Matchbox - Chinatown     see this location on a map

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Matchbox - Chinatown
713 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 289-4441

latitude: 38.900036
longitude: -77.022522
City Information Page Baltimore/Washington DC Information Page
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overall average: 88.33

this location does not have wifi availableWifi Available | this location does not have cask availableCask Beer | this location does not allow indoor smokingIndoor Smoking | this location does not have adequate parkingAvailable Parking
this location is close to public transportationPublic Transit | this location uses proper glasswareProper Glassware | this location has outdoor seatingOutdoor Seating | this location is family friendlyFamily Friendly
Value: Moderate
Based off of 1 review.

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Selection: 4.25 | Service: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 4.75 | Food: 4.75
Menotomy's (140) view Menotomy's forum profile send Menotomy a private message Overall Score: 88.3

Located just around the corner from RFD, this place seems like an easy place to miss. It's located in a slim piece of real estate (but apparently expanded into the area next door), there is an easy-to recognize sign that says, "Matchbox." But that's if you're on the same side of the street. It's a block away from the Chinatown/Verizon Center stop on the Green/Yellow stop, and a few blocks away from the Metro Center Stop on the Red/Orange/Blue line. It's located just north of Downtown and just west of Chinatown.

Inside is very classy, probably the opposite of a hole in the wall place. A brick wall coats the entire eastern wall of the building, leading to a couple staircases for the three story building. The bar is on the first level, just next to the entrance. The rest of the building is tables. There is also an outdoor patio. The bar is long, has about 20 stools. The bathrooms seem nice as well (an odd thing to include in a review, but I feel it's noteworthy) with both a standard toilet ad a urinal in the men's (didn't visit the women's) and also a Dyson high-pressure "Air Blade" hand dryer. The men's room door is marked with nothing but an M, with the women's having just a W. If you're plastered, you're probably going to make a mistake. The music at the time was nothing but Deep House, which I don't mind (I actually like some of the style), although one bartender asked about the constant "80's music," to which the other replied, Yeah it sucks, doesn't it?"

Along the center of the bar is a line of tap handles, just over 10 of them. They are all craft, plus a Yuengling, with a rotating seasonal tap. They have a wide variety of beers, including hoppy, Hefe Weizens, porters, and Belgians. Everything is in proper glassware. The price is reasonable, especially for DC. The price of the food is on the higher end though, but it's all quality stuff.

Speaking of food, I ordered a small pizza, which is a more-than-modest 10". It's a fire oven, which a bartender stated as 800 degrees, so the crust gets a little burnt, but that's okay. The reset of the menu included salads, sandwiches, and steaks, along with appetizers.

There were plenty of bartenders and hostesses present when I arrived (about 4PM on a Saturday), maybe preparing for the evening rush. The place wasn't packed yet, but the bar was almost full, then thinned out a lot, then started to fill up again as it got closer to weekend dinner hour.

Overall, I'm certainly impressed with the place. It has plenty of the good beers, not the most, but still a good collection. I would say this is more of your typical upscale bar than a beer restaurant since the employees didn't seem to care about what was available, even calling them "crazy" beers, but who cares? People can come in for their good food, array of mixed drinks and wine, and we can come in for our beer. If RFD is packed, maybe try this place (the food is much better). Recommended.
reviewed on: 2009-05-30 20:19:00 this review is based off of one visit