photo credit: Reema Desai

The Partisan image

The Partisan

This spot is Permanently Closed.


Penn Quarter

$$$$Perfect For:BreakfastBrunchDate NightDeliveryLunch
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My friend once wore a “business-casual” costume to a Halloween party. He had on a dress shirt, tie, and blazer, along with a pair of gym shorts. Business on the top, party on the bottom. Why am I telling you this, other than to make sure you have a great idea for your next Halloween party? Because The Partisan is the living embodiment of that costume; two very different things in one package.

It’s one thing during the day (a quick-service breakfast and lunch operation) and an entirely different thing at night (a sit-down, waiters-with-their-shirts-tucked-in, serious restaurant).

The Partisan image

The two couldn’t be more different, other than the fact they both serve pretty good meat. Breakfast and lunch is a to-go, very casual situation. It’s technically served out of their sister place next door, The Red Apron, which is also a butcher, but the two are connected and share an entrance. At dinner it animorphs into a place that’s so dimly lit you’ll be tempted to pull out your phone light to read the menu. It makes for a good place to catch up with a few friends or to bring a date, so long as they aren’t a vegetarian. It’s so meat-focused that vegetarians probably shouldn’t come within several blocks of here.

The dinner menu can be confusing as it’s large and split up by both animal and size of the dish. The general rule of thumb is that “smalls” are appetizers, “mediums” are roughly entree-sized, and “larges” are enough for a couple people to split. With that in mind, choose your favorite animal and go from there.

So if you’re in your gym shorts and it’s before 2, or wearing your full corporate armor after work, The Partisan is a solid move.

Food Rundown

Clams And Shishitos

An odd combination, but they’re both perfectly fine. The shishitos bring just enough heat to make them interesting, but not enough that you’ll be crying and sweating at the table like Gary Williams used to in the middle of a Terps game.

Purple Asparagus

A plate of simple, grilled asparagus. But of course this also comes with bits of sausage, too. HOT TAKE: all veggie dishes should come with bits of sausage. THERE, I SAID IT.
The Partisan image


These are truly great. Fried in beef fat and mixed with a bunch of garlic, make sure to order them at either lunch or dinner, as long as you have some gum on you.

Duck Heart Hash

The adventurous brunch move. You won’t notice that you’re eating heart, as it’s mixed up with all the other usual hash supporting characters. It tastes good, so get this if you want something that either a) tastes good or b) freaks out/impresses your friends when you order it.
The Partisan image


Available at lunch, they’ll usually have a burger, pastrami, and Italian option. You’re at a butcher, so they’re good.


The salads they offer at lunch are good, whether they have meat on them or not.


Suggested Reading

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There are plenty of ramen options in the District nowadays. Head to Daikaya in Chinatown when you're craving lighter, more traditional noodles.

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Jaleo is José Andrés' flagship DC restaurant that is popping every night despite the mediocre Spanish tapas.

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DC’s most famous French restaurant is far from its best.

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