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Looking for the locals favs..the really good stuff

  • m

I am a restaurant manager from NYC.. recently moved to DC for a job. I know of course the obvious good places that have had a lot of press (Komi, Restaurant Eve,Citronelle, Jose Andres' places, Central.. etc) But... I'm looking for the hard to find- cheapish eats that are still unbelievably delicious..and I really want the good stuff....not the ah.. it's ok stuff... I'm living in Captiol Hill.... where's the best brunch? Sushi? Mom and Pop? Pizza? Anybody have a fav?

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  1. Near the Potomac Ave. Metro, Mangialardo's is a small Italian deli with great subs in the $6 range. Depending on how liberally your landlord has extended the definition of "Capitol Hill," this could even be right around the corner from you.

    1. French on the hill: Montemarte
      Sushi: Sushi Taro, DuPont Circle area (not super cheapish, but amazing quality)
      Brunch: Tons of them all over the place. Want vegan biker brunch? Go to Asylum in Adams Morgan. Want upscale brunch? Tabard Inn. Oysters with that brunch? Seems like Hank's would be your place.
      Italian: Dino
      Pizza: Doesn't exist in DC to a level I'd reccomend anyone. Including 2 Amys.
      Have a car? Get ye to the Italian Store for a sandwich.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jpschust

        Vace in Cleveland Park for decent carry-out pizza. Subs are good, too. Go next door to Nam Viet for an excellent Vietnamese lunch, particularly the garden rolls and soups.

        1. re: flavrmeistr

          Second Nam Viet - and their soups (everything really). The sweet and spicy salmon soup is phenomenal. Also, the curried squid (last page of menu) is by FAR the best I've ever had. Jamie D helped me realize they had pumpkin or squash to the sauce.

          Give CF Folks a try for lunch - my new favorite lunch place when I'm downtown.

          Cross the river to Arlington and get a chorizo taco from El Charrito Caminante. Pepito's in Adams Morgan is also good mexican - the tortas are the standout there.

          1. re: flavrmeistr

            Also, add the steak and cheese sub at Mario's in Arlington.

            1. re: flavrmeistr

              Get Lefty (he works days) to make you a steak and cheese with peppers and sauce. Fabulous. The pizza is ok, it used to be better -- but Lefty has been there since I was in high school in Arlington, and I never go home without lunch at Mario's!

              1. re: PatBastrop

                The Lefty Special with peppers for me. Lefty is still the king.

        2. The $20.07 fixed price lunch at Charlie Palmer should make your list.

          1. It may not be NYC quality pizza, but it's not bad for $3.75! Alberto's Pizza on P St. off Dupont has slices the size of my HEAD. I had the veggie last time and the one slice was enough for both my husband and myself. It's fun to get a slice and go sit in the park at Dupont.

            Mixtec in Adams Morgan is good, super cheap Mexican food.

            Have fun exploring!

            ETA: pic of Alberto's pizza slice

            6 Replies
            1. re: MPJ

              Yech. Albertos is just big. Not good, just big.

              1. re: jpschust

                I have to agree. I saw that huge bigger-than-my-head slice and was very excited. Until I ate it. Meh.

                1. re: jpschust

                  Yea...Alberto's is crap. A new pizza place called Goody's (www.goodys.biz) just opened up stairs from Alberto's where the DC Hot sandwich shop used to be. Their pizza is 100x better and they always have interesting pies fresh made. Also, if you order a pre-made slice have them pop it in the oven to heat it up.

                  1. re: idburns

                    I stand corrected. LOL Coming from Santa Barbara (with NO decent pizza), I guess I was excited at the first thing I ate.

                    LOVE this thread. Great recommendations!

                2. re: MPJ

                  I have to disagree about Alberto's. The pizza slice is large, but often cold. And its always slathered in orgegano. Pizza Paradiso is much better.

                  1. re: MPJ

                    I have to disagree with rest of the replies. Their veggie pizza is the only veggie I can eat without feeling like I've disgraced my omnivore ancestors. Unlike other pizza places, grease isn't swimming on top of the pizza and the crispy thin crust is awesome. Unfortunately, Alberto's on Dupont is closed for now due to fire. You'll just have to judge for yourself later.

                  2. The burger at Palena, Sakana Tempura roll at Sakana on P St., grilled cheese at Stoney's, brunch at Bistro Bis, dinner in the outdoor courtyard at Tabard Inn, anything at Hank's Oyster Bar, the roast chicken at Creme, the happy hour special at Taberna. Just a few ideas that haven't been mentioned yet.

                    1. Welcome to DC! You should head over to the Maine Avenue Fish Market. Several of the vendors also sell cooked food - my favorite is the place over in the NW corner. You can get a huge serving of fried fish, oysters, clams or shrimp with Wonder Bread (as a sandwich for around $7) or with fries and slaw (as a platter for around $10). Vendors also sell spiced, steamed shrimp, raw oysters on the 1/2 shell and steamed crabs. There's no place to sit, so I recommend heading south just a bit along the Water to find a bench while your seafood is still hot. You have to walk downhill from the L'Enfant metro, or north along Water Street/Maine Avenue from the Waterfront Metro.

                      Oddly, too, many of the nondescript sandwich places located in nondescript buildings make really great sandwiches, from fresh roasted turkeys, roast beef and hams. My current favorite is Phillips, which is in a building at 1201 Pennsylvania. The entrance is really one block north, around the corner from the entrance to the building. Your choice of breads and add-ons makes it the perfect sandwich on a hot day.

                      No one ever mentions it on this board, but I think the food and prices at Cafe Asia (Farragut North, I think) are quite good. Beware that it is incredibly LOUD in there, but there's a fun youngish, hip crowd (I'm not but I enjoy people watching), the space is very interesting and you get a great value for the price.

                      I also second Mangialardos. Just be sure you know what you want as they process people through there really quickly. Also, it's take-out only.

                      I like to sit on the rooftop part of Tabaq on U Street near 14th at night. If you stick with the small plates (mezze) you can eat there very reasonably. Again, a really fun, hip vibe with nice views of the city.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: dcandohio


                        I can't in good conscience send anyone to the Maine Avenue Fish Market.

                        The fish isn't just bad, it's often unsafe to eat. NONE of the fish there is local (even though they put it on "boats" to make it look local), and I think you're running a not-insignificant health risk eating there. If you want DC fish monger recs, I can give them, but Maine Ave is NOT the place to go.

                        1. re: dcandohio

                          I have to disagree about Cafe Asia. As much as I enjoy their happy hour $1/nigiri, their food is just drowned in soy sauce. Must be a ploy to keep patrons drinking.

                        2. Ignore anyone's recommendations for subs or pizza. It's not going to be anywhere near the average corner place in NYC, so just learn to live without it between trips back to the city.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: DanielK

                            The Italian Store is the only place for subs that I think might be on par with an Italian sub you can find in NY, but I agree for the most part.

                            1. re: jpschust

                              The aforementioned Mangialardo's, on the edge of Capitol Hill, does a much better Italian sub than the Italian Store.

                              1. re: jpschust

                                We're on the same wavelength again jpshust! (are you from Philly?). Italian store does a great hoagie, um, sub. I get the Philly, naturally. The Italian Store is a gem. Thumbs up from me on the pizza.

                                1. re: monavano

                                  Well if I use sub, I'm probably not from Philly :) Though I have spent a tremendous amount of time there as my closest guy friend went to school there.

                                  I wish we could get Pat's down here. Or that there were more BYOBs

                              2. re: DanielK

                                That's just elitist nonsense. I've eaten at most of the top pizza spots in NY and Pizzeria Paradiso does a fine job of it. Matchbox is pretty good too. And Two Amy's is downright decent. To say corner spots beat those places is a huge generalization.

                              3. I also forgot lunch at CF Folks. The owner is hillarious. They are only open Monday-Friday from 11:30-about 2:00. Their daily specials are listed on their website...cffolksrestaurant.com. It's delicious food...unexpected from what it looks like from the outside. I especially like their crab cake sandwich and the olive chicken on Fridays,

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Elyssa

                                  Try Taqueria Distrito Federal in Columbia Heights. It has excellent cheap food and a really nice owner.

                                  Also Etete, arguably the best of the Ethiopian places in the U St. area.

                                  On the Hill, I like the breakfast burritos and pupusas at Tortilla Cafe across from Eastern Market. Also insanely cheap.

                                  The other posters are correct -- stay away from the pizza.

                                2. Lots of low-hanging-fruit for cheap eats on Capital Hill. Check it out street by street for awhile. Barracks Row has some good Salvadorean, Indian and Thai food as well as Banana Café and regular American. Levi's has good Southern Soul.
                                  Check out Eastern Market. The bar specials at Tunnicliffs are good. Owned by the same people as Stoney's. Lots of locals hang out here so they'll tell you other favorites.
                                  Tune Inn is my favorite greasy spoon. Lots of others in the 200 and 300 blocks of Penn cater to the low-on-cash and neighborhood types. Pete's and Bon Cafe around the corner on 2nd are good too. You can actually get breakfast on the Hill. Real breakfast.
                                  H Street has some new places like Philadelphia Cheesesteak around the corner from Horace and Dickie's reliably delicious carry-out fried fish. Sidamo Ethiopian coffee shop is great. Traditional coffee ceremony every Sunday at 2 PM.
                                  White Tiger at 3rd and Mass has a really good buffet at lunch. Within sight of good German, Mexican, Italian, the best liquor store on the Hill.
                                  You can get good cheap food on foot on Capital Hill. No car. No Metro. There are treasures everywhere. In some places there are one or two perfect things on the menu and you ignore the rest. Ask your neighbors.

                                  1. For around $10 (most under $10):

                                    Mangialiardo's for the Super G Man sub.
                                    Horace & Dickies for the 4-piece sammitch.
                                    Deli City for the BEST reuben sandwich in DC.
                                    Hodges Sandwich Shop for the baked ham sandwich (on fridays) or the steamship roast beef in jus.
                                    Steak sandwich at Stoneys.
                                    Ahab burger at Sign of the Whale.
                                    Cheesesteak at Philadelphia Water Ice Company.
                                    Smothered deepfried pork chops, collards, and mac n cheese at Levi's Port Cafe.

                                    Just don't eat them all at once.

                                    1. Nothing but the best:

                                      City Deli, get the combo pastrami, corned beef. You won't miss NY. On Bladensburg Rd just north of New York Ave., NE

                                      Pizza; - 2 Amys Margherita. Minimalist pizza. Unbeatable.

                                      Rita's on Georgia Ave. Polori. Fritters doused with pickled tamarind sauce. While you're there you can get the mixed beans and also the cabbage. And sorrel to drink.

                                      Pyramids- Moroccan at 6th and U Sts., NW Lamb tagine, carrot salad, eggplant, spinach, seafood b'stilla. Feast here for under $10.

                                      Oohs and Aahs soul food on U st at 10th, NW. Get the shrimp, rice with gravy and collards.

                                      Thai X-ing. Only one table inside, one outside. Opens at 4pm. Worth the wait. Salmon in red curry. 515 Florida Ave., NW You will be transported.

                                      Etete for Ethiopian. Fastening food platter and add the fish for $2.

                                      Carne Deshilada at El Rinconcito Dos, a half block from the Colombia Heights Metro in the 1300 block of Park Road. Ask for it with egg! Also good tamales and papusas. Salvadoran.

                                      In Arlington, so close you could plotz:

                                      Taqueria El Charrito Caminante for Goat tacos, and the chorizo tacos are damn good too.

                                      El Pike for saltenas (bread stuffed with soup) and humintas (corn cakes). Bolivian.

                                      And you should plan on a pilgrimmage to Joe's Noodle House in Rockville, MD Sichuan small plates. The shredded radish alone is worth its weight in gold.

                                      That should give you a start.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Steve

                                        City Deli? really? Have you ever been to New York? Their corned beef and pastrami is ok, at best, which is better than the rest of DC not even close to NY quality.

                                        1. re: jpschust

                                          New York? Where's that?

                                          Have to say that the best deli I've had was at the Woodmont Country Club in Tamarac Florida. Alas, I believe they no longer have their carving boards on Sundays. One and a half slices was a huge sandwich. A lot of great thing that used to be best in NY can now be found best in Florida, like bagels.

                                          That dreck from Katz's is rubber compared to Deli City. I like the combo as the corned beef cuts some of the spiciness of the pastrami. None better.

                                          1. re: Steve

                                            Deli City also does an excellent roast beef, same fall-apart consistency as the corned beef, yet very juicy. Reminds me of the roast beef "debris" at Mother's in New Orleans. Completely different animal than the standard medium roast beef at Hodges or Atrium Cafe.

                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                              Ooh, don't be bringing up the debris po' boy at Mother's. Haven't had one in a decade and I still remember it...

                                        2. re: Steve

                                          This is a good list. I would add Pepito's Bakery for Tacos as well.

                                        3. Vietnamese - I would vote nay for recommendations of Nam Viet with respect to their pho - everything else not sure. The best Vietnamese is outside of the city in Eden Center.

                                          Sushi -I'd also veto Sushi Taro - their rice is mushy, but at lunch it's a good deal. Kotobuki, only accessible by car is much better and very affordable. $1 sashimi except for the more expensive bits like toro. Rolls for about $3.

                                          Pizza - Comet Ping Pong and another vote for 2 Amy's. 2 Amy's especially for their seasonal special pizzas. They had a yellow tomato pizza last summer that was to die for. I also like Angelico's spinach and artichoke pizza for cheap pizza.

                                          But at the same time I wouldn't classify most of these places as "cheap" the way the cheap stuff in New York is REALLY cheap. Like I would still expect to pay $15-20 per person for this stuff. Compared to say Grey's Papaya cheap.

                                          I also like to throw in bar lunch specials. This is when the great restaurants do great deals. Restaurant Kolumbia $9 bar lunch and Restaurant Eve Lickety Split for $13.50.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: synaesthesia

                                            Restaurant Eve's Lickety Split is simply THE lunch deal- no one is putting out food as good as Cathal right now, and to get it for 13.5 is insane.

                                          2. Milky, here's a gem close to us in Capitol Hill: A Litteri in the Florida Ave./DC Farmer's Market. If you want that special olive oil, cannoli or a great $5 Italian sandwich to take out, this is the place. Weird location, but worth it.


                                            1. Hi again Milky. I've also got a line on a real pizza place out in Virginia. A NYC native waiter in Eastern Market gave me their phone number. I'll let you know once I imbibe myself.

                                              For Chinese, you've got to get out of the District. www.marksduckhouse.com for Cantonese/dim sum (up the Street is Eden Center home of authentic Vietnamese) or better yet, www.joesnoodlehouse.com in Rockville, MD for sizzling Szechuan. Joe's is Metro accessible. The only authentic place in the District I can recommend is China Town Express at 746 6th St NW. It's not fancy, just a step up from a dai pai dong, but if you don't mind mild Guandong food, you'll be happy munching simple dumplings, noodles and dow meu.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: mmmbacon

                                                Any chance you can let go of the name and number of the pizza place?

                                                If you go before doing so and provide a straight review, can you post a link to it from this thread?

                                                You've got the curiousity piqued.

                                                1. re: Dennis S

                                                  I was wondering, too.

                                                  I do know of a little joint called Hot Stone Pizza at the BuildAmerica in the Skyline area just south of Baileys Xroads. Tiny place though, only seating for about 10 or so, and the parking lot is a dent trap. I've had calzones there, which are good, and it seems promising for the pizza, thin crisp crust.

                                                2. re: mmmbacon

                                                  Is the pizza joint called Tony's?

                                                  Went there a few weeks ago...the jury is still out, but need to go back for a second eval. Give 'em a try and let me know what you guys think. One thing I can say for sure: great cannolis!

                                                3. mmmbacon totally gave up the best-kept secret in DC: A.Litteri's. Best sandwich, period. cheap italian wines, and other great Italian deli items. My next comment may be offensive to many on this board but. . . I've never been disappointed with Potbelly's. When I'm looking for a $4 sandwich, i don't know how you can beat it without making one yourself. Well, i guess some of those vietnamese shops have subs for fairly cheap-- they just love that French bread.

                                                  Would also mention Szechuan House on 8th St-- they totally revamped into some scary ultramodern asian-fusion place (new $$$ menu, too, oh, and I think they're now called Fusion Grille or something), but you can get the same old menu as takeout or for delivery (usually awesome crispy beef and chow fun)-- in my opinion second best chinese restaurant in DC. Hard to beat MeiWah, tho. For just a little bit more $ (and travel across town to M st NW), they are very reliable and delicious-- forget the name of the appetizer, but essentially tofu and raw garlic-- never had anything like it. Outside of DC, much Asian food to choose from. . . I hear Peking Gourmet in NoVa is the standard for peking duck.

                                                  Tune Inn on Penn has excellent mozzarella Stix, especially after drinking [infinity] beers there. Tunnicliffes also has a great kitchen.

                                                  best sushi? No contest: Yosaku-- take the Red Line to Tenleytown. it's well worth it. specialty rolls are quite unique and it's fairly reasonably priced. they also make a mean Osaka oyster and beef negimaki.

                                                  Pizza? nothing close to NYC. Prob best I've had in the city is Radius in Mt. Pleasant. Excellent sauce, but certainly not cheap. Big Gay Al's (everyone's affectionate name for Al's) is probably about as good as you're gonna do on the Hill. If not for the pizza, then at least for the wings.

                                                  Food on H St, NE, is still in the fetal stages. Crown Fried Chicken is the best i've had in town (just the chicken-- sides are a little rough), and of course Horace & Dickies is satisfying after a session at the Red&Black.

                                                  SW waterfront is good- but as someone mentioned, you should eat it while it's still hot (if you get prepared food), and that means either a quick drive home, or eat it down the river on a bench.

                                                  SE Hill also has a 5 Guys-- a completely overrated, but still halfway satisfying, burger, fries and peanuts. Everytime I go there, I so miss In-N-Out.

                                                  and speaking of california, better get used to one fact: there is no mexican food in DC. Sure, some Salvadoran places will try to market themselves as Mexican restaurants or taco shops, but just not the same. May as well go to baja fresh. I've found as good as any so-called taco shop in town.

                                                  Places to stay away from on the Hill: Armands (unless you're completely hungover and need to take advantage of their all-you-can eat $6.95 lunch), anything within 2 blocks of Armands (except for Bagels and Baguettes 2 doors down-- they're pretty good, oh, and that coffee shop next to Lounge 201- excellent stuff), burrito bros, hunan dynasty, banana cafe (a place where i've found being heterosexual will actually get you a substantially low level of service), 7-11 (yes, i know it's the only thing open after 3 a.m., but STAY AWAY), Kenny's BBQ (i know-- sacrilege. Their methods are good, but i've found the flavors/sauce lacking. . . best thing they have going are the sides), white tiger indian (may fall within the 2 blocks of Armands zone), La Loma (unless you really just want to sit outside and enjoy some drinks/snax-- the menu is fine, but, well, yeah-- i guess this one should come off the list. It's not great, but i can proudly say that at best, it doesn't suck), that mexican place a couple doors down from Tunnicliffes (they have a couple decent salvadoran dishes, but you gotta be real selective).

                                                  Oh, and there used to be a Crepe guy at eastern market-- made 'em from his cart. WEll worth the 10-15 minute line. think he's still around on weekends. . .

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: FatGuyinaLittleCoat

                                                    Have you done the Litteri's/Mangialardo's Italian sandwich taste test? I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. And I'm definitely with you on Potbelly. Good, cheap, without the oddball yeasty WTF-is-that? smell of Subway or the mouthshredding toastiness of Quiznos.

                                                    Have you tried the chicken at Cluck-U on H? I haven't but they do the most amazing fried chicken livers and gizzards. A few Chinese carryouts do gizzards, but just in a simple salt-and-pepper batter. Cluck-U's have a good, almost Popeyes-esque spiciness.

                                                    Again, with you on 5 Guys in SE. But I've never had a problem with Banana Cafe, and they're one of the few places that does a decent Cuban sandwich on real Cuban bread.

                                                    I've found the bbq at Levi's Port Cafe on 8th much more to my liking than Kennys, particularly the pulled pork sandwich. Although, I've found it hard to avoid the smothered pork chops. Also, BEST macaroni and cheese in town, IMHO, and their collards put Kennys to shame.

                                                  2. Any of the local Peruvian chicken joints, though most are not in the city limits

                                                    Ben's Chili Bowl for a half smoke

                                                    Anything at the front of the house at Palena

                                                    And, for later in the year, try Bistro du Coin when it is really cold outside and get the cassoulet. So good, and very reasonably priced.


                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Pool Boy

                                                      Oh Yes Carribean Grill off of 29 in NOVA has such damn good chicken and it is so cheap.

                                                    2. If you venture over here to the NoVa subs I totally agree with The Italian Store and Eden Center. Might I add one more to the NoVa list? Within walking distance of the Ballston Metro behind the Mall is an Italian place called Tutto Bene. On the weekends, at least for lunch, they have a Bolivian menu. The saltenas are wonderful and for about 2.50, a bargain.

                                                      1. I second El Charrito in Arlington... also El Pollo Rico (peruvian chicken, $4 for a quarter chicken and a pile of fries the size of your head).

                                                        Also in Arlington: Matuba for good and decently priced sushi, Bangkok 54 and Thai Square for good Thai food.

                                                        1. La Loma on Mass Ave is great. Every peson I've ever taken there has loved it and gone back without me. Which I find to be incredibly rude actually but what can you do?

                                                          1. Welcome to DC! Lots of great eats in DC! Here's a link to a great Chowhound thread for dishes under $10:

                                                            Here's my faves:
                                                            Vegetarian Indian - Saravana Palace in Fairfax, VA
                                                            Thai - Thai Square in Arlington, VA - must order the crispy squid!
                                                            Ethiopian - While I like Etete and Dukem in DC, there's a wonderful place in Del Ray in VA inappropriately named Caboose Cafe that has the best homemade Ethiopian veggie platter!
                                                            Tacos - El Charrito Caminante in Arlington - although I've heard good things about Taqueria Distrito Federal
                                                            Szechuan - Hong Kong Palace in Falls Church (again, inappropriately named but the food is great!) or Joe's Noodle House in MD
                                                            Vietnamese - Minh's in Arlington, VA (try their sizzling catfish) or Huong Viet in Eden Center in Falls Church, VA

                                                            1. I agree with everyone who said Nam Viet. Try the orange beef!

                                                              1. Like almost anywhere else this time of year, the local farmers' markets, or better yet, a pick-your-own farm. Tomatos, peaches, corn, berries, etc. Fresher, safer, cheaper, tastier food than any restaurant.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: foodcheck

                                                                  PS: Our most popuar supermarkets suck big-time. Go only to (1) Wegman's, (2) Trader Joe's and (3) Whole Foods.

                                                                2. Pizza in the suburbs: Don Corleones, Cascades/ Ashburn VA. I highly recommend their "Fredo's White Lie". Give it a shot if you are ever in the area.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Dekoy

                                                                    Why hasn't anyone mentioned Rocklands BBQ? They used to have the only BBQ north of Little Rock I thought was authentic and delish. Isn't it good anymore?

                                                                    1. re: sherrylr

                                                                      Rocklands was closed, at least the one in Arlington, but it is re-opening at the Cat place in Ballston (yeah the cat place has a mural of cat and cheese on the side of the bldg) it should be open soon, I think they said second weekend in November. I wasn't thoroughly impressed at Clarendon Day it was a little fatty, but hey they didn't even have their store open, but since it is a couple blocks away I am sure I will give it lots of additional chances.

                                                                      1. re: sherrylr

                                                                        Rocklands is still going in its original location on Wisconsin Ave.plus they have expanded. I am a long time Rocklands fan, but there came a point when expansion and lack of attention gave way to wet, pre-shedded sandwiches. The ribs have held up better, and you can still sometimes get them approaching what they once were, but they became a bit iffy. In my mind they were always chewy, something I was willing to put up with for outstanding flavor, but not everybody agrees about that.

                                                                    2. No one has mentioned Kebab Palace in Crystal City (Arlington), VA! You can do a search on the board for the details.

                                                                      BTW, I tried Taqueria Distrito Federal a few weeks ago and found the filling for the small soft shell tacos too stingy, ie three layers of soft shell to a miniscule amount of filling. That's probably par for the course for this type of eat but I wasn't impressed.

                                                                      1. Did you get many replies? Some of my favorite "cheap eats" places in the DC area are:
                                                                        Kabob Palace (Crystal City, Arlington) - keema on Thursday
                                                                        Sweet Surrender (Pentagon City, Arlington) - the strawberry-pistachio cake
                                                                        Generous George's (Duke St, Alexandria) - "Georgie Combo" pizza
                                                                        Buca di Beppo (Conn Ave, Wash, DC) - tiramisu & champange = my birthday
                                                                        Trio's (17th Street, Wash DC) - waffle with ice cream, whipped cream & strawberries
                                                                        Mangialardo Deli (Cap Hill) - GMan (but on a solft roll)
                                                                        Clyde's (Chinatown, DC) - cheese platter and scotch after a movie (not cheap but I like it so much)

                                                                        1. I'm adding El Pollo Rico. I've only been to the one in Wheaton, but it's addictive. And $11.50 for a whole chicken, sauces, and 2 sides is a steal of a deal. The chicken is some of the juiciest and most flavorful I've had (in a restaurant) in a long time, and I love the seasonings.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: MPJ

                                                                            I prefer super chicken 5 doors down from pollo rico in wheaton

                                                                            1. re: MPJ

                                                                              It's crack chicken...that stuff is super addictive. I wish I could eat it more often!