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SF Hound visiting DC - what do you think of my list?

  • hhc Jul 20, 2007 11:11 PM
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I've done a bit of research online on places to eat. We'll be visiting Sept 28-Oct 4, 2007 to check out the sights & restaurants. No car, planning to use the Metro & walking lots.

Breakfast places - haven't looked into..any suggestions? 6 breakfast places.

Lunch & dinner places. We prefer cheap eats (up to $15pp lunch, $10-30pp for dinner). Any type of food ok, prefer places that take credit cards, casual places best w/o reservations but we eat early. 6 lunches/5 dinners choices.

Places on my list:

Greek Deli & Catering
Zaytinya
Etete
Two Amys
Brasserie Beck
Vace Italian Deli & homemade pasta
Five Guys
Malaysia Kopitiam

Amsterdam falafel shop
Rasika
Matchbox
Cashion's eat place
Sushi Taro
Ben's chili bowl
Cafe Ettore
Jaleo

Any suggestions on hotel to stay at that's close to sights & safe walking?

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  1. Zaytinya, Jaleo, Rasika, Cashion's, Ben's are all places that I have eaten and recommend. Two Amy's too, but expect to wait for a table, even early.

    IMO, Five Guys is kind of a waste of time. You have In 'n' Out, not to mention Taylor's Refresher out in CA, and to me Five Guys does not measure up.

    www.roguefood.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pool Boy

      I love Taylors ... Anyway, I'm thinking someone from SF might not be as impressed with Vace as DC people are. Unless you're going to the zoo, and therefore in the neighborhood, I would probably take that off the list. I like the place, I just don't think its worth a special trip.

    2. It's not on your list but I'd recommend Zola as well. I'm a NYC chowhound that was in DC recently and had an early dinner there. I think if you get there before 7pm you can do their $30 pre-theater menu which was pretty good. It's near the Portrait Gallery/Chinatown.

      Try the Tabard Inn for your hotel stay (where my coworker stayed while there).

      1. I like Zaytinya and I think you'll like Acadiana from the same restaurant family.

        Matchbox is way too noisy for me. Down the block in Chinatown is Full Kee and I would be interested in your impression of whether or not it compares favorably to anything in your Chinatown.

        Ben's Chili Bowl is DC. You may need an antacid afterwards....I agree with Pool Boy about Five Guys. It may be good for around here, but you have better.

        The one thing missing from your list is crabcake -- it is the dish of the Middle Atlantic. I would recommend Market Inn a few blocks from the Capital in SW. It is almost as "DC" as Ben's, and it's crabcakes are usually on everyone's top 5 list.

        Although it's a bit beyond your budget, I have eaten at the Mandarin Oriental in both DC and SF. Silk's was my best meal of 2007 so far, and CityZen was my best meal of 2006. I would be interested in a third party comparison....

        1 Reply
        1. re: BigEats

          AFAIK, Acadiana and Zaytinya aren't connected--the former is one of Jeff Tunk's places (Ceiba, TenPenh, DC Coast), and the latter is from Jose Andres (Jaleo, Cafe Atlantico, Oyamel). Both are good, though, although to me good Cajun places should (like Thai places) be dirt-cheap hole-in-the-wall gems, so Acadiana suffers by being typically priced for a mid-range DC restaurant.

        2. Places on my list:

          Greek Deli & Catering (carryout only. Plain, oily food. Enormous portions.)
          Zaytinya (a good choice)
          Etete (a very good choice)
          Two Amys (excellent)
          Brasserie Beck (you should go here, but can get expensive)
          Vace Italian Deli & homemade pasta (carryout only, better to order a pie)
          Five Guys (good choice for a chain. Fresh potatoes are a no-no for fries, though.)
          Malaysia Kopitiam (a mistake)

          Amsterdam falafel shop (nothing special)
          Rasika (Must Order the spinach. Don't compare to straight-up Indain food and you'll be ok.)
          Matchbox
          Cashion's eat place
          Sushi Taro
          Ben's chili bowl (there are four much better places in the nabe. If you are just a couple, then sit at the stools of Oohs and Aahs. If you're a family check out Pyramids. It it's dinner check out Thai X-ing.)
          Cafe Ettore
          Jaleo (lots of good choices here, especially the vegetarian selections but also cod or date/bacon fritters or stuffed chicken)

          Any suggestions on hotel to stay at that's close to sights & safe walking?

          I think Rosslyn, Virginia is an ok place to stay. Convenient Metro stop, walk to Iwo Jima. From there you can always eat at Guajillo, Ray's the Steaks, Kabob Express (Clarendon Metro stop, mostly kabobs but unusually good for the stew of the day and baklava - thanks to Todd Kliman of the Washingtonian for this suggestion). Or walk to Georgetown (Amma's Vegetarian Kitchen).

          Permalink | Report | Reply
          hhc Jul 21, 2007 02:11AM

          2 Replies
          1. re: Steve

            Suggesting that a visitor to D.C. should stay in Rosslyn is kind of like suggesting that a visitor to San Francisco stay in Oakland. Or maybe San Jose. Sure, it can be done, but it isn't really optimal.

            1. re: Hal Laurent

              Except that you can walk from Rosslyn to DC in less than 5 minutes, and you are just one subway stop away. Furthermore, the blue and orange line in Rosslyn leads directly to the tourist areas, as where the red line at Dupont Cirlce, (for example) you have to transfer. Maybe you're right, but the analogy is all wrong.

              Just so that we can keep this Chow-centric, Rosslyn is located in Arlington Virginia which has some of the best Thai, Vietnamese, and other cuisines in the area. It is also part of the ten miles squared which was originally set aside to create the District of Columbia, but Virginia took back their offer of the land because George Washington had business interests in a canal on the Virginia side. It was never completed, but the land remains in Virginia. Rosslyn is closer to downtown DC than many other parts of DC.

          2. Stay in the Penn Quarter/Chinatown area for walking access to good restaurants (many you already list) and the sights. Agree with others to skip Five Guys and Ben's Chili Bowl. Skip Italian, Chinese, and Seafood (except for perhaps a crabcake) as cuisines, no improvement there over what you have. Try at least one Ethiopian, Etete or Dukem's, vegetarian platter or doro wat. In the same area (U St, easily accessible via metro from Chinatown), Pyramids for homestyle Moroccan, try the carrot salad and bastilla for under $10 (U St/Cardozo stop, NOT U St/Shaw). A bit closer to the White House, Breadline for sandwiches and salad, outdoor seating as well. Jaleo, Zatinya for sure.

            1. I heartily second
              Jaleo, Etete, Zaytinya, Cashion's Eat Place and would skip Malaysia Kopitam, Greek Deli, and would add some upscale southern like Georgia Brown's, Indigo Landing, B. Smith's. I like Kaz Sushi Bistro, and Five Guys is best eaten in Old Town Alexandria. If you take the King Street metro you can eat Eaomonn's A Dublin Chippery or Restauarant Eve (spendy but worth it)

              3 Replies
              1. re: anhdeluxe

                I work around the corner from the Bread Line and I don't get why it is popular except for the outside seats. The prices are way out of line for OK sandwiches and then they soak you like $3 for bottled water or ice tea. I took my father and his wife for lunch a while ago and we paid like $40 for three Italian sausages and soft drinks. Plus the place is so busy the servers have to practically throw the food at you. SoHo and SizzEx and the other cafeterias are superior and better value.

                1. re: jkosnett

                  I guess not everybody has to like Breadline! BTW, I absolutley love their flavored water, and it's only fifty cents.

                  1. re: jkosnett

                    Hear hear!! Breadline is fine but EVERYTHING is ALWAYS $1-2 overpriced for what it is.

                    Price list (all before 10% tax):
                    $2.25 for lemonade.
                    $8.10 for a three-item salad.
                    $7.85 for sandwiches.

                    Q.E.D.

                2. I love 2 Amys, Matchbox and Jaleo. Cashions is good too and is about to close. And someone mentioned Guajililo in Arlington. It is very good, authentic mexican with the most amazing mole enchiladas. I am there at least once a week.

                  For breakfast places - I really enjoyed brunch at Busboys and Poets recently. And it's reasonable:
                  http://www.busboysandpoets.com/

                  I also like Teasim, with locations in Penn Quarter and Dupont. They have great bfast foods and it's cheap. Don't forget a salty oat cookie, ginger scones, chai shake and bubble tea:
                  http://www.teaism.com/Restaurant/Home...

                  Also Peacock Cafe in Gtown does a good brunch.

                  Enjoy!

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: jodik

                    I second Teaism for a nice and inexpensive breakfast (or for a break in a long day of touristing), and they have three locations in areas you're likely going to want to visit anyway. Don't know how it would stand up to tea and Asian places in SF, but still a good suggestion. And the salty oat cookies do seem to have almost a cult following. I love their chai.

                    1. re: mselectra

                      Teaism is good for a break or even a light meal. Try their salty oat cookies. My wife, in trying to copy them, actually came up with an even better salty oat cookie. Bel;ieve it or not.

                      www.roguefood.com

                      1. re: Pool Boy

                        Can you please share the recipe? :)

                        1. re: KWynn

                          KWynn....I have to check with my wife. She's the one that's modified an existing recipe to make what she has and she's hell bent on entering it again and again at the state fair until she wins or at least places. So not sure if she'll share until that happens...;-)

                          1. re: KWynn

                            KWynn, everybody's been trying to copy that terrific cookie and I can understand poolboy's wife not wanting to share before she wins a Blue Ribbon at the fair with her recipe.
                            The Washington Post recently printed a recipe for Salted Oatmeal Cookies that appeared on DCist and it is darn close imitation of the cookie at Teaism. Maybe it will do until you can get the poolboy household's version. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/re...

                            1. re: MakingSense

                              MakingSense mentioned exactly what I had forgotten to. A worthy effort. We have not actually tried that project to see what we think. I'll let you know if my wife wins any ribbons this year with that cookie. Sometimes getting the (mainly) older ladies who do the judging to accept a new kind of cookie is a challenge...

                              www.roguefood.com

                              1. re: Pool Boy

                                I love state and county fairs! But you are right about the judging for the food events. The rules are unbelievably arcane. Taste is not necessarily what they rank first. The cookie may have to be "exactly 2 5/8 inches" across or they dock you for some idea of what the color of "perfectly golden brown" is in their eyes. It's amazing to read the rules for judging on the websites for fairs, BBQ, and other food competitions. One lettuce leaf of a particular variety or you are disqualified. These are not CHs.
                                Good luck to your wife.

                      2. re: jodik

                        Where did you hear that Cashion's is about to close? I live down the street and have become very friendly with the staff there and they have not mentioned it. I think you may be incorrect.

                        1. re: gatorfoodie

                          I heard it from a number of sources. I don't think its going to close...it's switching hands. I believe the sous chef or someone like that is going to become the owner and might change things around a bit...including the menu (which is a major bummer and mistake in my opinion. They have the perfect formula there). Ann Cashion and her business partner are leaving to focus on Johnny's on Capitol Hill.

                          Tom Seitsema reported this as well as Metrocurean. http://amandamc.blogspot.com/search?q...

                          1. re: Elyssa

                            Ahh ok. I knew it was changing hands but certainly not closing. I would have been devestated if my favorite place in the neighborhood (and I'd say top 5 in the city) closed.

                      3. If you are coming Monday-Friday I would suggest adding CF Folks in Dupont Circle to your list of cheap eats lunch spots. They have a great website where they update their menu every day and in my opinion they have they best crab cakes in town.

                        For dinner you might want to add Hank's Oyster Bar to your list to get a taste of east coast seafood. Cashion's is a great neighborhood spot and I highly recommend it.

                        For cheap and delicious sushi I recommend Sakana on P Street in Dupont Circle.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Elyssa

                          CF Folks is a GREAT recommendation, especially given the OP's preferences. And I also love Cashions.

                          1. re: Elyssa

                            Instead of Tryst I would recommend The Diner for breakfast.

                            Also you might want to look into some of the great happy hour deals in DC..many of them have food as well.

                            PS7's is a really chic and fun restaurant/bar and they have an excellent happy hour deal. Drinks (including wine) are around $5 or so and then they have a whole happy hour menu which includes cute shareables such as tuna tartar sliders and mini hot dogs and half smokes.

                            Gazuza in Dupont Circle also has a great happy hour deal with mojitos around $5. They also usually have sushi specials and some other cheap eats.

                            If you are here during the week you must try the Taberna del Alberdero (sp?) happy hour deal. This is one of the most expensive restaurants in town but during the week, until 7pm, they have 1/2 off Sangria and 1/2 off tapas. Order a bunch of tapas and then sit back and relax as they bring out some of the tastiest food in DC. You can certainly get out of there for around $30 or so.

                            1. re: Elyssa

                              Tryst, the Diner, and Open City are owned by the same people. Tryst is really great for coffee, and a fun scene, but doesn't do diner-like (eggs etc.) breakfasts. Open City has Tryst's coffee but also breakfast all day like the Diner. I really don't think the food at Open City and the Diner are very good, but I go to them all the time (and so do lots of other people), so go figure. If you're going to the zoo, you might try Open City, since it's right by the Woodley Park metro (personally I love the homemade chips). But I really don't think the Diner or Open City are worth a special trip. Take the Hill/Eastern Market suggestions instead -- wouldn't you all agree?

                            2. re: Elyssa

                              I should mention that this might not mean that there will be staff changes since it's not someone completly new joining the restaurant but someone who has been attached to the project for awhile.

                            3. Oh, you HAVE to go to Ben's, I can't believe people are recommending against it, it's just a must DC experience. Half smoke with chili. And of course there's lots more good food near it. Really should do Ethiopian. I'll second CF Folks for lunch, it's also DC (in a different way). Since you're looking for breakfast, you might go to Tryst in Adams Morgan for really good coffee and some of the food's pretty good (I do like the waffles) -- and it's a taste of yet another slice of DC life (not K St).

                              The best food on the Natl Mall is at the Museum of the American Indian -- skip other Smithsonians' cafeterias for it. Do others agree?

                              I would definitely not try Chinese in DC if you're coming from SF....

                              Enjoy!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: mselectra

                                I'd skip the institutional food at the American Indian Museum too. I don't think the Plains Indians really ate tacos made with corn tortillas and iceberg lettuce. Just because you make a burger with some bison doesn't make it Native American cuisine, does it? Two whole floors devoted to shops and a cafeteria? Anybody wondering why attendance is off 50% at this venue?

                                1. re: mselectra

                                  I really enjoy the food at the American Indian Museum as well and its certainly far better then any other Smithsonian cuisine so if you are in the area you should check it out. It's a lot of fun (and the only spot in town where I can find a good piece of fry bread other then my own kitchen!) :)

                                  But you should know it can get VERY crowded.

                                2. Most of the places you listed are good. Personally, I can do w/o Sushi Taro- SF has much more options in the way of sushi and Japanese. And Vace and Five Guys= so-so. Ben's is good b/c it's a DC landmark and the half-smokes are unique but for very yummy fare--I echo the Oos and Aaahs recommendation on U Street. It's great soul food. Be sure to catch them early because lines can get long and the good stuff (ribs, chicken and gravy, etc.) starts running out. And Malaysian Kopitiam is a gem- great street Malaysian food, "mom's kitchen" kind of ambience at an accessible location. Lastly, I agree with another poster that the American Indian Museum has the best food around. Pricey for museum "cafeteria" food but it is not standard fare and it's the type of stuff you can't find anywhere else. DC breakfast-- well this is a weekend brunch kind of place and much of it is standard fare. For something different, try Vegetate (vegegtarian). Tabard Inn also has a good brunch in a beautiful surrounding. Or you could do Bombay Club's buffet brunch. Hotels- try the Kimpton hotels or Tabard Inn. The newest Kimpton is Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle on P Street NW. Easy walking/metro access to many of the restaurants and to many of the sights by the mall.

                                  1. Breakfast is easier to find on Capital Hill than in most places in the City. The very nice Capitol Hill Suites Hotel (at 2nd and C, SE) offers weekly rates one block from the Capitol South Metro. Without crossing the street, you can find good inexpensive continental or bacon-and-egg breakfasts at Pete's (also some Vietnamese stuff here), Bon Café (some French touches), Firehook Bakery (good coffee, they add Brunchy things on weekends), Starbucks. In the next block and a little later, you can add a Bloody Mary at the Hawk and Dove or the Tune Inn, one of America's great greasy spoons, which serves breakfast at any hour they're open. There's a small grocery there too if you want some provisions for the kitchen in your suite. There's also Jimmy T's at 5th and E. Capital, a neighborhood hang-out, that serves breakfast and lunch.
                                    By the time you visit, Market Lunch will be serving its famous blueberry hotcakes again in the temporary East Hall across from the Historic Eastern Market (on 7th Street), undergoing restoration following a devastating fire this Spring. They have a good crabcake sandwich at lunch. Tortilla Café has good Salvadoran food. Montmartre is a great French Bistro. The Market is in full swing on Saturday and Sundays and they've recently added live music on Sundays. Lots of restaurants on nearby Barracks Row which has turned into one long sidewalk café. Old Siam has good Thai. There's a Tandoori Grill too. Levi's Port Café has the real deal in Southern food at value prices. Aatish on Penn for Pakistani,

                                    Don't miss Ben's Chili Bowl. Stick to the classic half smoke with chili. Take your Tums if you need it. Hit the back room and relax. This may not be the best food in town (although I do get a serious craving for it occasionally) but it's part of DC's history and a must-visit. Just like the Florida Avenue Grill for serious down-home Southern food - biscuits and gravy, eggs and grits, smothered pork chops, etc. You might also visit the Waffle Shoppe on 10th Street downtown across from Ford's Theatre. An Art Deco treasure that won't be there the next time you visit. Sit at the old serpentine counter and get the same plain eats that the local office workers will miss so much when it's replaced by new anonymous buildings in the near future. Don't get fancy in any of these places. You'll regret it.

                                    Although there are a lot of brickbats being thrown at Michel Richard's Central on this board, it is also being highly praised by others. There are many of the same dishes available as at his highly rated and very expensive 4-star Citronelle so you may want to consider it. I think it's an excellent value and enjoy it terrifically.Not everything is wonderful but I've had great meals there. You can spend as much or more at several of the other places on your list for less memorable meals.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                      I agree about Central, but with Citronelle closed I wouldn't go without a reservation. I am sure that is the first place they are putting those people with reservations they can't honor at Citronelle.

                                      1. re: ktmoomau

                                        Citronelle has NOT closed.
                                        It has a TEMPORARY problem with its liquor license and has elected not to serve food without being able to offer wine. That is all we know for sure.
                                        Please be careful about putting half of the story in postings because this can lead to unfounded rumors that can harm business.

                                        In any case, the OP is not visiting DC until late September - more than two months from now - so we would hope that Citronelle's licensing difficulties will be solved.

                                    2. I second Jaleo, I just love the cod fritters and the chorizo on a stick with the mashed potatoes, and i will also defend Ben's while it may not be 5 star cusine, its a dc experience.

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: luv2eatalldaylong

                                        Not to diminish Jaleo, but since the OP likes to eat early, he may want to consider Taberna del Alabardero for Spanish tapas instead.
                                        They have a half-price happy-hour deal at this really beautiful formal restaurant where you can eat at the bar without dressing up and still take advantage of the fabulous food at a place that the Spanish government itself has designated as The Best Spanish Restaurant Outside Spain. A pretty rare chance to enjoy Spanish alta cucina at its best and at bargain prices.
                                        One of the joys of DC. Ben's to classic Spain in one day. Both on a budget.

                                        1. re: MakingSense

                                          i have never heard of Taberna del Alabardero, where is that located?

                                          1. re: luv2eatalldaylong

                                            Link below. One of my favorite DC places - whether for tapas at the bar, or for a full meal in the dining room. Wonderful waiters, and a fantastic sommelier, who remembers our previous wine selections months later.

                                            Interestingly, apparently the original Spanish location was started by the Catholic church, to find employment for "wayward" boys.

                                            -----
                                            Taberna Del Alabardero
                                            1776 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006

                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                              This place has been on my must try list for 3-4 years now. I need to get up off my duff and finally go.

                                              www.roguefood.com

                                              1. re: Pool Boy

                                                Soooooooo worth checking out! And if you don't want to blow a whole lot of cash (a regular dinner there is one of the more expensive ones in the area) go for their incredible Tapas Happy Hour special where sangria and tapas are 1/2 off. It's the best deal in town. Just make sure to order everything you want before 7pm.

                                                1. re: Elyssa

                                                  Elyssa...is that an every day kind of event? Or just once a week (and what day?)? Grazie

                                                  1. re: Pool Boy

                                                    I know for sure it is Monday-Thursday up until 7pm (not sure when it starts but the website might say). Not sure if it's Fridays.

                                                    When I went before we literally got there at 6:45pm and ordered a pitcher of Sangria and about 1/2 the menu before our time ran out. I was with 4 people and we ordered at least 7-10 different tapas. More then enough. But my share of the meal worked out to be only about $30 (or less)...not bad at all considering how expensive the place usually is.

                                            2. re: luv2eatalldaylong

                                              You should certainly check it out if you enjoy Spanish cuisine. My boyfriend lived in Spain for a year and he said this restaurant is the closest thing to the real thing...and some items are even better then what he had in Spain. Certainly check out their happy hour special...so many delicious items and an excellent bang for your buck

                                              1. re: Elyssa

                                                Well... that may be because real-Spain Spanish tapas are generally not that good.

                                                (Sorry, it's my bias... and it depends where we're talking about, too.... I had pretty good tapas in Barcelona bars... and uniformly terrible ones in Madrid, where I lived...)

                                              2. re: luv2eatalldaylong

                                                Not where you go for paella which they only do half-heartedly. It's really serious Spanish food but also terrific sangria and tapas at the bar. They also have Flamenco nights. The place is a favorite of the local Spanish ex-pat community, people from the Embassy, World Bank, students, anybody missing their home turf.

                                          2. I recommend the St. Gregory Hotel, at 20th and M and therefore walking distance to the West End and DuPont Circle, also K street and Connecticut Ave.. Close to Metro and in a good, safe area (i.e., not dicey at night). Reasonable rates for nice, quality rooms. Look for special deals on their site, e.g., theatre packages, etc. My sister and bro-in-law really enjoyed their stay this spring. Most of DC's sights are not in good nighttime sites!

                                            1. Good stuff so far. I havn't noticed the six breakfast suggestions you requested.

                                              The best breakfast (due in part to their pastry chef/baker) in town is at the Tabard Inn - http://www.tabardinn.com/

                                              Lunches and dinners are great there too. If I was staying there, I would eat there every morning. If not, then I would find my way there at least once.

                                              1. real quick -

                                                Two places I would axe:
                                                Zaytinya: great for sitting outside but I really am un-impressed by the food
                                                Malaysia Kopitiam - TOTALLY NOTHING SPECIAL.

                                                Important considerations on two places:
                                                Brasserie Beck won't hit your price constraints, but it is v. good and I think worth it
                                                Ben's Chili Bowl - when you eat here, it should be between the hours of 11 PM and 3 AM (really the times when it is best.)

                                                Everything else I mostly like just fine (though some places I don't know) - the places I LOVE and would stump for hard are:

                                                Jaleo - ignore the naysayers, this place is totally fun and has lots of good options.
                                                Sushi Taro - GO FOR LUNCH IF YOU CAN, the food is equally great and unexplicably cheap ($40 dinners become $15 lunches... I can't explain it)
                                                Matchbox - GREAT place, get pizza or the portobello & chicken "stack" - also everyone raves about the sliders - DONT GET THE SLIDERS. They are good but what is truly great is their full-size bacon cheeseburger... seriously best burger I have ever had.
                                                Also, if you can do it, Cashion's is most wonderful at brunch.

                                                -Eric

                                                1. Check out hotels in Crystal City (Arlington, VA). MUCH cheaper than places in D.C., and several of the hotels in the area practically sit right on top of a metro stop.

                                                  I just tried Belga Cafe (8th Street SE--Barracks Row) and it was amazing. Cheap and yummy. I had green eggs (!) and my friend had the french toast. Both were fun twists and super-tasty.

                                                  I'd do either Matchbox or Two Amys, but not both because they're pretty similar. Two Amy's has fantastic appetizers, and Matchbox has fantastic salads. I think the pizzas are both great.

                                                  You might also want to consider Indique over Rasika. The food is similar, but the prices and atmosphere at Indique are much better.

                                                  Oh, and you MUST add Lauriol Plaza to your list.

                                                  Have fun!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: kyfoodieindc

                                                    The food at Belga is good but you should be warned..they are notorious for snooty service.

                                                    1. re: kyfoodieindc

                                                      And since they are coming from CA I would suggest skipping Lauriol Plaza all together. The good is only so-so. The best part is the drinks and see and be seen scene. Nothing to go out of your way for in my opinion.

                                                    2. Nice list and I will reply based on places I have been. Don't trip about a "safe" place, DC is no worse than San Fran; just be careful and awake and you will be fine. We will be in SF in mid Oct. so can you give me a list of SF picks following your same guidelines except we will have a car. Thought about the French Laundry, willing to drive..., but $500 plus for dinner for 2?! Not so sure we will do that, but bring on the recommendations. Thanks

                                                      Zaytinya- OK
                                                      Two Amys- great stuff, expect to wait so go to the back and have an appetizer at the bar. Stick to the certified pizzas for the REAL deal.
                                                      Brasserie Beck- NICE Belgian beer selection, in fact the best I have seen, and the beer meister, Bill has some awesome stuff on hand!!! This is a definite just for the beer if you are into that.
                                                      Vace Italian Deli & homemade pasta- BAH, skip it and go to Bebo Trattoria, awesome food and you can't beat the price for what you are getting.... mmmm Chef Donna kicks butt
                                                      Five Guys- good enough but ehhhh go for Eamon's or something more interesting
                                                      Malaysia Kopitiam- skip it
                                                      Amsterdam falafel shop- did not eat here, but Bourbon is an awesome place with a stellar selection of spirits and the burgers... are real good.
                                                      Matchbox- Don't bother. Walk down the same street to the East and go to Li Ho for the Orange Chicken....AWESOME. You will be afraid when you walk in, but DO IT, and you will be glad you did. Note, I did not say try a bunch of their other stuff. Pops may be sitting in back watching a Chinese version of Star Wars- some culture for you
                                                      Cashion's eat place- great and pricey
                                                      Sushi Taro- mos def... good selection of Sake to include Ji sake, again expect a wait but it is worth it
                                                      Ben's chili bowl- yeah, get some!! Local, been there forever, good, take a pic of uze outside the place...nice memory. Then get some local music on the block there
                                                      Jaleo- doesn't stand out in my memory, so go to Central and check out the action in the open kitchen.

                                                      NOW for breakfast, you have to go to Capitol Hill, Eastern Market, and hit Market Lunch (historic cool area, read up and breathe in the history), yes there was a fire, but the potato and egg(no butter no cheese) sandwich is the great bargain of the city. This is real close, 5 min walk, to Belga Cafe, also a great choice. OH!!, I know you have Dim Sum there, but there is a place in Rosslyn called China Garden that is quite good and always packed on the weekend. If you get adventurous, there is a place in Rockville, MD, called A&J that has authentic Beijing cuisine. One more item, go to Union Station and get some Neuhaus chocolate- awesome!! Peace and good eating.