Cool Cucumber (Bloody Mary)
Some of my very favorite things on this earth have often been instigated by a random act. I can name a dozen nouns I cherish that’s placement in my life boils down to one single moment of judgement or a rare one-off. That said, there are also things I’ve always gravitated to since my earliest memories. Certain thing I’ve always seemed to love and look for.
On one of our very first visits to DC to enjoy a visit with our cousins, Joe and I had some free time and just decided to wander around the Columbia Heights area. This was several years back. Columbia Heights was still in it’s up-and-coming phase.
We were hungry. (Although, saying we “were hungry” is like saying “water is often wet.”) And enamored by being in the city, we didn’t want to eat anywhere we could go in Ohio. And then we stumbled upon The Heights.
Yeah, I’m talking to you, Chipotle & Subway.
Knowing what we know now, The Heights was fairly new to the area, having just opened a few months earlier. But for us it was local, unique, original. Plus, it was the middle of a week day, so they were able to seat us immediately.
I think we literally ordered 4-5 things off the menu because everything sounded so good: buffalo shrimp, ginger calamari, handmade burgers, chipotle chicken sandwiches. And because we’re human we didn’t add too much more on our plates, but we did in our heads. We already knew we’d be back.
And to that note, we have been back. Probably 30-40 times since moving to DC. (And if you follow either Joe or I on Facebook or Foursquare, you know this to be true).
And we’re also foodies, so just ask anytime and we’ll send you a list of our very favorite restaurants 30 names deep with suggestions, best-ofs and things to avoid.
So when I say The Heights is one of our very favorites, we have much to compare it to, its not just a creature of comfort thing. Its as real as true.
Look, its simple: they nail just about everything they offer. From their house-smoked meats to tofu & green curry, handmade lamb burgers to fried brussel sprouts w/ horseradish, everything is pretty much spot-on perfect.
And—I cannot stress this enough—no one in the District can poach an egg with the level of perfection and consistency as The Heights. When god was handing out egg poaching skills, the Chefs at The Height clearly stole more than their fair share.
They also have a very expansive, ridiculously customizable Bloody Mary menu. So from the very beginning of planning the Adventure, I knew this is where I’d be having my first Bloody Mary.
As I said at the beginning, some things I’ve just always liked, always looked for. This would be true for most of the non-alcoholic ingredients of a Bloody Mary: tomato juice, lime, salt&pepper, beef broth, vinegars. All flavors I love in any setting.
So, I decided to avoid ordering a classic—I have that planned with my good friend Jason W.—and ordered one of their Bloody Mary signature cocktails, the Cool Cucumber.
And once again, The Heights did not disappoint.
Their Cool Cucumber Bloody Mary is a mix of cucumber vodka, tomato juice, lime juice, bloody mary mix, rimmed with seasoned salt and garnished with skewered cucumbers & cream cheese. Yes, please, thank you.
It was like a rich tomato juice that was dragged through the garden, only spicy, garlicy, and peppery. I could taste the mild alcohol flavor in the background and it mixed well with the drink’s beefy notes, touch of fishy notes. And the finish was richly tangy, with a sloppy tomato bite.
The rim added a nice salty, spicy mix to the drink and the skewers of cucumber and cream cheese were amazing crunchy, creamy additions to my few last sips of the drink.
Some sort of Bloody Mary had been in my sights for some time now and it was everything I had hoped it would be. In fact, it has just won the best brunch drink category I just made up in my head right this minute. Congrats Cool Cucumber!
Suck it, Mimosa & Pimm’s Cup.
And, on a related note I had a smoked pork, cheddar grits & spicy tomato sauce Benedict for brunch while at The Heights too. Everything was damn good—including complimenting my Cool Cucumber nicely—down to the always perfectly poached eggs.
As always, I’ll be back to The Heights soon enough. If they’ll keep cooking comfort perfection, I’ll keep them high on my list for a few more drinks on the Adventure and then some.