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Oct 14, 2006 09:06 PM

General feedback on DC food experiences

I have a general question for everyone. What has been your overall impressions of restaurants & food quality in the DC area? What if anything would you improve upon? What are your biggest gripes/dissapointments? Who are the tops on your list & why?

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  1. I've lived in DC for 10 years, and I've been really impressed with how good the eating scene has become.

    I love the fact that there are so many different types of excellent Asian food, as well as fantastic Ethiopian around here. And the Mexico-Mexican places have become terrific. But I really wish for:

    -- better restaurants on Capitol Hill.
    -- better pizza, specifically cheap parlors.
    -- better barbecue joints, and a couple of good Polish places.

    And having lived in New Mexico before moving here, I would kill for a place with great green chile, carne adovada and sopapaillas.

    1. Anyway...I'm from NYC...and have had better Ethiopian, Burmese, and Vietnamese food in the DC area. I've had some great tacos here too.

      I would love a good metro rail accessible bubble tea chain in Dc or VA. I would like bakeries on the level of Magnolia or Butter cup here (Southern style, and good, including cupcakes). I would love an Argentine bakery....like those in Queens.

      While I like the italian store (not metro access, and doesnt really have seating) and Roma (Ballston)...more good by the slice pizzarias with seating would be nice. Better bbq and kosher-style places would be nice, metro accessible.

      1. Biggest disappointment is the trendiness factor, but I don't know if that's exclusive to DC. At one point, there seemed to be a new steakhouse opening every week. Yet none of them are able to get everything right (food, service, sides, ambience). I lost track of how many tapas places and boutique pizza parlors there are in DC. Expense account dining seems to be the coin of the realm, at least in downtown DC. I'm getting really tired of seeing $9 hamburgers where you pay extra for fries, and are there any restaurants that DON'T serve caesar salads?

        After that, we could use a real authentic NY deli like Katz or The Stage, more decent cheap greasy spoons like Waffle Shop or the Tastee Diner, as well as good BBQ. Local BBQ seems to combine the worst elements of Texas/KC/Carolina: sickly sweet sauces, improperly cooked meat (Tony Romas pressure cooks their ribs), and weak service.

        And decent bakeries that make bread that doesn't shred your mouth.

        1 Reply
        1. re: monkeyrotica

          I know what you mean about the lack of good BBQ joints...I went to school in the south...so I miss good BBQ...but if you want some AWESOME ribs, go to the Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon and get the WOODGRILLED MOLASSES & RUM BRUSHED BABY-BACK RIBS...they are the absolute best I have ever had!

        2. I don't think that this is a problem just to the DC area. In fact, I know it's worse in the hinterlands, and I have NO right complaining, but I wish we had fewer chain restaurants, and more mom-n-pop's.

          I don't really expect there to be NY delis in DC, because we're not NY. I don't expect there to be good BBQ here, either, because we're not in BBQ country. It would be nice, though, if the area were known for something other than corrupt politicians.

          2 Replies
          1. re: davefaris

            But DC WAS known for having great huge fish sandwiches deepfried in lard. Now, Horace & Dickies is probably the last of the old fish sandwich places. DC also used to have lots of great cafeterias like Scholls. Now it's just contractor-run factory swill. And even though we're less than an hour from Baltimore, nobody sells pit beef or coddies in DC. Yet you can get foods from the other side of the planet.

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              We ate all the fish...and we ruined the most productive estuary in the world, so the local seafood thing in DC (and Baltimore, for that matter) is over. Fortunately, we have a galaxy of great Asian choices in the area. You want pizza, go to New Haven. Barbecue--head south. Mostly, you just won't find those here. A decent hot dog wouldn't hurt, though.

          2. Another good thing about the scene here is the bargain Happy Hours and daily specials. Some examples: Cafe Asia's $1 a piece sushi happy hour m-f until 730pm, Whitlows 1/2 price burgers mondays, wingnight (30c a wing) at Hard Times Cafe Wedesdays, wing night (25c a wing) and $2.50 beers Mondays at Rockbottom. I've written about the Arlington options: http://dcfud.smorgasblog.com/archives...