Dinner in D.C.?
I'll be in D.C. next week for a conference, and I would love to find some good restaurants somewhere close to the convention center. I would prefer inexpensive to mid-expensive (is that a real word?)--somewhere around $30 or below. Can't wait to try some new places!
The convention center is pretty close to the Penn Quarter area of town and there are a number of spots there that you could try out. Zaytinya is a good Mediteranean tapas place, although it can be a bit loud. I also like Jaleo - a more traditional Spanish tapas restaurant, not far from there - run by the same chef, Jose Andres from Spain. I've had decent meals at Poste in the Hotel Monaco, but service is spotty. Also within walking distance is Acadiana, a restaurant with a New Orleans theme. The pepper jelly and cream cheese with biscuits served with dinner are very good, although I've enjoyed lunch more than dinner, when I've eaten there. They serve their sandwiches with Zaps potato chips on bread shipped direct from New Orleans. Another favorite spot is Tosca - an Italian restaurant in the Metro Center, easily within walking distance of where you will be. If you were willing to take a taxi, there are many more appealing places if you are interested.
Three of my favorite places are all very close to each other and a quick taxi ride away. But they are all dives with fabulous food.
Pyramid at 6th and Florida. Moroccan. This is a small operation and don't always have what's on their menu. Just ask for suggestions. Very inexpensive, so you can order just to try. Seafood b'stilla, lamb tagine, carrot salad, spinach, eggplant. Not that I've had anything here less than delicious.
Oohs and Aahs, 10th and U Sts. Soul Food. Only about 5 stools, also some tables upstaris, but definitely sit at the kitchen counter. Proprietress is from coastal South Carolina, so go for the shrimp. Bu tturkey chop and short ribs are very good too. Again, it's a tiny place, so what they have available depends on the day.
Etete, the nicest of the three. Ethiopian. 9th in between T and U. Get the vegetarian Fastening food platter, and add the fish for 2 bucks. Also the derek tibs are outstanding.
On the cheaper end, Burma is still good. Great mango pork, tea leaf salad, and pantay kauswe.
Inside the mall area of the MCI Center, just below Strike Bowling, is the Sushi-go-Round. Nothing outstanding, but fresh and you buy buy the dish (they're pattern coded) so you're in control of how much you spend.
Past Acadiana, I think the lunch menu at Corduroy is within your price range.