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Jan 30, 2002 09:14 AM

Metro Center dining

  • t

As I will soon be leaving my Metro Center job for a new job in Rosslyn (a culinary wasteland except for Cafe Asia) I thought I would share the dining experiences I have had in the little area surrounding approximately 13th and F Streets.

Red Sage: As a Californian who misses Mexican food, I always enjoyed lunch upstairs at Red Sage. The enchiladas were always yummy and I love that black bean stuff you get in the salsa trio. Reasonably priced and reliably tasty.

I only ate downstairs once and it was quite nice. Great atmosphere, good experience.

M & S Grill: my office's fav place for lunches. I love getting one of the little booths with curtains. A simple fish meal is quite well done here, and I have always liked the food. They also have one of the best happy hour deals around: a variety of small meals, including a full-fledged hamburger and fries, for just $1.99. Woo hoo! Of those specials, the chicken strips are good, the queso dip was underwhelming, and the hamburger always a winner.

John Harvards: Having spent some time at the original in Harvard Square, this one seemed a little weird at first. Their beers are GOOD and the appetizers are yummy! They don't make queso dip anymore, which is a tragedy. I had lunch here a few times as well and it was pleasant.

Shops at National Place, Sushi take-out. This is the sushi place closer to the 13th street side of the food court. I love coming here and getting cheap sushi. It's not the best ever, but it satisfies the craving.

Old Ebbitt Grill: normally I just drink here, but had lunch the other day and was pleasantly surprised. Of course, the oysters might have had something to do with that. My fried chicken salad was a little over-crunchy, but my friend's dishes that I sampled were quite good. Also surprisingly reasonably priced for what you get.

Capitol City Brewing: On H and 12th, I think. Again, mostly I drink here, but the lunches I have had have been pleasant. They don't have the same happy hour specials here that they do over on the hill, though. Bummer.

Port of Piraeus: Great place to come and get a big, yummy greek salad made to order. Love their selection of yummy little treats. I'm going to have to remember to get a salad from there before I leave.

High Noon: Or High Price Noon, as we call it. The way to success here is to get the little pasta salad in the refridgerated section for some ridiculously low price and supplement with a soup or small sandwich. I love that little pasta salad. I have always, however, been disappointed with the fancy shmancy design your own salad option. The salad ends up being way to huge to eat in one sitting but is never good the next day. Their sandwiches, however, are a worthwhile treat. My favorite is the one with the sweet potato roll, or, when I need comfort food, the grilled ham and cheese. Yeah baby!

Oceanaire: I had dinner here once and it was overpriced and not that great. I like the bar, though, and the oyster selection is excellent.

I'll post again if I forgot anything. Hope this helps any metro-area diners.


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  1. I agree that the choices in Rosslyn are limited. But Cafe Asia is not your only option.

    There's a small strip shopping center on the other side of Wilson Blvd. from Cafe Asia (and up the street a bit). You can find Pho 75 there - great pho (obviously). I've heard good things about Guajillo, also in that shopping center, as well.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lori

      Thanks for this! Those sound good. I have always wanted to try the pho place. I also have been to the all-you-can-eat sushi place, but have heard it's not what it used to be. Any word on that?

      1. re: TerriS

        also, near Rosslyn, same little strip mall as Guajillo is a very nice restaurant called Village Bistro -- a place for a nice sit-down lunch

        There's also a branch of Chipolte in Rosslyn -- for those quick take-out lunches

        1. re: TerriS

          I like the sushi place (Appetizer Plus), although the question of "as good as it was" will be moot before too long. The building it's in will be coming down at some point in the near future. Not sure exactly when; I believe the construction is behind schedule.

      2. I also work near Metro Ctr. At least you get more substantial sandwiches at High Noon for the money. Cosi charges $7.50 for a dinky sandwich with no chips or soda!! OK so it's on their home-made thin bread.

        High Noon also has a good breakfast special: 16 oz coffee with scone or muffin for $2, with bagel for $1.50.

        Red Sage also has a carry-out market with lots of goodies, incl. a $7.50-8 lunch special with their nice chili.

        Corner Bakery is also at Metro Ctr.
        I like Haad Thai on 11th St nr H.
        The cafe at the Museum of Women in the Arts (12th & NY Av) is pretty.
        And I like the carry-out German food you can get at the front of Cafe Mozart.

        Danbine (across from Ford's Thtr, a spin-off of SoHo Deli) offers self-serve decent sushi (et al) buffet for $10 (the next closest sushi buffet would be the $9 one at Ben-Kay, nr 15th & G. Nicer decor, table service, fewer selections)

        I used to patronize the eatery downstairs at the PO Pavilion (great view from the tower) but it's now such a pain to get inside this gov't bldg (only 1 entrance way in the back for the public, extra-sensitive metal detector, show ID, there's sometimes a line...) And I even have a gov't ID - doesn't matter.

        In the crummy-but-good-but-greasy category, worthy successors of Scholl's are The Waffle House nr Ford's and the Harrington Cafeteria on 11th St.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lori

          How could I forget Xando/Cosi. I am totally opposed to the whole concept of how Xando runs their coffee shops (you want me to put my name in for a table???) but I have to say I LOVE those Cosi sandwiches. They must put some kind of crazy chemical in the bread to make it taste so good. Granted, I almost never go there because it's pricey, but they are yummy when I splurge.

          I also neglected Corner Bakery. I like their desserts the most. Best lunches I had were their pizza. Never really got into their other selections.

          AND, the Red Sage takeout place is awesome. Their wrap sandwiches (particularly the chicken with the gauc) are quite good and so are their chips. We get their platters for lunch meetings sometimes and they are always a hit. And you're right, the chili is excellent.

        2. I used to work at Metro Center, too, and what I get cravings for every once in a while is Ollie's Trolley fries. And on a warm day like today, one of their milkshakes would really taste good right about now, too.

          1. Culinary wasteland!? My dear, Rosslyn is the welcome
            mat to Little Saigon, a veritable chowhound paradise!
            Take a few long lunches up Wilson Blvd. and check it out. Start with Hsian Foong, next to the 7-11 at
            Washington Blvd. and 10th St. Very good Szechuan.
            It gets more interesting from there...