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Satellite Room: My Trip to the Twilight Zone

Satellite Room DC

I recently went to see a concert at the 9:30 club.  As my very classy friends and I sipped on a flask of Makers Mark in the alley behind the club, I noticed what appeared to be an amazing bar.  At first we thought it was some sort of 9:30 club VIP bar, but were soon informed that it was a new bar called the Satellite Room. It’s pretty nondescript from the outside, you’d miss it if you didn’t know what you were looking for &  perhaps it would be better if you had.

From the inside, the Satellite Room has this 1950’s juke joint vibe. It is the kind of place that you wear poodle skirts too, sip on malted milk shakes, smile at the Captain of the Football team, and talk about how dreamy he was with  your friends. I scoped this spot out while sipping out of a flask before a concert at the 9:30 club. The drinks were cheap and the beer was cold.  I took a peek at the menu, which looked like a hodgepodge of Tex-Mex and diner food: there were burgers and ceviche on the menu. That alone had me intrigued enough to come back.

Now for me, eating out is an adventure. I will eat anywhere and I will eat almost anything. Some of my favorite places are dives; but if the food is good you will find me gracing your doorstep with my hand out, “Please Sir, can I have some more”?  I do not hold others to these same standards, so when a spot turns out to be a bad spot I’m a bit bashful.

I went to the  Satellite Room with high hopes that were irrevocably crushed. I haven’t been so disappointed since I took my best friend to the Blackbyrd Warehouse (which has thankfully transitioned into a Vietnamese establishment called the Hanoi House).  The food looked good enough coming out of the kitchen and the other patrons seemed pleased, but let this be a lesson; all the glitters is NOT gold.  We started out with the tortilla soup and the Mexican street corn. The corn was nothing short of magnificent and not to be missed. The soup was also pretty tasty, but far below the standards I’m used too. I’m a sucker for soup, and I think the chef missed his first opportunity to impress me with this dish.

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I ordered the Carne Asada Tacos and my companion ordered Heuvos Rancheros. There aren’t too many ways to ruin tacos; salsa, cheese, and guacamole cover a lot of sin. There also aren’t too many ways to ruin Heuvos Rancheros: the eggs need to be runny in the middle – these were not. The Satellite room managed to deliver lackluster takes on both dishes. I weathered through mine like a good soldier.  My companion sent hers back, and

Satellite Room DC 2

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ordered a Ruben as a replacement: no way to mess that up. The Ruben was adequate, but certainly not worth a return trip. Neither were the tacos.  My companion ordered an avocado milkshake that came out 45 minutes after we sat down. Our waitress kept stressing that we really wanted only one person to make them, but that once we came out we would be amazed. I’ve never had an avocado milkshake: sweets aren’t really my thing; but my companion said that she could discern no avocado in either taste or color.

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There was nothing memorable about the food at Satellite Room except how it was either average or bad. All in all a cool place to grab a drink, but in terms of food you’d be better off with a $2.00 jumbo slice. At least then you know you’re getting what you pay for.

Satellite Room DC 6

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2 thoughts on “Satellite Room: My Trip to the Twilight Zone

  1. As the companion, I can vouch for this. Know that I NEVER send food back, but these huevos were actually inedible. Rubbery. The waitress even said that somebody else had sent theirs back that same night as well. I felt like everything I put in my mouth at this restaurant looked great but then tasted so, so mediocre. Jess is right that the avocado shake was not avocado at all. It tasted like a vanilla shake, plain and simple. Very disappointing.

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