DC - 19th and L area (+/- a block)
Meeting a friend for lunch on a weekday at noon. Want a place with good food but would like a tablecloth/conversation place and spend about $20 more or less for each of us. Ideas?
You're going to have a hard time keeping it to $20 in that 'hood if you want a place with a waiter, those within a block (Vidalia, Prime Rib) are more $$$$.
Either extend your range beyond one block or settle for a sandwich shop. Give Cafe Lombardy a shot at Penn & 20th, $20 should get you a burger or entree salad along with a drink. http://www.hotellombardy.com/cafe_lom...
Not too far from there is I think is the new Vapiano---good pizzas, pasta, and salads with outdoor seating. Not tablecloths but outdoor seating in a cool atmosphere.
Also you might want to consider Penang...not to far from that area. Good pan-asian cuisine. And Mei Thai..really yummy Thai.
You really should consider heading closer into Dupont to find more reasonable prices with good food. Because directly where you are will be a little difficult...tends to be more expensive restaurants at 19th and L.
I work right at that address; yes $20 pp is hard to stick to. I like Panache, 1725 DeSales St. (the street at the side entrance to the Mayflower Hotel). I had two tapas and my friend had a Caeser Salad with Calamari. The food was fine but you'll have to drink water to stay to $20. Ordering one of the full entrees puts it over $20. It's really attractive and the service was god.