Brought to you by the same warm, kind, loving souls who brought you Matchbox, Ted’s Bulletin aims to be a better-than-it has to be throwback to classic 50s Americana in food and decor. The cynic in me would observe that such harkening would also imply this restaurant’s imagery and vibe is a throwback to segregation – but hey, I could buy bicycles flying with an alien in the front – so what the hell?
Walking in, it feels like a country store of some kind (indeed, one could picture the separate drink fountains outside – stop that! – oh, sorry). Inside there is a bakery case and a bar and a coffee bar. You can order shakes, beer, cocktails. I ordered a positively wonderful frosted peanut butter cookie, and a mixed drink called the Delbarton Burns (Scotch, vermouth, bitters) that was eminently sippable. Given that they take no reservations – the 40 minute wait on a Saturday gave us plenty of time to consider the cookie and drink’s virtues. Add the ambience provided by Some Like it Hot and the Marx brothers on the screens – I can see hipsters being very happy here.
As for dinner itself, I ordered a Sloe Gin Fizz – which was nearly perfectly done. (the cocktails are not cheap, but they are very very good) Then I ordered the Ted’s Burgh. This is a grilled cheese type sandwich bread (crusty, buttered and grilled) with a burger topped with fries, cole slaw and a fried egg. The burger itself was pretty good. That said, I asked for the burger medium – and the chef missed the mark, giving me something decidedly more “medium-well”. The melt in your mouth quality of a Ray’s caliber burger was not there. However, it was decidedly good, better than Good Stuff on the scale of DC fancy-burgers. The hand cut fries on the side were a tad undersalted, but were well made, lacked grease and with ketchup on the side, plenty good. The price of the meal was not cheap given the “diner food” on the menu (Spaghetti and Meatballs, Burgers, Country Fried Steak) – about $13 per entree … so I cannot call this a great value. But it is a good meal and an enjoyable place. And despite not being white, I was not chased out … (I need to stop that)