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Jun 27, 2006 01:01 AM

prodigal chowhound coming back for a visit

Hey DC--
I've been away for two years (in Spain--no tapas please!) and am coming back through town for a few days in July... I'm going to be really busy (but never too busy to eat), so I want to stay in the District proper.

I know we'll be at the museums at least one or two days... Is there anything worth eating at the American Indian Museum? Otherwise, that day I'll probably go with our easy old standby Teaism and the National Gallery East Wing (for coffee and snacks). Miss those oatmeal cookies. Miss that tranquil I.M. Pei space.

Also thinking of Colorado Kitchen. I desperately need to have those biscuits and all things breakfast (waffles--I need waffles, too). I also miss pupusas--I heard that Ercilia's in Mount Pleasant had a fire. Has anyone been since it's opened back up? Any other superior examples in the Mt. Pleasant/Columbia Heights/Adams Morgan pupusa triangle?

I'd also like to go for Ethiopian... somewhere along U/9th. What's the word on the street these days. Oh and what about Oohs and Ahhs? They had just opened up when I left and seemed to have a lot of promise.

If you were to leave DC for two years and come back, where would you eat? I'm not really looking for a three-star kind of experience--that's not what we miss when we're far from "home", is it? What do you think?

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  1. Hi Butterfly
    The American Indian museum does have a really neat food court. It's beautifully decorated for one-and it's divided up into the diferent native regions: Eastern Woodland, Plains, North Woods, Pacific Northwest, Southwest etc. Each one of the stations features foods native to that area: hickory-smoked turkey with cranberries, salmon, venison, corn, squash and beans etc. It's fun to mix and match or just go whole-hog in one region. The food isn't Michelin-starred, but as far as museum chow goes I think it's very good. And it's certainly fun. (Kinda expensive for what it is, though)
    You should definitely check out Zaytinya (raves on this board, and deservedly so). And I've been meaning to check out Courduroy though I haven't been able to yet-I've heard great things about it as well, and suposedly it's very well-priced.
    BTW-I'm the one who posted recently about tapas in Madrid-any tips for me on the Spain board????

    1 Reply
    1. re: Missy

      Thanks for the response, Missy. I love the idea of eating cranberries in July--how decadent! About Madrid--what a small chow world this is--I'm on the case. Check back on the Spain board tomorrow or Wednesday...

    2. Colorado Kitchen is as good as ever, maybe better. Operating on shortened summer hours right now tho. Check. Plan on going in the evening.

      Etete on 9th Street is your best bet for Ethiopian right now. Oohhs and Aahhs is a must. They were even cover-featured in the latest Washingtonian, Cheap Eats edition. Washingtonian has improved much since Todd Kliman went over there from the City Paper. Check their web site--I think the cheap eats listings should be up by now, since the new edition just came out.

      2 Replies
      1. re: johnb

        Thanks so much--that's just what I wanted to hear. Good to know about the hours. Oh, and how about Palena--is the front cafe still good for snacks? Do they still have outdoor seating? Really looking forward to reuniting with some of my long-lost favorite foods (oh yeah, and friends and family, too...).

        1. re: butterfly

          Yes. Palena still has outdoor seating.

      2. Along the same lines as Oohs and Aahs, perhaps Creme may work for you:

        Both Dukem and Etete are the usual suspects for good Ethiopian on U St.

        Do you have good steak in Spain (I'm thinking not, am I correct)? Ray's the Steaks has been the rage in recent years, though their seating policy has some irked.

        Nice weather you brought us...

        1 Reply
        1. re: NoVaDog

          If I came back to DC after 2 years, I would go back to Pasta Mia - that is, if you don't mind the wait. Thomas Sweet for ice cream. I'd recommend Tabaq over Creme, if you want to visit the "new" U Street (which has changed a lot the past two years). Also new, on 14th, is Busboys and Poets, which has good food (not great) and a great atmosphere. Palena is as good as ever, but I'm not sure about outdoor seating.

          For Indian, I'd recommend Heritage on Connecticut, which opened in the past few years, and has a terrific happy hour with Indian "tapas." Also, Indique in Cleveland Park. And also in Cleveland Park, I'd try Dino, which opened in the old Yanyu space. It has a great wine list and good Italian food.

          The best new high-end restaurant is, without a doubt, CityZen at the Mandarin. It will cost you, but it's worth it.