Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Nov 27, 2007 09:33 AM

Oddest DC Cuisine

I'm feeling adventerous and looking for the strangest restaurant cuisine in the DC/Baltimore area...
Anyone have any tips on where to find something that, I dare say, to most is gross?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I wouldn't say there's anything that's unique to DC that's odd or gross--in fact, there's only one thing that's presumably unique to DC at all, and that's the half-smoke (essentially a spicy hot dog) which is fairly benign on the gross-out scale.

    But one place to look would be Asian places that serve animal parts you never knew existed, much less thought about eating. Tongue, tendon, organ meat, duck feet, blood, tripe. Check out some of the selections at Joe's Noodle House for an idea.

    Some hardcore Middle East places might be able to provide you with a goat's eyeball or two, as well.

    1. I would also say many Ethiopian dishes are foreign to many American's palat. I have enjoyed the food I've had at Ethiopian restaurants the few times I've gone and for many people outside of DC this is a pretty exotic ethnic food to them. Perhaps you should check out some of the more authentic restaurants.

      1. My recommendation is a good Chinese restaurant, i.e., authentic and not geared to Western tastes. There should be an abundance of organ meats, tripe, congealed blood, jellyfish, etc. Full Kee restaurant in Bailey's Crossroads (Falls Church) has all that and more.

        On a much more fun note, I think the grasshopper tacos at Oyamel (mexican, downtown DC) are spicy, crunchy, and tasty !

        1. Definitely Bolivian. Go to Llajtaymanta in Falls Church. On some of their platters, you would hardly recognize it as food. If you are feeling really adventurous, order the Pickled Pork Roll (souse), picture #5. But the beef jerky (shredded beef) platter, picture #3 is also strange looking while still being enjoyable. Pictures are available in the thread linked below:

          4 Replies
          1. re: Steve

            I saw the souse on a bizarre food episode when Andrew Zimmern was eating his way through Trinidad and Tobago. Did you try it?

            1. re: cleveland park

              Yes, the food in the photos from the thread above was served to us and we did partake. Let's just say that it made for the largest leftovers. Mostly because it looked hideous but tasted ok.

              1. re: Steve

                How'd I miss that lunch? Does Llajtaymanta beat Victor's in that regard I guess? The platters that Victor's serves (page 4 of the menu) are something to contend with in more than one way.


                1. re: Dennis S

                  Victor's is basically a steak place with a few other items. I think they feature about six different kinds of steak, a couple of which have pretty much the same description on the menu. LLajtaymanta's menu is more exotic and hard to decipher

          2. Strange is of course relative. Secret Garden in the shopping center at Arlington Blvd and (I think) Graham Road (Falls Church) used to serve live fish. I'm not sure if they still do, but you could ask. I think that's pretty gross.

            You're likely to get some parts of the animal in a Korean restaurant that most of us Americans don't eat unless it's disguised as a hot dog.