LEON, a new London-based restaurant in D.C., opened this month. (Brigette Squire/The Washington Informer)
LEON, a new London-based restaurant in D.C., opened this month. (Brigette Squire/The Washington Informer)

Does natural fast food exist? LEON, a new London-based restaurant in D.C., says, “Yes!”

The restaurant, which is the first U.S. location for the LEON Restaurant Group, opened Sept. 10 a half-block from the Farragut North Metro in the busy K Street/Farragut North business corridor where quick food options are plentiful, be it a restaurant or food truck. The menu satisfies most palates with meat, seafood, vegan and gluten-free offerings.

LEON co-founder and CEO John Vincent said he has taken a holistic approach for the menu, based on the proven health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. The menu satisfies most palates with meat, seafood, vegan and gluten-free offerings.

“We wanted to figure out how do we reinvent fast food,” Vincent said. “We felt D.C. replicated some of the dynamic of the U.K. vs. other locations in the U.S.”

During the first two days of opening, more than 1,000 patrons came through the restaurant’s door, and a lunchtime visit during day three of the debut week found the place packed.

LEON, a new London-based restaurant, opened in D.C. on Sept. 12. (Brigette Squire/The Washington Informer)

This reporter sampled the Chicken Aioli Wrap, the Grilled Halloumi Cheese Wrap, Pesto Chicken Balls, Brazilian Black Beans, a Truffled Portobello and Halloumi Sandwich and the LEON Baked Fries.

The Grilled Halloumi Cheese Wrap, garnished with avocado, grape tomatoes, olive tapenade and garlic aioli, was very appetizing. The Truffled Portobello and Halloumi Sandwich looked like a hamburger served on a bun that was light and plump.

The star menu item was the LEON Baked Fries — crisp waffle fries with just the right amount of seasoning. They were not salty like some fast-food fries and came with a choice of ketchup, aioli chili sauce or Korean mayo. Go with the aioli chili sauce.

Desserts also are on the menu, and the choices looked delicious with selections such as the Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie, Vegan Carrot Cupcake and a PB&J Brownie. Iced teas and fresh LEON-made lemonade were low in sugar. LEON is the first restaurant in the D.C. area to serve Tractor sodas, an organic, non-GMO brand of soft drinks.

Prices on the menu are comparable to any daytime restaurant that caters to office workers in downtown D.C.

LEON also wants to be considered for after-work takeout for those who may not have time to cook when they get home. The restaurant is an affordable approach to tasty, healthy eating for those in a hurry.

LEON, located at 1724 L Street NW, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours are Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. For more information, call 202-813-3867 or go to leon.co/us.

Brenda Siler is an award-winning journalist and public relations strategist. Her communications career began in college as an advertising copywriter, a news reporter, public affairs producer/host and a...

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