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Nov 9, 2006 12:12 AM

Lunch around 17th and Pennsylvania Ave

I am looking for a good restaurant to meet some folks for lunch around 17th and Penn. Ave. Any suggestions?

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  1. If you want casual, Breadline on PA between 17th and 18th is great - way better than the Cosi, Potbelly, Subway choices in that area.

    I highly recommend Restaurant Kolumbia, at 18th and K. They have a $9 bar lunch menu, but also a full-service menu in the back room. Great food - this place is very underappreciated.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DanielK

      There has been some complaining about BL's quality since it changed hands. Any truth in that? What's your take?

      1. re: johnb

        You're seeing some cutting of costs around the edges - no more homemade ketchup, for example. But the baguette I had the other day was still fabulous. Daily specials don't seem to have been affected at all - the Friday Fried Fish still rocks (and it's still huge). They converted the front part into an express line at lunchtime - cold sandwiches and soup, which helps reduce the lunchtime crush.

        My new office is across the street, so I'm going more than I used to. And happy to keep doing so for now.

        1. re: johnb

          I think that, on the whole, Breadline is better than ever.

          The issue about the homemade ketchup is just plain bizarre. (It is served on their Philly Cheesesteak). Breadline used to not have any ketchup. After a number of people over the years complained that they wanted it for the fries, Breadline relented, but made their own ketchup. A beautiful but odd gesture, as it is a time-consuming and probably expensive procedure. I'm not surprised they dropped it. Now they have regular ketchup.

          They've been playing around a bit more with their offerings, and have had in recent months a very good meatloaf, an exceptional pastrami on German rye, and when it was Summer, an extensive offering of sandwiches made with fresh tomatoes, more so than in the past.

      2. What exactly are you looking for, in addition to "good." I don't disagree with DanielK (although I would mention that, while the food can be great, Breadline is consistently LOUD). But to give you more choices, it would be nice to know what you are looking for (casual/formal/ethnic/pricey/etc.) when you say "good."

        1. Kinkead's all the way.

          1. Yes, Breadline is a bizarre business story - the crux being that "the customer doesn't know what's best for them". I remember the ketchup wars. I also remember when they were pre-soda. At the time, they wine or beer should accopany their cuisine - not soda. In spite of excellent varieties, chosen to match the menu, and very well priced - the customers reacted to the lack of soda by drinking iced tea. They gave up on wine altogether over a year ago. It was a lost cause as wine sales didn't even pay for the liquor license. Overall, perhaps they have stretched the average cubicle dwellers lunch horizons.