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Pavilion Caf: Food Art for Art's Sake

Guest Services operates the Pavilion Cafe on the grounds of the National Gallery Sculpture Garden as part of its contract with the National Gallery. Opened seven years ago as a completely refurbished operation, Pavilion offers gourmet-quality hot and cold sandwiches, salads, pizza, soup and desserts in an attractive facility overlooking the Sculpture Garden reflecting pool. Patio seating augments the indoor seats during the warm weather months.

Customer counts (not including the Jazz in the Garden events) average around a thousand during the summer and drop to 200-300 in the winter, when the cafe nevertheless stays open a little longer in the late day to accommodate skaters who take advantage of the frozen central reflecting pool with a menu fortified with pastries and hot chocolate.

Executive Chef Char Broadus says that to compete with the many other dining choices in the area, he tries to keep the menu fresh with seasonal additions. “I try to find things I would like to eat,” he says. “I like to surprise people.”

His creations include sandwiches like the Monte Cristo (sliced turkey, corned beef, Swiss cheese and raspberry sauce on grilled French toast), Montreal Roast Beef (roasted eye of round with banana peppers and havarti cheese on ciabatta) and Spicy Rojas (grilled chicken with chipotle sauce and pepper jack cheese on sourdough bread), as well as salads like Tuscan Chicken (lemon chicken breast, corn, tomato and black beans over arugula).

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