Monstera’s Blooming Breakfast Burritos Find a Cozy Corner at Sara’s Market

Monstera at Sara’s Market. 3008 Q St., NW.

Chef Alex McCoy has gained recognition for crafting some of DC’s finest burgers at Lucky Buns and sandwiches at Bar Boheme in Union Market. However, in recent months, he has quietly ventured into the breakfast burrito realm. Monstera Burrito has been making an appearance every other weekend at Sara’s Market, a gourmet bodega in Georgetown.

The menu offers three colossal “San Diego-style” breakfast burritos, meaning they’re generously stuffed with French fries. (McCoy’s extensive family on the West Coast, where breakfast burritos are a way of life, has influenced this style.) You can opt for classic fillings such as sausage or bacon, but the true standouts are the barbacoa or cumin-roasted eggplant. The Oaxacan-inspired barbacoa features halal beef that’s wrapped in avocado leaves and braised for eight hours, imparting a rich flavor. But the meaty, flavor-packed eggplant is a hidden gem: McCoy roasts it with a blend he calls a “Mexican-style harissa,” cumin, and other fresh and dry spices. All the burritos are accompanied by an addictive avocado salsa verde. Occasionally, McCoy also offers quesadillas.

McCoy, a Georgetown resident, had become a regular patron at Sara’s Market, a century-old bodega and dry cleaner that underwent a revitalization last year, introducing local foods, beers, and wines. The market’s owners, Vivien Tsang and John Michael Kushner, had previously worked in catering (Kushner also boasts a restaurant background spanning from Inn at Little Washington to Bobby Flay’s Las Vegas establishments), while their partner Tosca Metz formerly owned a cashmere shop in Georgetown. “Preserving neighborhood corner stores and these communal gathering places holds a unique charm,” Tsang remarks. “If we hadn’t taken over the lease for Sara’s, it would have simply transitioned into a residential property.”

However, Sara’s had a sandwich counter that they lacked the staff and time to fully operate. That’s when McCoy stepped in, offering to personally craft breakfast burritos, which he had long served on the brunch menu at Lucky Buns. He named the pop-up Monstera due to the absence of a sign, with a prominent Monstera plant in the corner of the store serving as the makeshift marker where he sets up.

“It’s fantastic because I can wake up on a Saturday morning, roll out of bed, and start slinging breakfast burritos, then head home,” he says. “It’s cooking in its purest form, just local. It’s what I set out to do from the beginning—it’s all about the food and nothing else.”

Monstera regularly sells out within two hours. It will be open this weekend (Saturday, April 20 at 10:30 AM and Sunday, April 21 at 10 AM), though future hours and dates may fluctuate, so it’s best to check their Instagram for updates.

McCoy is working on finding a permanent home for Monstera, ideally in a residential neighborhood with a similar vibe to Sara’s Market.

“We want something small and funky, a place where we can offer an all-day menu and expand our offerings a bit,” McCoy says. “I’m not aiming for a trendy street. I’d rather preserve the essence of what Monstera is, which is a local spot where you can grab a good coffee and a burrito, sit down, chat with friends for a bit, and enjoy the sun.”

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