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Late Lunch ideas by the Nat'l Zoo

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My husband and I are planning on spending Saturday at the zoo, and figure on a late lunch/early dinner scenario for our meal out. Any good recommendations? We'll be fairly casually dressed since we're walking all over the Zoo all morning, and are looking to spend no more than about $10-20 per entree (cuisine isn't a huge issue, we like everything...). We're also Metro-ing it into the city, so we'll need to find something within walking distance. Thanks!

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  1. How about Open City down near the Woodley Park metro stop? It's owned by the same folks that own the Diner and Tryst. Good food, cheap prices and outdoor seating. Depending on when you go though it can be a bit of a wait, but its worth a shot. Very casual.

    Also I really like the Organic Chinese food restaurant right next to the Baskin Robbins (forget the full name). Casual setting but excellent chinese food. (Try the cold sesame noodles!)

    3 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      you know, I don't think that chinese restaurant is good, unless you're really craving chinese take-out/delivery. but I haven't been in a while....

      1. re: mselectra

        If you are talking about Mr. Chen's organic I love that place! Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema just recently re-endorsed it on this week's Ask Tom, too.

        1. re: ktmoomau

          Yes Mr.Chen's! When I lived in Adam's Morgan I ate there all the time because it was on my way home from the metro after work. I usually ordered the noodles and the peking duck roll. I also liked their hunan chicken and sesame chicken. The place is far better in my opinion then any of the Chinese food options in Dupont near me.

    2. If it's more an early dinner than a late lunch -- i.e., 5:30 -- just walk up Connecticut Avenue about a third of a mile to Palena, and eat in the bar section. Definitely. If it's earlier than that, I'd suggest taking the 3/4 mile-or-so walk (it'll be nice on Saturday; and it's mostly a nice, shaded walk) to 2 Amy's, from which you can catch a bus back to wherever.

      These two choices are, I think, leagues beyond anything else in the area -- and especially great this time of year.

      1. How about the cafe at Palena? Their burger is kinda legendary in DC! Oh and a metro tip, get off the Metro at Cleveland Park, not Woodley Park (unless you're in the mood for a good uphill cardio walk!).

        www.piealamona.blogspot.com

        2 Replies
        1. re: monavano

          or you could also go to New Heights in Woodley Park, next door to Open City.

          1. re: cleveland park

            then again it might be out of the price range you stated and maybe not as casual, so just ignore my previous post.

        2. other than Open City and Lebanese Taverna, I'd say you'd be better off in Cleveland Park than Woodley Park. There's lots of places in CP, and the metro is there. But Lebanese Taverna is really good!

          At the zoo, don't miss the baby anteater and the free range golden lion tamarinds!

          2 Replies
          1. re: mselectra

            Spices in Cleveland Park never objected when we had lunch there in dirty zoo uniforms so casual should be OK.

            (Note: tamarin = primate; tamarind = chutney ingredient. Do not confuse while cooking!)

            1. re: wombat

              hehe, thanks for the correction, yeah, please don't be cooking the monkeys.