Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Rock and Roll Hotel Rocks My Buds

The Place: A

There ain't no beds or room service, but there ARE multiple bars, up and coming rock band performances, and unexpectedly delicious homemade food. 

The Rock and Roll Hotel in Northeast Washington, D.C. is an independent music venue for mainly up and coming alternative artists. It's a chill place to take your crush, sweetie or platonic friend; enjoy the bar and the music on the bottom floor and head to the Rooftop Deck & Bar to enjoy either intimate conversation at a private, ambient-lit booth or the current sports game at the bar. Concert tickets are never too expensive, usually ranging from $10-20 per ticket. I first went to the Rock and Roll Hotel for a Surfer Blood concert, so you can find some pretty mid-to-big alternative names playing at the venue.  

The Rooftop Deck & Bar is open year round, and closes at 11 p.m. on weekdays and 12 a.m. on weekends. The Rooftop is half open, half covered with tarp, so it definitely eliminates the stuffy feeling one can get in most sports bars. 

The ambience of the place is super cool. Low-lit, dark woodwork everywhere, and odd, vintage trinkets lining the walls of the deck and the bar. We were there around 8 p.m., before the show started, and there were only a few couples besides me and my platonic friend Claire. Christmas lights adorned the Deck, and alternative rock music was playing while we enjoyed the laid-back ambience. 

The Food: B+

Claire and I were STARVING while listening to the opening bands. We were expecting to eat shitty, crappy, canned/microwaved bar food when we stepped foot onto the half-outdoors deck. We were very happily surprised with what we were served. 

"Breaded with Flour, Egg, and Panko Bread Crumbs Served with Honey Mustard"

I ordered the Homemade Chicken Tenders. For being homemade, they were only a shocking $7!!! You have to understand where I'm coming from when I say this shocks me--the cafeteria-grade chicken tenders available for students at American University are priced higher than these homemade chicken tenders. 

The Tendas were delicious with the honey mustard. I took a bite into my first hot, breaded chicken tender coated with cool and smooth honey mustard and the chicken was juicy and the sauce complemented the breaded chicken perfectly.

AND BEST OF ALL, IT WAS HOMEMADE!!!!!! How many times do you see THAT in a bar of a music venue?!

What I didn't like about this plate was without the honey mustard, the chicken tenders were extremely bland..... the breading didn't give the meat much flavor, it just texturized the animal. And although the chicken was juicy and succulent, it was lacking in flavor. 


Claire had the Macaroni and Cheese for dinner for $7.

Made with Bechamel, Chedder, and Parmesan (I am assuming three different kinds of cheese)

I have to say, this dish was the BOMB.COM. From just the 1.5 bites that Claire allowed me, you could just taste the three fancy-for-a-bar cheeses used in the dish. This definitely is not Kraft Mac N' Cheese, folks. It blew me out of the water how delicious the cheeses were, and especially the fact that you could taste them all. I would have liked a little bit more texture in this soft dish: a little crunchy cheese at the top would have complimented the dish well. 

*SIDE NOTE: If you look at the menu, you'll see Claire and I ordered the priciest items  on the menu. High rollin', it's the lifestyle for us!!!!!!*

I give this food a slightly inflated grade of an A- because this was GREAT for bar food. A place that focuses on alcohol and music doesn't need to have handmade chicken tenders and amazingly cheesy and not-slimy macaroni. But they did. 

The Service: B+

The service at the Rooftop Deck & Bar was a bit inefficient, as there is no wait service if you want to simply sit down and enjoy a meal. You have to order from the bar, and the bartender will either call out your name or serve you your food (sometimes I wonder if I get extra special treatment because I'm a young, youthful college gal.... this could affect service at times, disclaimer. Not trying to be vain here, just realistic!!!).

Also, the food took a LONG time to get to our little private booth. We waited around 20 for the food. 

The food service was very pleasing. The bartender working the slow hours who served us food was very relaxed, friendly, and easy to have a conversation with. I tipped him well because whenever I went up to the bar and it was busy, he would help me get my bill straightened out right away! Great person.

Ariana's Tastebuds Make a Final Decision: B+

Overall, I definitely think that the Rock and Roll Hotel is a great place to check out whether you are just there to enjoy music, or enjoy music with a snack and drink, or just snack and drink. The food is delicious for bar food, but could have slight improvements. The music is always great, and the service throughout the Hotel is generally very friendly. 

If you're planning on stopping by the Rock and Roll Hotel for a concert anytime soon, I definitely recommend saving your stomach for the Rooftop Deck & Bar.