Joe Englert keeps teasing me about a blog item I wrote, calling for a moratorium on stories about the H Street Country Club until the place actually opens. Englert thinks that I secretly believe the indoor miniature golf/Tex-Mex joint will never open. As if to prove me wrong, we stop by the construction site so that Englert can help select china, drinking glasses, and flatware.
It takes all of three minutes to make the choices. The rest of the time is spent cruising the three-story (including roof) structure that will, no doubt, once it’s finally built and open, become the hottest goddamn ticket on H Street NE. (See sketches below of some of the proposed holes.) Part of its appeal will be the Tex-Mex menu, conceived by Ann Cashion and executed by former Cashion’s cook, Pablo Cardoso, who just happens to be on hand at the Country Club to explain both the sit-down menu and the bar menu. There will be, Cardoso says, lobster tostadas, homemade tamales, Mexican slaw with chicharones, lamb shank enchiladas, snapper Veracruz, gorditos, and a dessert pineapple chimichanga with Mexican vanilla ice cream.
The joint will also serve a decent line of Mexican beers, which will be available even on the 18-hole miniature golf course (nine holes on one level, another nine on the roof). Englert plans to have a putt-putt version of a beer cart, delivering cold ones to parched putters on the course.
Later, after we cross H Street NE and step inside the office that’s overseeing beautification projects in the neighborhood, I ask Englert if he’s not worried that construction will do to his businesses what construction did to those on P Street NW—-almost ruin them. He brushes off the question and says there’s already a shuttle bus that operates along H Street and that many patrons don’t drive over, but take the Metro to Union Station. The operators here, he adds, have learned the sad lessons of P Street NW.
In other words, I’m just being a pain in the ass again.