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At Cause, everything gets a second chance at life. The building, decor, staff, even the food. (Not in the way you think.) The space is warm and welcoming, with reclaimed wood, repurposed barrelheads as barstools, and recycled beer bottles as light fixtures.

The servers, some of whom are on loan from the Light Horse in Alexandria, were definitely on point with recommendations and poise. The chef, also on loan from the Light Horse, is the inimitable Adam Stein.

And the food? Let’s just say this place uses the entire animal. The E N T I R E animal. Even net profits are “repurposed.” Say wha–?

Here’s how it works. You dine on a sumptuous menu, pay your tab, and select which charity you’d like net profits to go to. Cause pays its bills including wages then donates 100% of net profits to charity. It’s as simple as that.

The scrapple was crisp and the butter pickles fresh. The trotter tots were very fatty. Hush puppies came with crème fraiche, crumbled cheese, and thinly sliced piquillo peppers. In a place like Cause, I could only focus on
socially just cocktails such as The Madiba, The Mahatma, The Truth and The Harvey. Madiba is Cause’s take on sangria with Pinotage, sparkling wine, fresh juices, and ginger. Refreshing.

The Mahatma is interesting because Ghandi didn’t drink. The curry sugar-rimmed martini glass held 6 ounces of gin, elderflower and lemon. P O T E N T ! ! ! The Truth with rye whiskey, lemon, and tarragon, has a lovely herbal note. The Harvey is a sweet, creamy vodka concoction topped with freshly-grated nutmeg.

Naturally, more food was in order. Girl Meets Food cannot live by bites of scrapple alone. Trying The Heart of Darkness ($11, pictured) is a must.

This massive sandwich is full of flavor, with tender, thinly-sliced beef hearts (repurposed!), bone marrow mayo, caramelized onions, horseradish and arugula.  You can also have it prepared as a salad, but why would you want to?

The house charcuterie plate ($7/$25) with scrapple, chicken rillettes, boudin noir, headcheese, pickles, house mustard and chicken liver mousse is outstanding, as are the chicken confit patty melt ($11) and cheddar-dusted fries ($5).

This quarter, Cause is giving to Agora, Common Good City Farm, Higher Learning, and Martha’s Table. This is the time when having a good time leads to good decisions for once.

Photos: Kelly Greene

Cause-The Philanthroub
1926 9th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001