Oh, Tonic. Home of delicious tater tots and bacon filled Bloody Marys (Maries?). Not a bad place for brunch.

One of the cute little draws of Tonic is they have a cup filled with Crayons at every table. Yay! Fun! You can draw whatever your heart desires.

What's not fun is when you're served water out of the same cups used to hold Crayons. Complete with wax stains and everything:

Please note the red, green, and blue specks. Yuck.

Of course, talking to someone about this was a lost cause. You see, Tonic is located in Mt. Pleasant. And I've found it impossible to get anything resembling good service in either Mt. Pleasant or Adams Morgan. It's at the point where I mentally add another 20 minutes to my meal. That's how it long it takes for a typical waiter to get me my check after taking my plates.

This shit would not fly at Chef Geoff's.


  1. Yikes! I eat brunch there on a regular basis, well used to before they changed the menu, prices and charge extra now for items that used to be options.

    But I'll be sure to check the glass next time I order something that isn't caffeinated or alcoholic!

  2. Random, but the best fruit juice I've ever had was at Chef Geoff's. Probably also the most expensive, but I wasn't paying, so it's cool by me...

  3. The best part was not noticing that we were drinking out of old crayon cups until we had finished our water and had been waiting for more for 10 or more minutes.

  4. Oh hell no. I’m a little passionate about this as Tonic is my neighborhood bar and I am going to defend her and her staff.

    1. How may times have you dined at Tonic? I recall you stating that you’d not been to Tonic in a previous post. If this was your first dining experience then your generalization about their service is misguided. I go there all the time and I’ve always had great service.

    2. I am a regular there. I would suggest eating downstairs in the bar area. The crowd is livelier, music is better, no stupid crayons on the table....totally different atmosphere down there.

    3. Accidents happen, ask for a new glass of water. God, I would hate to see your prissy reaction if you found something actually repulsive in you food (say a bug or a rodent paw).

    4. The crayon situation sucks but hardly warranted this much drama and attention. Seriously, all this over a dirty water cup?? I suppose next you’ll post pictures of the smudge on your silverware. Trust, you eat/drink MUCH worse that this a regular basis in restaurants.

    5. Chef Geoff’s sucks ass.

    6. Tonic rocks. But it’s far from a gourmet restaurant. If you are this high maintenance then I would suggest sticking to their cocktails.

  5. We did ask for new cups -- and never got them.

  6. DC Dude, I've been to Tonic probably a dozen times. Their service is typically OK. Not nearly as good as I'd expect from any decent restaurant, but not as bad as typical Adams Morgan service.

    As Terri pointed out, we asked for different glasses or cups and we never got them. My efforts at getting the waitress's attention (without crossing the line and being rude) were fruitless.

    This isn't going to stop me from going back, but people should know what they're drinking. And at Tonic you very well could be drinking colored wax.

  7. After asking, I am surprised that you didn't receive another glass of water. I'm familiar with most all of the staff and I can’t imagine who would drop the ball like that. After a reasonable amount of time, I would've firmly reminded the waiter/waitress about the water debacle. But that's me. Some people prefer to sit and stew about things like this. You can’t be afraid to speak up when being waited on in a restaurant. Long story short, every place has an "off night". Sorry you had a bad experience; I will make sure the owners are aware next time I’m there.

    On a side note, do you eat apples and other such fruits? You’re aware the average American consumes over a pound of wax that in a given year, right? A thin layer of wax is added to preserve and shine tons of fruits and vegetables. And you have not died so far. So I’m pretty sure you’ll live through Waxgate 2008. Cheers.

  8. The service at Tonic does and always has sucked. That didn't stop me from going there when I lived in Mt. P given the few options, and it's a friendly comfortable place. But friendly is not the same as professional. They just don't make service a priority there, and so it isn't.

    I don't think Rusty is saying he hates the place and isn't going back. But what happened, happened, and that sort of thing was typical in my experiences there. If they want people to think of them as a place with good service, then they need the manager to start giving a crap about it.

  9. Generally speaking (that is, I don't know about Tonic's particular situation), brunch staff is generally the C team. You might still have gotten the waxy glasses at dinner on a Friday night, but they probably would have replaced them with clean ones straight away.

  10. wow dcdude, what a defense

    -no way it sucks.. you suck.
    -other places suck.
    -im surprised it sucked because i know everyone who works there and they are nice.
    -well, ok other places probably suck more. everyone sucks from time to time.
    -it could've been worse and you probably eat unrelated items that are bad for you.

    yeah this place sounds great.

  11. remember in elementary school when they recalled a bunch of crayons because of high lead content?

    my teacher thought i had ended up with a batch of the leadened crayons but she allowed me to use them only after telling me that under no circumstances was i allowed to eat them or lick my hand after using them.

    i hope tonic doesnt have lead crayons.

  12. Tonic: How so 4 years ago. DC needs to seriously get a life.

  13. Thank you for weighing in that we are lame. Enjoy Harrisburg.

  14. Chef Geoff's is consistantly fucking fantastic.

  15. I love my neighborhood. I love Tonic. But I'm not going to pretend their service is something awesome or that the crayon water is somehow shocking. I love them, with all their flaws, and I think that was the point of the post people. So let's just let the man tell his story without taking it all to heart.

  16. Oh being out of DC is SUCH a joy, you have no idea. I might live in Pennsyltuckey but at least I don't live in a city of half million crooks, douchebags and the truly hideous (inside and out). Good hard working folks here and much more progressive in many ways than than that poor excuse for a city...Oh and happy VOTING there! Not that it MATTERS!

  17. Pennsyltucky? Progressive? I lived in south central PA for a year. I enjoyed the pickup trucks with rubber testicles hanging from the trailer hitch, and all the gun racks, NRA and W. stickers, kill em' all let God sort 'em out, oh yeah, and they actually were teaching creationism in public schools in one nearby town! That was pretty cool.

    I guess the dialect has changed a bit since I was there. We used to use words like "redneck," "uber-conservative," and "jesus freaks" -- not "progressive," but I guess I'm just not up with the lingo.

  18. In defense of Adams Morgan establishments, the food and service at Mixtec is supreme, although sometimes that's hard to tell when they're shut down for health code violations.