Monday, May 7, 2012

Ollie's Trolley

Last month Superking and I were in DC for some of the Cherry Blossom festivities. One of which was the parade.  We got there pretty early that morning and wanted to get some breakfast somewhere nearby the parade route.  We weren't sure where to go and just began walking up and down the streets until we came across this "unique" looking place called Ollie's Trolley. This place has been in business for over 30 years and has been named a DC landmark institution.  It is most known for their burgers and their vintage antique toys (all of which have signs that say "do not touch"). 

We did not get to try their famous burgers as we were there for breakfast.  But it was an interesting experience to say the least. From the outside (and the inside to be honest) it has the look of a sort of creepy 1920's carnival/circus because of the lights and the vintage toys, dolls, carousel horses, etc. Even as I'm trying to think of how exactly to describe this place, no words come to mind.  You just have to see it for yourself.

The food was okay.  Superking ordered pancakes with bacon and I had a sausage/egg/cheese sandwich. We ordered our food at the counter where the little Asian lady who barely spoke English scribbled down our order on a large sheet of white parchment paper that became our placemat on our food tray. We sat down at the table and listened to 80's music playing overhead while we waited for our order number to be called.

I'm not sure if they meant "don't ask about using the bathroom" or "don't ask how its strictly enforced"

When our food came, it was served on styrofoam plates, our drinks in styrofoam cups, accompanied by plastic forks.  Nothing fancy, nothing pretentious.  But the food was hot, tasty, and filled our bellies. What more could we ask for?

The restaurant needed a good vacuuming (which is something for me to say because I rarely vacuum my own home often enough) and the bathroom was a little scary (the door didn't lock so you had to be fast).  But the vintage toys and machines were very cool to look at.  And most of them looked to be in very good condition thanks to the "do not touch" signs everywhere.

This food adventure has reminded me that not every dining experience has to be stellar, have amazingly good or crazy foods, or even be clean.  Sometimes its all about the unique atmosphere or trying something new even if its bad.  Sometimes the bad experiences help us be more thankful for the good ones.  And don't get me wrong, Ollie's Trolley wasn't bad, but I don't think it will be making my top ten list of restaurants any time soon. 

The only thing that may take me back there is to try one of their famous burgers.  Supposedly, in 2011, with 40,000 voters and 23 restaurants to choose from, Ollie's was voted the best burger in the DC/VA/MD area!!  That's quite an accomplishment seeing that it beat out all the other great burger places, like Five Guys, Elevation Burger, BGR Joint, and Sweetwater, just to name a few. So for now I'll put it on my "maybe give it one more try" list.

1 comment:

  1. I ate there once as a kid and I thought that it was creepy then and that was back in the early 80's. Hilarious.