My Favorite Crabcakes (Washington DC)
- Jim Leff
Some of the best crab cakes I've ever had anywhere were in a really unlikely place in DC. The Hitching Post (200 Upshur St. NW 726-1511) is a soul food restaurant (of the "roadhouse" genre, with red vinyl decor, and lots of men wearing hats) located in an incongruously residential nabe (right across from the Old Soldiers Home, with beautiful old shade trees, etc).
They do all the usual southern stuff, at bargain prices (especially considering portion size; their fried chicken dinner--fantastic, by the way--could feed a large family). But there's a puzzle. Their menu includes extremely expensive crab cakes. I forget their exact price, but while most entrees are under $10-15, the crab cakes are well over $20. And they're worth every penny. They're huge, they're all crab, with just a microfilm of crust, flaky, moist, and brilliantly, greaselessly fried.
The juke box has all the best R&B tunes, this is really The Place. I'm amazed it's not better known.
That's interesting and it sounds great. I'll try to head up there sometime in the next month. I imagine one reason it's not better known is that that neighborhood is pretty far off of the beaten path. D.C. is a city where you can get into a habit of only going to certain neighborhoods all too often divided along ethnic lines, might I add.
I admit to being as guilty as anyone. The only times I've been anywhere near there is to go look at the cemetaries up there (there's a famous statue known as "grief" at one of them - it's a good place for contemplation) and then the Catholic National Shrine to Mary (and Catholic University) is somewhat close by as well.
I have been in DC for over thirty years and I have never been to the Hitching Post, although I have read about it. Your report will encourage me to move it to the top of my DC list.
It really is off the beaten path. Was it crowded the night you were there?