A note about visiting the new Alfie’s pop-up, a preview of chef Alex McCoy’s forthcoming Thai restaurant of the same name: Make reservations. Don’t leave snagging a seat at the bar to chance, as a friend and I did last Friday. Despite the incoming snap of bitterly cold air, the hunt for bar seats turned into a version of The Hunger Games. Clearly, D.C. is clamoring for more Thai food. Alfie’s is not scheduled to officially open until September in a nearby location, but they’ll be operating a preview out of the old Mothership space in Park View until then. The food is worth a visit, but plan ahead so you don’t have to fight for a seat.
Chef McCoy’s take on Thai food is anything but traditional—for instance, there were not one, but two burgers on the menu, alongside curries, grilled pork neck salad, and stir-fried veggies. Billed as “Northern Thai bar food,” the offerings rotate slightly each night. Meanwhile, the beverage menu was crafted by Fabian Malone, the same mind that whipped up the cocktails at Crisp Kitchen + Bar, another McCoy-led restaurant.
During my visit, I ordered the “you my boy, boon!,” a tropical gin mix that was almost like sipping a pina colada—refreshing and dangerously light on any discernible proof that gin was in the drink. Armed with the smoothly sippable “farang s sazarac”, a rye-cognac blend, my companion dug into the Alfie’s burger. It was a behemoth, topped with a fried egg, caramelized pineapple, cheddar, red onion, pickled beetroot, and a creamy chili mayo. In between sloppy bites, my friend remarked, “If you’re not getting messy while eating a burger, it’s not worth it.”