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Philly CH visiting DC in need of recs

Hi Everyone,

I'll be visiting DC on St. Patrick's Day weekend, and I would love some recommendations for where to eat: brunch, lunch, dinner, any and all meals really! Philly chowhounds know how to eat!

Anyway, we don't have any restrictions as to the cuisine; we happily eat all types of food. But, I would like to keep the meals on the less expensive side, around 25 or under per entree (for dinner), since I'll be with a crowd (8-10 at the most) of recently graduated college students, graduate students, and the like. Also, we'll be staying near Dupont Circle, but will travel around if the food is worth it.

Thank you in advance for your help. I really don't know the dining scene at all in DC, and can't wait to try it out!

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  1. Get ye to Dino for dinner. Get ye to Tabard Inn for brunch :)

      1. Thanks for your suggestions. We had already made a brunch reservation at Tabbard Inn, so I'm glad you recommended it. Dino looks great too, but do you have any other recommendations for dinner or where to grab quick snacks during the day?

        Also, FYI, I'm not originally from Philly. I've just lived here for 6 yrs.

        1. I suggest Pesce for dinner- it is a wonderful, casual seafood restaurant in Dupont. Be advised that they don't take reservations but I think it is well worth the wait if there is one.

          1. I'm sure people don't agree, but Teaism is a great little stop for some fresh iced tea and a ginger scone. I always enjoy it.

            I'm all for Dino, but why is it the only place people recommend? I've enjoyed it there, but are there no other recommendations anymore?

            Tabbard is fantastic for brunch. Jaleo might be a good lunch spot. If it's nice out, and pizza paradiso in gtown has the windows open, that would be a good option too (though I personally think 2 amys pizza is better).
            If you are willing to wait and the weather is nice, Lauriol Plaza is decent. Not the BEST food ever, but enjoying nice weather and people watching on the corner is great.
            For cheap eats in adams morgan, you have to hit amsterdam falafal. It's great.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Jeserf

              Teaism is great for what it is- even the bento boxes are great.

              Why is dino a primary place which people reccomend? It's excellent and the value is great- which can't be said for a lof ot places in DC. To merge the two aspects is very difficult.

              Lauriol is TERRIBLE, avoid that food factory junk at all costs.

              For that area there are many better places at the same price point- namely Cafe St. Ex, Bar Pilar, Viridian is slightly more expensive, but not for brunch, and right across the street from Lauriol is Regent Thai- some of the best Thai food in the area.

              1. re: jpschust

                I don't have a problem with Dino, I just don't think of it as "excellent". I eat veggie when I dine out, though, and every time I've had the veggie dish at Dino (which has been the same squash and polenta dish for a while), it's pretty been oily and salty.

                Dino is great is you're a wine guru, but I've never left a meal there (and have gone several times both with friends and family) going "that was SUCH a good mean I can't wait to go back". Additionally, I feel that the servers rush you to order and rush you out. But, that's just been my experience there in the last year and a half i've lived here.

                1. re: Jeserf

                  I've eaten at Dino probably 25+ times since it opened and not once have I ever felt rushed to move on with my meal.

                  The lobster pasta will keep me coming back for years and years.

                  1. re: jpschust

                    hence why I mentioned how I eat vegetarian when I dine out.
                    I've been very disappointed by the veggie option there, but think if they used 1/2 the oil, and 1/2 the salt, there'd be something decent.

                    Whenever I dine with friends there (not family), I feel rushed. Perhaps it's because we're 25 year olds and they think we will skimp on the tip, so they want turnover? I don't know the reason, but it has happened more than once.

                    Just sharing my opinion/experiences.

                    1. re: Jeserf

                      I doubt it's because of your age. I'm 26.

                      1. re: jpschust

                        Then I wonder why they've always rushed us. Don't even get me started on how rude the guy is who recommends wine (not Dean, he's great).

                        If you have a vegetarian at your table, just know that their one option, besides the typical mushroom pasta dish which I admit to never having because I avoid cream sauce, isn't fantastic. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a truly great wine list, but I'd rather take my $20-$25 elsewhere, until they change their menu, which I hope they do.

                        But I get it. You love Dino. Which is why you recommend it to everyone on here. However, if someone goes, they should hear more than one opinion/perspective on a restaurant. Next time you go, order the veggie dish and maybe you'll see where I'm coming from.

                        1. re: Jeserf

                          I agree on hearing more than one opinion, hence why we're all here :) I've had the mushroom pasta, which I've always thought of as good, though it's not my favorite on the menu (I'm a meat eater, always will be.) I've had the polenta which I thought was excellent, had the artichokes which I also think of as excellent. I can go on. I think there are great veggie options on the menu, but I get it that you don't like it.

                          As far as wine I can't think of any place where a $20 will get you so far with a bottle of wine. Albeit we usually are going for items beyond that range because we are looking for things kind of out there, at that price point I can't think of another place that's such a value for wine.

                          I'm not sure who you are referring to as far as reccomending wine since I'm usually dealing with "Bee", Dean or Chris, all of whom I like a lot.

                          1. re: jpschust

                            I continue to go back because of the wine, not the food. The guy who last helped us with wine who was, IMO, pretty rude to my wine loving father, was not Dean. I have never had any problems with Dean and think he is a stand up restaurant owner - pretty much always at the front, which shows in how smoothly the place runs.

                            Hopefully, as the seasons change, they'll change their option or perhaps taste it themselves to adjust the seasoning. That really would be all that's needed. In 2007, to have mediocre veggie offerings is a shame.

            2. I just got back from a weekend in Philly and yes, the chowhounds up there know how to eat! Fabulous dinner at Nan, but I digress. I like Teaism for breakfast and snacks. That chocolate salty oatmeal cookie is very tasty. I also used to be a fan of Kramer's Books and Afterwards for a casual breakfast. The museums have gelato stands now that are good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rHairing

                Kramer's can be very very spotty for service- dessert is usually a safe bet there though.

              2. Tabard and Pesce are good choices. You should also try Zaytinya (mid-eastern/medditeranean tapas). Its got a great scene wonderful food and quite inexpensive.