New Hill café keeps diners on their toes

Lunchgoers won’t get bored with Pound the Hill, a new coffee shop and restaurant located just steps away from the Eastern Market Metro. It features a constantly changing menu that includes dishes from around the world.

Co-owner Karl Johnson said the restaurant is serious about its mission to use fresh and local ingredients to create simple yet flavorful international dishes inspired by the street food he stumbles upon during his travels abroad.

Though Pound the Hill does have a standing menu with a few items on it, Johnson said regulars will almost always see something new when they arrive. They can expect to receive a homemade meal for less than $10.

“I hate being bored,” Johnson said of the menu choices. “I love unique and flavorful food.”

Johnson and his business partner succeed in their mission to offer interesting and different options.

I chose the carnitas sliders, an option Johnson is thinking of putting on the standing menu. The slow-roasted, tender pork was doused with a smoky sauce that had the perfect amount of burn as it went down. It was paired with a coleslaw that added a refreshing touch. The dish also came with a lusciously smooth and creamy black bean hummus and crispy tortilla chips, the perfect way to round out the meal.

For those looking for a midday energy jolt, Pound the Hill also offers coffee. It serves well-made lattes, brewed with organic, fair-trade beans, and is known especially for its Nutella latte — which comes with just the right amount of foam and a design on top. The coffee, hazelnut and chocolate flavors are blended to perfection, with each sip containing a trio of tastes.

Overall, the restaurant is worth the trek to Eastern Market, especially during the slower recess weeks. Bring your laptop to utilize the restaurant’s free Wi-Fi and take in all that this neighborhood spot has to offer.

For staffers too busy to head the six or seven blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue to get to the restaurant during the lunch rush, Johnson said the company is looking to start a House-side delivery service in a month’s time. Staffers would order online and pick up their food at a central location.

“There’s a dire need for staffers to find something unique and new during the lunch hour, so we rotate our menu a lot to incorporate special cuisine,” Johnson said.