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Elephant & Castle

Not Rated.
Elephant & CastleElephant & Castle
BA SCORE
86
very good

16 Ratings
Ratings: 16
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: n/a
Taps: 12
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20004-2401
United States
phone: (202) 347-7707

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: dickroop on 12-28-2005

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 11
Reviews by mobud:
Photo of mobud
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Just off of Pennsylvania Ave., the English pub style restaurant was busy, but not packed on a Monday afternoon for lunch. I like the big mirrors with booze/beer names and the high tables; I like to stand when I drink. The bar was quiet,but it had a fair number of taps featuring English beers. I went with the DFH 60 minute, just what I needed. They called DFH a "local", sure it is...

The service was good; the server was on top of our order and made sure my boy's food came in a timely fashion. I had the Sonoma wrap. Not bad both in taste and in price for downtown DC. The price are what you would expect, but if you get value in service and food, you tend not to worry as much. I would not mind coming here on another trip just to drink and watch the government types come and go. They also have plenty of TVs dropped around the place in case you get tired of talking.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Sludgeman
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Visited on a Tuesday at lunch. Sat at the bar.

An English pub on Pennsylvania Ave! A good selection of UK beers, which can be hard to find in these parts. They could go wider with their styles, but still a nice respite from the DIPA and RIS world of some bars or the same-old pilsner/kolsch domestic craft offerings to appease other palates. Beer engines for three of their offerings - casks can really make the difference for some beers.

Menu is decidedly pub-like. I had the French dip which was tasty, which was served with a thicker, maybe even a banger & mash type gravy, instead of the standard au jus.

Folks were friendly and attentive.

A place I will revisit. Give me some more time with the menu to rate the food higher. It would be great if they expanded their beer offerings to a few more less typical brands and styles.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Spacious place located in downtown D.C. We grabbed outdoor seating which was really nice on this pleasant Spring day. Tasty food. I had spinach artichoke dip followed by fish and chips. Hand pulled Fuller's London porter and ESB served in Fuller's glassware - always a nice touch. Other than the Fuller's line, there's really nothing exciting or noteworthy on the beer menu. Some Samuel Smith and Young's offerings in bottle format. One can find these much cheaper at any decent beer store. Overall, a fun place and definitely worth a lunch stop.

Photo of thain709
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I visited this place with my family on a gorgeous day in DC. When you walk in it's your typical pub setting...some nice decorations. The bar seemed a little small...but they offered small tables beside the bar.

There were about 20 taps...your regular BMC...your typical English brews...then Sam Adams Seasonal, DFH 60 minute, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and Chimay. The craft and import selection was nice...both on tap and in bottle. My only complaint was it was $6 or more for a draft.

Our waitress was very nice as well as the gentlemen who brought our food. Cups were always refilled and the food came out in lightning fast time...here's another thing...my dad's crab cakes were cold...but my burger was tasty. The food is nothing special though...your typical pub grub.

This was my first time eating in DC and I enjoyed myself. I'm sure if we would have looked harder we could have found a better place...but I was very pleased with our meal and beer.

Photo of TLove
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

This spot is a great respite from the hot DC summer and chilly ocean drafts of the DC winters. It is relatively quiet, never overcrowded, always the public servant and policy analyst crowd during the week. Has a good size outdoor seating section across from the Old Post Office Building on Pennslyvania Ave. The food is primarily pub grub, with a few good sandwiches of note and the service is not top notch by any means. But one of the highlights is that the beer is somewhat faux country-specific and not watered-down like a Boddington's in other areas of north northwest DC.

Photo of hops4me
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Picture a place like Fridays with an Englishish flare to it. The waiter and Fuller's were the highlight of this place. The waiter was very timely and polite. The beer was expensive @ $6/pint. It was in the middle of the city though. The food was relatively cheap so it offset the price of the beer. BUT the food was not that great. I had the shepards pie and since that is hard to screw up it was fine. My wife had Guinness stew. There were three tiny pieces of beef in it. Not worth it at all. Everything on the menu was standard pub junk. The beer list was so so but it did have Fullers LP, ESB, and London Porter. All were very good. It had been a long time since I had those. If you are at the Smithsonians it is a close walk if you are hungary otherwise I would get on the metro and go somewhere else. Not terrible but not great by any means.

Photo of jjboesen
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This was my second visit to this particular Elephant & Castle, a Canadian chain of faux British pubs that, for some reason, are named after a London Tube stop. Having visited several of their locations (Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia & Seattle), I can say that the DC version is basically the same.

The Washington DC location offers split level dining: upon entry, there is an open area divided into a section of high- tops and tables set along large windows looking out onto Pennsylvania Avenue (where a new President will (thankfully) parade in less than one year from this posting). The staircase leads to more intimate dining and the loos. Opposite the high-tops is a small bar with about 20 taps, including Fuller (London Pride, ESB and Porter). Previous reviews mention the phony pull handles - they are correct, but the beer is still tasty. Food-wise, I ordered the Club Sandwich, a meal that is hard to screw up. Two caveats: one is the steep price for the beer ($6.00); two is that this E&C sits in the middle of DCs Tourist Jungle. In any case, I will always be gratified for the fact that it does offer Fuller's, one of my personal favorites, at least one reason for stopping by in the future - maybe to toast our next President?

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Wasn't our first place to go to, but we couldn't find anything better in the immediate area and we were tired of walking around.

Atmosphere was kinda neat, reminds me of the restaurant 99 though. They have all sorts of stuff on the wall like fake "old" signs, so there's plenty to gawk at while you wait for your beer and/or food.

The waitress was quick and pleasant, but wasn't too knowledgeable on the topic of beer. Food was decent for pub food, tries to be a bit fancier than it really is.

Since it's right near the heart of the city, I expected the prices to be a bit higher, but they weren't. But it was lunch after all.

Photo of shivtim
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

A fancy-ish faux-British bar in downtown DC. It's got lots of outdoor seating, perfect for summer weather. The inside is ok, kinda impersonal. 19 beers were available on tap, but most were macro. There were a couple of ok ones, but as mentioned below, the "cask" beers are fake. Still, it's an ok place to stop in if you're in the area, as it's just across from the old post office and not too far from the national mall. The service is ok, I got my drink very quickly but had to wait a bit for the second one. Didn't try the food, but that might be the key here, as the focus isn't on beer.

Photo of dickroop
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Getting together with two former co-workers, we sat outside next to Pennsylvania Avenue and enjoyed the good weather. It wasn't as noisy as you might expect, quite pleasant actually.

The waiter was attentive, provided OK service, but was really un-knowledgeable about the beer. Listed on tap were 19 beers:
Bass Ale, Boddington, Fullers ESB, Fullers London Pride, Fullers Porter, Guiness Harp, Newcastle Brown, Pilsner Urquell, Stella Artois, Allagash White, Miller Lite, Sam Adams Seasonal (it was the summer ale or a hefewiesen), Yeungling Lager, Beer of the Month (which was Harpoon IPA), Hook and Ladder, and Tuppers Hop Pocket.

I first tried the Hop Pocket, which I'd had in a bottle but wanted to taste on tap. Hoppy, but not as good as I'd hoped. Dave got Sammy's summer offering, which tasted good. Jeff got the Fuller's London Pride, which was tasty but I can't tell if it was "real ale" or "dead beer". For the second round, Jeff chose the Sam Smith Pale Ale, a bottled British brew that had a hoppy edge. I got the Hook and Ladder - it was listed as a local beer, and it's apparently distributed from Silver Spring MD, but I don't know where it was brewed. It was a golden ale, but only 2 steps up from a lawnmower beer.

The food was served quickly, efficiently, and it was good but pricey - I guess to be expected for DC within 4 blocks of the White House.

All in all, I give the establishment modest marks. It seems like they're trying, within the confines of their chain/franchise's requirements and their chosen image as "a bit of Britian brought to America". But all in all, between the priciness and the lack of their own brewed beer and lack of a really good selection of local beers, I don't have much incentive to go back.

Photo of dedrinker
2.93/5  rDev -19.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

I too was excited to hear about an "authentic" British Pub opening in D.C. as I'm a bit tired of the Irish Pub phenomenon in America, so I went on down within weeks of its opening. The decor was definately upscale and well put together, but did not remind me of any British pub I had ever been in, but more like a T.G.I. Fridays for upper middle class folks. I went straight for the Fuller's hand pumps with a wonderful memory of the first beer I ever drank my first time in London - cask Fuller's ESB. But wait! This beer is too cold, and the mouthfeel and flavor is all wrong for real ale!!! Indeed, the bartender gets a workout on those handpumps, but a wholesale insider aquaintence gave me the lowdown that these were indeed FAKE! I think it's a shame in this golden age of American craft beer that someone should attempt such nonsense, but I suppose there will always be a tourist we doesn't know any better and a proprietor willing to dupe them. I returned once more because I can't find Fullers Porter on draught anywhere else in the area, but have not been there since.

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Elephant & Castle in Washington, DC
86 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.