Takoma Bev Co.

Full disclosure: I’m morally obligated to love this place because it’s owned by a former teacher from my school. Also, I’m jealous that they have cornered the market on combination coffee shops/bars because this is the perfect restaurant concept that doesn’t exist enough. But I’ll try to separate my feelings about the ownership and concept from my actual review. Let’s get down to it!

Once again this weekend, we came upon a nearly empty restaurant with a fantastic-looking menu. Is this the Walking Dead? Are we going to have to barricade ourselves in the restaurant and hunker down with whatever living souls happen to be working there? Takoma is such a neighborhoody place, why was nobody out and about at this cutesy shop?

At Takoma Bev Co., you have to order at the counter and place a number on your table. I’m normally opposed to this structure. If you’re paying someone to bring my food out, why can’t you pay someone to come over and take my order? On the other hand, this enabled us to grab a comfy couch to sit on. We eat dinner exclusively on the couch at home, why not do it in a restaurant too?

I ordered the special happy hour house cocktail and my husband got a sour beer from Oliver. The cocktail was a perfect blend of sweet rum, tartness from the pineapple, and herbal chamomile. It was one of the better craft cocktails I’ve had in recent memory.

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For dinner, we ordered three dishes: the brussels sprouts, the octopus, and the braised short rib. All three were brought out together. The sprouts were well-cooked, but had gone slightly slack from the lentils and yogurt that accompanied them. The sweet-sour cranberries went well with the bitterness from the sprouts but they could have been crispier. Still very tasty.

I really really enjoyed my octopus. It was cut into small pieces so that it would mix well with the crispy fried potatoes in the bowl. As such, it was a little hard to find pieces of octopus but on the other hand, it had a great texture, definitely not too chewy, and I loved the paprika aioli with the whole thing. The short rib was very soft and flavorful, with creamy potatoes to boot. All three of our dishes were on the smaller side, but reasonably priced for what they were.

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We sprung for three kinds of dessert: a homemade chocolate cookie, a porter, and a mocha latte (bonus: taking home a bomber of special edition beer from the Bruery!) The cookie was chocolatey, chewy heaven. It is pictured below in half-eaten form because it was already mostly gone by the time we got back to the table. The Founder’s Porter is obviously good, but this is not news to anyone. The mocha was rich and sweet, but not artificial tasting the way some chocolate syrups are. It was a luxury for me to drink a sweet coffee drink and totally worthy of the splurge.

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Price: $25 per person.

Bottom line: Takoma Bev Co. is great fodder for any time of day and just a nice, cozy hangout spot. You can have all your caffeine, alcohol, and sustenance needs met while you’re fighting off zombies, if it comes to that.

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