Best of Brookland?
Well, there's not too much around these parts.
Col Brooks Tavern has pretty good burgers and pub grub; it's a nice place to relax with a drink and a casual meal. Unfortunately, Island Jim's BBQ next door (actually they are connected) had the worst ribs I have ever ordered. They were dry and the bbq sauce was cold and had the consistency of apple sauce.
I've only eaten at the Cardinal's Nest (10th street, north of Michigan) once but it had a good atmosphere and the open face turkey sandwich with gravy was tasty. They used real sliced turkey breast, not turkey loaf. I should go back sometime soon.
Ellis Island was a disappointment. They were out of the first two things I ordered. I don't even remember what I ended up with, just that it was mediocre.
There are quite a few take out places around the area. Tropicana is decent Jamaican carry out; I like the jerk chicken and curried goat. The pizza places are your usual greasy delivery fare. I haven't had any wings from the wing places in Brookland, but there's a few of them.
Bubba's Muscogee, on Rhode Island and 16th, was below average southern/ soul food. I really wanted that place to be good. It's a buffet; I'll try to be positive and say: maybe if you order off the menu it's better.
Hogs on the Hill, at New York and Bladensburg, has pretty good ribs. No where close to perfect, but they hit the spot when you need a fix. Get the spicy sauce even though it's not that spicy.
There's a place called Saint's Bourbon Street at 18th and Hamlin. I keep meaning to try it, but haven't been yet. Hey, it could be fantastic cajun food or all I know. Damn, I need to remember to go try that place.
If you have a car:
Go up Rhode Island a couple of miles to Franklin's brewery and restaurant in Hyattsville, MD. They have a nice menu and the beer is quality stuff. There general store is also really interesting.
Since you are now on this side of town, you're also closer to the "little Mexico" of the DC area. Riverdale, MD has a ton of great, authentic mexican places. Do a search on here and you'll find a bunch.
I wish there was more to write, but I can't think of anything. If you find anything worth mentioning, please update this post.
Deli City, near NY Ave and Bladensburg Rd, NE. Big wonderful sandwiches. The kind you can really love and hardly get your mouth around. Serious good eating.
Orange building with the parking lot on your left just past the railroad bridge driving north on Bladensburg.
Deli City Restaurant
2200 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC 20018