Where do you want to fly?

Food

Give the classic French dish some love.

Convivial’s footlong quiche with leeks, onions, and Gruyère. Photograph by Scott Suchman

The brunch egg hierarchy goes like this: Benedicts are the flashy rockstars, even though they often overpromise and underdeliver. Scrambles and omelets are the workhorses (minus the luscious French versions, of course). Whites are sociopaths. And quiche? You might think quiche is an ’80s cocktail party. It’s Nordstrom Cafe with mom. It’s pre-frittata.

All wrong. Quiche is the most underrated brunch egg dish on the menu.

A textbook French quiche takes skill—you want that rich, custardy filling of eggs, cream, and a hint of nutmeg encased in a flaky crust. But in the end, it’s not nearly as finicky as its brunch egg brethren. The worst thing that can be done to quiche is to pull it cold from the fridge (and yes, also buy it pre-made from Sysco, as some unworthy quiche purveyors are guilty of). But hey, I’d rather have a chilled wedge of homemade Lorraine than a stiff scramble or hard-yolk Benedict. Served with a tangy little side salade and crisp white wine—don’t get me started on mimosas—it’s the best there is.

Here are some great ones to try.

Quiche at Le Diplomate. Photograph via Facebook

Convivial
801 O St., NW
Chef Cedric Maupillier makes the best quiche in town. More than that: it’s one of the best dishes in town (per food critic Ann Limpert, but I agree). His Alsatian version with gruyere, leeks, onion, and nutmeg is a miracle of reengineering—instead of a pie wedge, he molds it into a skinny foot-long for more delicious, crispy edges.

Le Diplomate
1601 14th St., NW
Of course Le Dip makes a great quiche. The warm Florentine filling is both rich and fluffy, striated with spinach and gruyere. And good news since it’s still so hard to get a table: the dish is on the midday menu (served 3 to 5 PM) when it’s much easier to snag a seat.

Northside Social
3211 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 205 Park Ave., Falls Church
The charming bakery/cafe/wine bars in Arlington and Falls Church make tasty, meal-worthy quiches in full rounds—one packed with ham, spinach and gruyere, the other seasonal vegetables (served with salad and fruit for a modest $10.50).

Baked & Wired
1052 Thomas Jefferson St., NW
Guys, if you think quiche isn’t macho enough here’s a solution. The “Manly Quiche” is stuffed with bacon AND sausage as well as gruyere, all wrapped in a buttery homemade crust. There’re also other flavors like spinach and feta for those who don’t like genderized eggs. The quiches, which feed feeds 8 to 10, are available for pre-order to-go. Note that sister bakery/cafe A Baked Joint has ready-eat quiche on the menu.

Bistro Provence
4933 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda
Veteran French chef Yannick Cam serves quiche as an appetizer both lunch and brunch at his lovely French bistro in Bethesda. His version is layered with onion confit, tomatoes, and smoked salmon—best eaten on the garden patio in warm weather.

Anna Spiegel

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.