First Look: Kangaroo Boxing Club in Columbia Heights, Washington, DC


[Photographs: Brian Oh]

The Kangaroo Boxing Club gets its name from a running joke among the owners that mankind is basically helpless without technology against most animals. The irony isn't lost when you get to the menu and realize it's essentially full of dead animals. KBC comes from the founders of the Purveyors of Rolling Cuisine (PORC) food truck in D.C., so you can expect barbecue. They just opened in June in a tiny space on 11st Street in Columbia Heights.


"Three Little Pigs" and a side of Johnny Cakes.

If you've been to the PORC truck, you'll know what you're getting. Pulled pork (smoked for 16 hours) that's also available topped with Virginia ham and bacon via the "Three Little Pigs" platter ($13). Pastrami on marble rye with caraway Guinness mustard ($12), which owner Josh Saltzman says is the result of experimenting with $500 worth of brisket. He had been lamenting the lack of a great pastrami sandwich in D.C., and wanted to fix that.

Sides include Mac 'n' Cheese ($4), for which one of the listed ingredients is MAGIC, and Johnny Cakes, their cornmeal pancakes served with maple butter ($4).


"Magic" Mac N Cheese, "Grandpa's Revenge," and a Sweet Action from Brooklyn brewery, Sixpoint.

The current menu is just the "first salvo" for KBC, says Saltzman. Forthcoming is a burger (the ground beef will contain juice reduced from the pastrami) topped with ham, pulled pork, and an optional fried egg. Technology might be mankind's handicap, but if it means eating burgers like that, I accept it gladly (oh, and, you know... medicine and the internet and stuff).

The bar has seven craft beers on tap, but currently only one cocktail on the menu. The Grandpa's Revenge ($8) combines bourbon with a citrus, cinnamon, and lemongrass syrup that Saltzman says takes an inordinate amount of time to make, but is worth the effort. Saltzman and Co. have long histories as bartenders, so expect more cocktails in the future that are "seasonal and fresh, but not pretentious."


KBC's interior is small, but welcoming.

Saltzman wants KBC to be your place for "a drink after work, or wild'n out with your friends on the weekend."

Kangaroo Boxing Club 3410 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010 (map) 202-505-4522;