes, Smuttynose, etc., and a few special bottles (Bruery) at pretty high prices. All in all, a very memorable beer experience. While this will never be a world class beer destination, BAs would be foolish to not check this place out. If you are in the DuPont Circle area, I'd suggest putting pretentiousness and expectations aside and give this place a try. I'm really glad I was able to experience this place.
EDIT- Upon reflection this was one of the key stops on my 2010 beer sojourn. When you look up "seedy dive bar with world class beer selection in Washington, DC" a picture of the interior of this place should pop up. A truly amazing beer experience. Thanks again, John!
11-21-2010 18:43:56 |
More by jdense
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | $$
sometimes a drastically altered opinion of a place is cause for a delete and re-review
service?...anywhere from "average" to "just awful"
dark and kitschy interior with a long bar down one side, tables along the right, pool tables upstairs, and a mid-sized upper-level patio out back, gets pretty crowded and on the rowdy side at night but as the bar is pretty large it's typically not a huge ordeal to order a drink, the place has a certain grime factor to it but nothing particularly offensive, though the tiny bathroom is particularly disgusting and I've been held up in line by a couple in there doing god knows what
selection is good - not exactly impressive but far above what you'll find in most DC establishments, any BA will find something tempting here, Allagash Curieaux was a welcome treat served in an appropriate glass, the AleWerks Springhouse was garbage but it's nice to see them carrying a local - but maybe pick up something else next time, they carry the Great Lakes standards and usually a couple Victories, 31 taps in total and a short list of bombers and 750s
08-08-2010 04:56:31 |
More by blackie
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
Popped in here during a late night bar crawl in DC. A tip from the guy at Paradiso, which was sadly closed.
This place is alright, it aint bad by any means, It looks old and dreary but it smells better than the Brickskeller. A dive bar with a great list of beers on tap. A few Bell's, Victory, others. I had a Bell's poolside ale and it hit the spot, tasted great, no problems with dirty lines to my knowledge. About 15 beers on tap total and a small and pricy bottle menu with some select choices. Took a while to get a bartender, but once that happened the drinks came quick. A bar seating area with seating on the other side about ten to twelve feet in between, a nice sized space. Did not get a chance to try the food, it was crowded. Would come back in the afternoon. My friend who is a hunter was feeling the decorations on the walls and this place does have 'buckhunter' so it is fitting.
07-14-2010 01:41:07 |
More by onix1agr
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Popped in here one night with my wife for a quick drink. This is kind of a dirty dive bar all things considered. We were just in the mood for a few drinks and had no interest in their food. We managed to get a seat at the bar which was a huge plus. The bartender was attentive and helped us out a lot. They seemed to know a little about beer, which I suppose is important since their clientele were generally worthless. As the night progressed, the place got much drunker and more fratty, by a lot. Really to intolerable levels.
The bar has about 25 beers on draft. A healthy mixture of regular swill for the masses, microbrews, and beers that were made for them. I have to investigate who makes their beers. I doubt they are made on site.
I had several beers and fearing that all the trendiness and drunkedness of the early 20s crowd would infect me, I made my way to the subway and eventually home. I would go back but probably not on a Friday night.
06-01-2010 20:43:28 |
More by drabmuh
« first ‹ prev
The Big Hunt in Washington, DC