Busboys and Poets


One of my favorite places in college was Louie’s Bookstore Cafe, across the street from Peabody Conservatory. It had a nice nookie bookstore full of interesting art books in front of a coffee cafe. Go up the tight spiral staircase and you have a single tight floor of a $$$ restaurant. Couldn’t afford to buy anything often, but good crab cakes. Unfortunately, it now looks shuttered, along with a good chunk of North Charles Street. No city can break your heart like Baltimore can.

We were in the Shaw neighborhood of DC yesterday and had lunch at Busboys and Poets. I’d been meaning to go forever. Leftie bookstore + comfy couches and coffee + chi-chi restaurant. Louie’s done DC, I’m thinking.


You can feel the energy in this place. There’s always film screenings, open mic nights, forums. (I went home and got on their email list). Everybody’s pretending to read or work on their laptops. There’s loud art on the walls. The staff was busy but not aloof nor officious; everyone was very nice to me and my kids.

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The food is not cheap, but the portions are big, and I’m glad I only ordered a burger and appetizer. Everyone left full. I was mostly left eating the coconut tofu bites by myself, but I was happy with that.

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The place was rad. I’d go back, with and without the kids. With five locations and two more in the works, BB&Ps are all over DC.

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