I learned about Perry's a couple years ago and have since associated it w/sushi. So imagine my surprise when my cousin invited me to Perry's drag brunch one Sunday.
And imagine my surprise when a very pretty tranny in pasties proceeded to grab my hooters.
But more on that later!
Perry's drag brunch is a Sunday-only event, and apparently it's a popular one. My cousin's g/f and one of her friends arrived at the restaurant about 45 minutes before the rest of us got there. Luckily that meant I didn't have to wait (haha!), as the two girls did the hard part for us.
The hostess took our party of five to the worst table in the place. The table was shoved into the far back corner under a large speaker, which, from the time we arrived, blared tranny-liciouis standards like Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" and Aretha Franklin's "Respect." In addition to instant deafness, there was also instant blindness--and not because of spotlights hitting sequins. Instead, a wall in the restaurant all but blocked our view of the majority of the restaurant. Not until a performer was five feet away from us could we actually see any of the fantastic dancing. Again, more on that later...
Once we were seated, my four companions ordered a pitcher of Bloody Mary. We were a little confused about whether or not we could go right up to the buffet ($24.95, I believe), so we took a random waitress aside and asked. She told us to go right ahead.
At that particular moment, the line at the buffet was rather short. Score! It was probably short because a good number of the dishes needed to be replaced: some of the bread baskets contained only crumbs, for example. The selection in front of me was not lacking, although there was no sense of cohesiveness or theme to the buffet: breads (scones, muffins, pastry, waffles, etc.), cold dishes (pasta salad, bowtie salad, caprese, cold carved meats, the aforementioned sushi, fresh fruit, etc.), and hot dishes (bacon and sausage, soup, eggs, potstickers, appetizery things, etc.). I loaded up a plate w/some random stuff and took it back to the table.
I had snagged the last scone of a particular flavor from a basket. From what I could tell, it was cheddar and bacon. From what I could taste, it was nice. I would have preferred for it to be a tad moister, but I think scones are, by definition, supposed to be dry and crumbly and sandy. The bacon itself, though, was great. It was not: limp, soggy, floppy, oily, chewy, undercooked, overcooked. It was: crisp, salty, porky, yummy. This bacon even outdid Wonderland Ballroom's Bottomless Bacon!
I didn't try the sushi, but I grabbed some of the other little Asian appetizers. Honestly, I don't even remember what I ate--that is how memorable that stuff was. I think I had a potsticker and maybe something resembling crab Rangoon.
As the afternoon pressed on, the buffet was refreshed w/more lunch food: more meats, more salads, less pastry. Dessert was also put out: some little tartlets and cakes and stuff.
Well, I'm now realizing, three weeks later, that I don't remember anything else I ate. I have a few theories as to why this may be the case: 1) it was three weeks ago, after all; 2) the food just wasn't that good; 3) see below.
I mentioned earlier that there were "tranny-licious staples." Well, sure, these songs were playing, but what was so much fun was that the ladies were lip syncing to the music. They faked singing, danced all over, looked beautiful, and posed for pictures. People generally tipped the girls when they posed for photos. I was so glad I had about $5 in singles, as I was able to pay many a dancer to pose w/my cousin. After one performer's song ended, she walked out of the room, and for the next few minutes, I waited impatiently to see who would come out next. That anticipation was fantastic. But because our table was set back in Nepal, we had to wait until half a minute or so into the song until we saw who was performing. Around 1 or so, there was a 45-minute long break, which gave the performers enough time to change outfits and prep for the second act. They were just as flamboyant and fun as they were during the first act.
After I grabbed my plate of brunch, I actually stopped our waitress on my way back to the table. I noticed that a party sitting at a prime table was getting up to leave. I asked the waitress if our group could switch to that table in order to get a better view. She explained to me that the table I'd been eying was being attended to by another server, so we would not be able to switch. She said we could pull the table out of the corner--which we already did--so our view was generally obstructed the entire time.
I think most of the people in my group were satisfied, although there was one damper on the afternoon: the pitcher of Bloody Mary. I'm really not a drinker, so I'd never even tasted a Bloody Mary. Everyone said the drink was gross, though, so I tasted it. Sure enough, it was really strong. And it tasted like tomato-based rectum. They thought maybe it needed some more tomato juice, so my cousin had the waitress bring over a glass. Unfortunately, the tomato juice did nothing to fix the drink that tasted like the inside of one's lower gastrointestinal track. My cousin's g/f told the waitress that the drink tasted like cocktail sauce, and everyone explained that it was pretty much undrinkable. The waitress said she'd have the manager come over (which we hadn't even requested!), but as it turned out, the waitress just removed the pitcher of vileness from the tab.
We were a table of five, but when our bill arrived, we noticed that gratuity had been tacked on already. Hmmm... I didn't recall seeing anything about that on the menu. Regardless, we paid our bill and went on our way.
Had I know about the drag brunch any earlier during my time in DC, I would have taken all of my out-of-town visitors there. The food wasn't memorable, nor was the service very serviceable, but the entertainment alone is worth the price of admission.
1811 Columbia Rd., NW
Washington, DC 20009