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Georgia Brown's vs. Louisiana Express

I'm not from the DC area, so this may seem like a silly topic; I don't know. But I'll be visiting soon and thought I might find some authentic Louisiana fare there (more authentic than the Pacific Northwest, anyway). I've been researching Georgia Brown's and Louisiana Express - and am not quite sure which one to choose.

Thoughts?

BTW, I'm only in town for two nights, and have decided on The Source for night #2, after much time spent on this board...(thanks again for all of the suggestions!)

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  1. There is no "authentic Louisiana fare" in the DC area. Georgia Brown's is more a general Southern restaurant but not one I would ever recommend. Acadian is a a faux-Louisiana; upscale ambiance but not the chef spent all of two weeks in Louisiana. RT's is probably the best but even then it is just not in the same class as most food in Louisiana.

    I recommend trying the many truly great restaurants in the DC area, e.g., Komi, Cityzen, Ciitronelle, Ethopian restuarants, Thai or Viet Namese restuarants,.... there are many great places to eat here but none of them are Cajun/Creole.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dakota Guy

      I agree.. Many great restaurants, not sure I know a truly great Cajun restaurant. GB has a dedicated following as a southern restaurant. Good luck

    2. I'd choose neither. RTs is about the closest in authenticity, but I wouldn't call it great, although in their gumbo, they actually use a roux instead what most places seem to use (i.e., a mix of library paste and dishwater). You really are better off choosing a cuisine that DC does well, like Ethiopian, Viet, Salvadorean, etc.

      FYI, this is not a muffaletta/po boy town.

      1. Georgia Browns is a great place with a very sucessful rep it has staying power even with the frequent changing of the chefs

        7 Replies
        1. re: more food please

          http://www.gbrowns.com/dir/menu.aspx
          "tarted up southern" from various regions. i haven't been in a while (to be fair), but as a southerner, i thought it was ok, but overpriced.

          louisiana express's menu looks much more authentic, but i have never heard it mentioned on the boards (at least not recently
          )http://www.louisianaexpresscompany.co...

          several have recommended RT's in Alexandria (DelRay), esp. when i was craving a good shrimp po'boy.
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/451897
          (granted, low country -- part of the thread -- is not Louisiana, but RT's menu has cajun and creole dishes:
          http://www.rtsrestaurant.net/RTS_Rest...

          please let us know how you do! bon apetit and bon chance!

          1. re: alkapal

            Lousisian Express is great for what it is, but i dont know if i would go out of my way to go there.

            1. re: elegantelliot

              i don't understand "great for what it is"
              is the food good, very good, or not so much?
              please, elegantelliot, i am needing a good po-boy and andouille!

              1. re: alkapal

                its good for a local place that i can walk to, i love their crawfish bisque :) But with all of the great dining destinations in the area i dont know if i would go out of my way to get there. Where are you staying? its in Bethesda, so its not that close to downtown DC. If you are a local i would definitely say its worth checking out.

            2. re: alkapal

              I'll second the overpriced on Georgia Browns, but I didn't think it was ok. I thought it was awful. $20 for fried chicken that had more salt than chicken? They stay in buisness because of their location and jazz brunch crowd.

              1. re: monkeyrotica

                i have not been to georgia brown's in a while!
                aren't the owners "connected" to some politicos, too (thus, longevity)?

                and ee, i am in arlington.

            3. re: more food please

              I agree that GB is successful but if that is the criterion for good food, McDonald's would be the best place to eat in town !

            4. Whoa! I'm convinced. I'm really intrigued by the number of references to Ethiopian restaurants. That's a cuisine I'm not familiar with. Which one do you recommend? I'm staying in Bethesda, but will have a car...

              7 Replies
              1. re: Jeffo405

                you like eating wet ingredients with your fingers and a stretchy piece of bread? go for ethiopian. cajun over ethiopian any day. how about some good indian food? raaga in falls church on rte. 7 near bailey's crossroads is really good and at a great price.

                1. re: alkapal

                  I'll take cajun over ethiopian any day as well. Problem is, there's no really good cajun around DC. So for me, excellent Ethiopian beats mediocre cajun in DC.

                  And yes, Ethiopian food has been described as eating babyfood with dishrags but there it is.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                    I hadn't heard that one. I am LMAO ! However, I still like Ethopian food even if your very funny joke certainly has a ring of truth.

                2. re: Jeffo405

                  A block away from the U Street Metro is basically Little Ethiopia. Queen Makeda's my favorite, but there are any number of others on this board.

                  http://www.ethiopianrestaurant.com/dc...

                  1. re: Jeffo405

                    There are a lot threads on hee about Ethiopian food. Tyr a search. Some popular ones are Ete and Dukem, both around U Street and 12th. They are all very informal and be ready to eat with your hands (part of the fun).

                    1. re: Jeffo405

                      There are a ton of really nice Ethiopian places in the DC area. A lot of their food is stew-ish and comes out ladled onto a platter covered with a kind of bread called 'injera'. http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/...

                      If you decide to try it, I recommend getting a sampler platter with as many different items as you care to try. I'm a meat eater, but I think they have really fantastic vegetarian dishes.

                      1. re: Jeffo405

                        I'm one of many people in DC who loves Ethiopian food. On Ninth St in DC (between T and U) on the same block are two of the best. Queen Makeda and Etete. At Queen Makeda, I recommend the red lentils, greens, and the yebeg alicha (lamb curry). But the food is so cheap you might as well ask for a parade of food like the shiro, gored gored, carrots, cabbage, tibs wat, salad.

                        At Etete, go for the fastening food platter (vegetarian), add the fish, and an order of derek tibs.

                        Either way, your universe is ready for expansion.

                      2. Acadiana has cajun food? No one has mentioned it?

                        I don't really like Georgia Brown's it is very overpriced for what it is and you can get better authentic southern for cheaper elsewhere.

                        1. I've never been to Louisiana Express but the times I have been to Georgia Brown's I have enjoyed the food. My main complaint is the noise level is insanly loud---to the point where my bf and I were either shouting at each other or just gave up on conversation all together.

                          It's certainly not Louisiana/Cajun fare though. It's classical Southern cooking done in a stylized way.

                          For cajun/Louisiana style food I would check out Acadiana. I'm know a lot of people don't think it's the real deal but it's still very good. It certainly has a lot of the classic Lousiaina dishes and flavors in there, but yet again stylized. I have really enjoyed my meals there, the service is great, and I can always hear my dining partners.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Elyssa

                            LE & GB couldn't be more different. Louisiana Express is a very casual place (most get takeout - but they have tables) with a loyal following of Bethesda families while Georgia Browns is a fancy downtown restaurant popular with DC politicos. I agree with ktmoomau that GB is overpriced. Since you are going to The Source (enjoy - I was there monday night) downtown maybe keeping it more casual and staying near your hotel in Bethesda is a good idea. After dinner walk around Bethesda Row (the shops stay open late), maybe catch an arty movie at the landmark theatre, and then go to Giffords for peppermint ice cream.

                            1. re: keithdcil

                              Agree with Keith -- Louisiana Express is a cafe-style, not-fancy, they'd-probably-serve-you-shirtless atmosphere... Georgia Brown's is very upscale. I like both of them very much. They're both fun places with great food. :)

                              1. re: chinkleDC

                                I am extremely sorry to say that Louisiana Express has really gone downhill in the past year or so. The food used to be well-prepared and very tasty. We loved the oyster po'boys (Peacemaker). Last two visits - food was dry, poor quality ingredients, a couple of items were borderline inedible. We should have guessed from the fact that there was no line when we arrived. That had never, ever happened before in the 20 years we'd been enjoying this place. The oyster po'boy was a real let-down. We used to love LE. We haven't been for brunch lately - that was a particular treat - so I don't know if that's also on the decline, but the lunch/dinner experience is really disappointing.

                                1. re: Just Visiting

                                  ^^I have to agree 100% with the above post. We used to love love Lousiana Express. It was great cheap southern eat. The 1/2 a chicken with biscuits and etoufee was a steal. Well we've been 3 times in the past 6 months and it was awful - just awful. The salad we were served was actually BROWN - the oysters (canned of course) tasted awful and were beyond chewy I couldn't even eat them. My husbands gumbo was bland and tasteless and the chicken was dry and over done - while the etouffee was mushy and sticky. Yeah - it was bad. I heard that the restaurant was sold a while back and apparently the new owners have no shame in what they bring to your table. I'll be surpised if they stay in business another year. So sad, it was such a fun funky eat in Bethesda. Oh well.