Way back, almost six years ago, when I first started graduate school, a group of cohort members used to meet up for monthly brunch. It was a way to build community, take a break from seemingly endless readings, and, of course, eat yummy food. There were 18 (18! yes, that’s an abnormally large cohort) of us who started the sociology PhD journey together and over time, as is often the case, our numbers dwindled. And, of the six students of color, only three made it to our third year. One already graduated (with a great job. Success!). And, then there were two.

Two from the original brunch crew and now we are back at our monthly food rituals, adding two other fabulous women of color. The four of us recently brunched at Floriana, a delightful Italian restaurant in Adams Morgan. Sidenote: do not ever, ever drive to Adams Morgan thinking, dreaming rather, that you will easily find a parking space. After 10 minutes of driving around in circles, which in the DC scheme of things wasn’t that long, I did end up finding a spot, a quite good one, but also one where I wasn’t sure if it was “the best parking space ever” or if my car would be towed. Luckily, after brunch, I would find my car waiting right where I left it.

Floriana is located inside, what was formerly, a row house. The dining area on the first floor is a very intimate space while the dining room on the second floor, equally intimate, benefits from natural light ushered in by its many windows. The brunch menu is host to a menagerie of pastas, hashes, benedicts, and omelets. The duck hash, lobster hash, prosciutto benedict, and ouvo purgatorio (eggs in hell) sounded particularly tempting, but since we were at an Italian restaurant I opted for a pasta – green eggs and ham or fresh tagliatelle, herb crusted poached egg, mushrooms, and prosciutto. I do love a good fresh pasta.

Around the table were two orders of ouvo purgatorio and lasagna. But, no meal is complete without an appetizer or dessert, so a bread basket christened our table. Since it was brunch, mimosas were in order, but having driven to Floriana, I had to settle for coffee (rather delicious coffee, might I add. In fact, the coffee may have been the highlight of my meal.).

As our entrees were being prepared, the four of us caught up with one another, and I jokingly asked what everyone’s plans for spring break were. Laughter filled the table as we lamented how different spring break was as a grad student. No plans for lazily laying out at the beach, sipping fruity alcoholic beverages. Rather our days would be filled with catching up on readings, running new data analyses, finishing dissertation chapters, and, for me, preparing for my dissertation defense. We assuaged the sad state of our spring “break” with selections from the bread basket – my favorite being a lemon crumb cake.

Assorted breads and pastries from Floriana

Soon our server was bringing our entrees. I immediately had order envy when the decadent ouvo purgatorios arrived at our table. The eggs basted in spicy, aromatic tomato sauce were stunning, and I have a penchant for red sauce. My green eggs and ham were dismal in comparison. This only means I must return to Floriana to partake in the ouvo purgatorios – and mimosa!

Ouvo purgatorio - eggs basted in spicy red sauce accompanied by grilled bread - from Floriana

1602 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 667-5937