Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

September 8, 2007 7:02 PM

Restaurant: Tonic


(Aka Quigley's Pharmacy)
2036 G Street NW
Washington D.C.
Fax 202-293-0063
Tonic to Go 202-296-0999
The Tonic sign on the building is green, round and small. The Quigley's Pharmacy sign is white and large.

There are three floors.

The 1st floor is set up with a bar, with 14 high chairs and 6 high tables, each with 4 chairs. The restaurant has not yet received an alcoholic beverage license, so at this time only food is served at the bar. The kitchen is at the back end of the room.

The 2nd floor main dining room is reached by a pretty steep set of stairs. Fortunately the steps are wide and there are strong rails on each side.

There are a total of 72 seats in the main dining room; 2-2 tops, 8-4 tops, 1-8 top, 5-4 person booths, and 1-8 person booth. At the back end of the room there is a "bridge" that leads to the restrooms and the stairwell to the kitchen. If you look down from the sides of the bridge you can see parts of the 1st floor.

The top floor is called the Lounge. It is not yet open, but is likely to be opened during the school year.

The walls are exposed brick. The furnishings are simple, but comfortable, and the "table cloths" are white paper.

It has the kind of menu that you secretly long for, but know you really should not eat.

10 appetizers - soup to tater tots and Whiz Nachos (yes, that is nachos with cheese whiz).

7 salads- grilled vegetable salad to an Asian tofu salad.

6 sandwiches - grilled vegetable to Philly cheese steak.

6 burgers - with added guacomole to cheezwhiz.

7 - 10 inch pizzas plus a build-your-own combo.

9 Entrees - Pulled pork plate to Blackened Catfish.

An extensive dessert menu, ranging from Honey Raisin Bread Pudding to Old Fashioned Floats.

There is also a weekly specials menu. The week I was there it included an appetizer, Deep Fried Pickles - pickle spears, beer battered and deep fried, served with spicey honey, mustard dipping sauce. Also a mile-high meatloaf sandwich on sourdough bread with mashed potatos and tomato gravy.

At my first dinner I had the grilled vegetable salad - zucchini, squash, roasted red peppers, grilled onion, mixed greens, oil and vinegar, and Mama's Meatloaf - nice textured meatloaf with tomato gravy , macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. (This is the way the dish comes on the menu.) The mac and cheese is not too cheezy.

At a subsequent lunch, I had a turkey burger with sauteed mushrooms and onions and tater tots.

As you enter the men's room there is a white, squarish ceramic washbasin with a metal framed mirror dead ahead.

To the left are 2 wall-hanging urinals, separated by partial unpainted fresh metal dividers. Just past the second urinal is the commode area, which is enclosed in the same metal walls and door, open at top and bottom.

The floor is covered with small tiles in 3 different colors; in the commode area they are brown, in the urinal section - light green, and in the entry way and under the wash basin - lite tan.

The far wall as you enter is exposed brick; otherwise the walls are covered in tan mid-sized tiles on 3 sides to a height of about 3.5 feet, and then the rest of the walls are painted tan.

Lunch time is generally packed, the evenings seem to be a little lighter, although that may change when the students are back on campus.

I heard about Tonic from Erin who works there as a server. As you would expect the service was excellent.

There are a couple of parking garages within an easy walk to the restaurant.

Breakfast and lunch are served Monday - Friday with brunch served from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Dinner is served every night of the week.

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