Family Style chronicles an urban mom’s search for DC area restaurants that both kids and adults will enjoy.
Born and raised in Los Angeles and having lived in the Northeast for 10 years, I love diner food. Whether I’m at Mel’s Drive-In on Sunset Boulevard or any of the greasy spoons in New York City, burgers and shakes are an irresistible combo.
So when I heard that a 1960’s-style, California-inspired diner called Satellite Room just opened in the U Street/Shaw area, I was eager to try it out. And like most kids, my 20-month-old Alex loves a good burger and fries, so he came along.
The latest brainchild of Eric and Ian Hilton (owners of hotspots Gibson, Brixton and American Ice Company), the retro-style diner serves up all kinds of burgers and allows you to build your own. The menu also features classic comfort food like meatloaf and chicken fried steak as well as Mexican dishes, like chile rellenos, huevos rancheros, tacos and my favorite, elote, grilled corn with cotija cheese, chili powder and lime.
You wouldn’t think of Satellite Room as kid-friendly – there’s no kid’s menu, it’s next to the popular 9:30 Club and the smell from smokers on the covered back patio drifts into the main dining area.
That said, we avoided the club crowd by having dinner at 6 p.m. and enjoyed the diner’s hipster vibe. We loved the exposed brick walls, red leather booths, retro artwork, punk rock playlist and the huge neon sign.
The best part of the place is by far the grown-up milkshake menu, which offers creative concoctions of ice cream and alcohol, with names like the Lucy Ricardo (chocolate and Johnny Walker Black), Archie Leach (strawberry and Tanqueray) and AC Slater (avocado and Jose Cuervo).
Of course, you have to share the milkshake fun by ordering a virgin one for the kids.
2047 Ninth St. NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20001