A small and quintessentially H Street hole-in-the-wall, The Pug is first and foremost a pub, and not necessarily where you’d think to go for a Sunday afternoon marathon brunch with the girls. When we walked in around 12:30 to meet the ladies of Crunkcakes there were two people drinking at the bar, and they were not eating brunch. We were skeptical and reluctant. Actually, we thought about making a run for it, but we knew The Pug was a Crunkcake favorite, so we took a deep breath and closed the door and the sunlight behind us.
We hesitantly grabbed one of the only tables that could accommodate four people in the back by the ice machine and waited for the girls. We noticed the kitchen and exchanged “Whaaa??” faces. For the kitchen was not so much a kitchen as a corner of the bar with a lamp and several hot plates. Could anything delicious come off a hot plate?
We ordered the half smoke, which they get fresh and local from 13th St Meats. It was served with an egg and the hangover hash. The hangover hash is a mysterious concoction of cheese, meat, random seasonings and things that you may not distinguish from one another, but it’s yummy. Also, make sure you get a biscuit!
They also feature a weekly special, this day having “green eggs and ham,” which consisted of eggs, ham, and tomatoes on a croissant with pesto and lettuce for the green. This was the most colorful dish on the table, and perhaps the healthiest.
While the food is great, the best part about The Pug is its neighborhoodiness. It’s a room of regulars; frequent the bar a few times and you’ll start to recognize the recurring characters. Don’t be surprised if the bar erupts in song to some random oldies. We recommend forgetting personal boundaries and jumping in.
The Bottom Line: Similar to its canine namesake, The Pug may not be pretty but you can’t help but fall in love with it. Practice the elementary principle of not making judgements at first glance. The hash, while not particularly attractive, was the star of the menu.