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Jun 7, 2007 08:27 AM

Takeout and Picnicing in DC

Psuedo-Chow related...

I am trying to plan a evening picnic in DC in the next couple weeks. Wondering if anyone can recommend some good take out spots. I am thinking something simple like gourmet sandwiches and salads.

Also, does anyone know the regulations about alcohol on the mall? I was thinking of bringing a bottle of Rose or Muscadet, and wanted to make sure I didn't blatantly break and rules or laws.

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  1. The Mall, monuments, etc. are National Parks. No alcohol allowed. I don't think glass containers are allowed, either. A picnic is allowed! You can go to Cowgirl Creamery and get some nice cheeses and bread if you want to keep it simple. If you really want sandwiches, any of the good lunch sandwich spots can pack a few to go. I like Phillips in the rear of the building at 1201 Pennsylvania. Whole Foods is another great option. If you can get there before it closes: Mangialardo's. The Marvelous Market right near Eastern Market has nice pre-packaged items.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dcandohio

      That's what I figured. I guess, the multitude of staffers and others that play kickball and softball on the mall must just really love to consume their water and gatorade from solo cups.

      Thanks for the recs, I completely forgot about cowgirl creamery. I may hit whole foods and/or the italian store in arlington for sandwiches

      1. re: dcandohio

        DC has an open-container law so you can't drink on the streets, parks or in any public place.
        A little-known quirk in this law that catches some people is that front steps, porches and front yards of townhouses are technically city property. Even bay windows. Yeah, I know it sounds unfair but it's the way it is. If the neighbors complain about the noise, which they might do, the cops can use this one to haul you off. To jail. Not just give you a citation. Happens in Georgetown frequently and in other town and gown sections so just be aware.

        1. re: dcandohio

          I don't think there's a policy for national parks exactly. There are restrictions within some (and probably all) parks. Wolftrap, for instance is a national park:

          A quick look elsewhere just had restrictions on certain areas such as in Big Bend (nature center is not allowed).

          Probably the mall isn't the best, though - I concur with that (unless you're sneaky like Elyssa).

          One other place to add to the list for food/wine options is just up the hill from Spout Run in Arlington. Arrowwine for the wine and in the back parking lot is a seafood place with sandwiches, salads and more to go.

        2. You can't have wine on the Mall at all...there are pretty strict rules about this.

          But truth be told--I've had plenty of picnics on the Mall where I've brought a small bottle of wine and then hid it in the book bag or pocket book. Just don't be obvious about it and drink it in dark glasses.

          In terms of where to get your food I would go with Marvelous Market or Whole Foods. There are Marvelous Markets all over the city.

          And while the sandwiches are not totally gourmet, I LOVE the sandwiches at So's Your Mom in Adams Morgan and have used them for lots of picnics.

          1. Why don't you pick up a Bento Box. If you're in the District, Teaism has a pretty good one; if you're in the burbs, there should be a lot of decent Japanese restaurants with worthwhile offerings. Matuba on Columbia Pike and Arigato in Fairfax come to mind.

            1. You can picnic in Arlington near the Iwo Jima (Marine Corps memorial) and Netherlands Carillon. Lovely view of the Mall from there (that's why the place is jammed on Juy 4th for the fireworks). Actually, the Mall is better appreciated from a distance.

              I have no idea as to rules on alcohol, burt it IS Virginia, y'know, and I think the grounds are under National Park Service jurisdiction.

              There are lots of places to get the food--the Italian Store in Arlington's Lyon Village, for one. (The sandwiches at Litteri's in N.E. DC are much better, but they may close too early, and your sandwiches thus might be soggy by mealtime.)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gonzocook

                Boy, you guys are so pedestrian!!!!!!!!

                This is chowhound... prepackaged sandwiches from Marvelously Overpriced Market?!!?!?

                dbound - this is what I'd do. Is this a date? I bet it's a date. Schedule it for a Thursday and make your first stop the Thursday afternoon farmer's market (3-7 PM) at 8th st. between D and E NW. Buy fresh bread, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and fruit tarts. Maybe some strawberries too, for dessert. Bring it all down to the mall and eat it. It's super delicious, quick, and you're supporting local agriculture. Plus, if this is indeed a date, he or she will be super impressed and will want to jump you on the spot, leading to worries about all other sorts of on-the-mall regulations you may need to worry about.

                Good luck