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DC Diners, Drive-ins and Dives?

I didn't think much of the show at first but finally I've come to appreciate the restaurants on it as exemplars of the Gordon Ramsay philosophy--simple delicious food, made from scratch.

I watch the show irregularly and have not found a list of restaurants that have been on the show.

Have any DC area diners, drive-in and dives been on the show? Which would you nominate for the show? (Please don't say Ben's Chili Bowl and Bob and Edith's!)

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  1. I feel like Ben's has been on the show before, but I'm not positive. It should be. Seems like the 1 place that truly fits the theme of the show in DC. Maybe CF Folks as well (under the dives category)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      There seems to be a bit of kitchen goodness on DDD, eg cooks using the acidity of pickles to poach eggs or taking three day to make onion rings, two days to get the moisture out, etc. I don't taste that kind of kitchen magic at Ben's. And good or bad, we all know Ben's. :-)

      1. re: Minger

        I think he's been going more that way, about the places that really put some twist into the food. At least early episodes had places that were just neat or solid and had been around a while. I think in the latter camp he could do Vienna Inn, could've done Mighty Midget, etc.

        I agree with CF Folks for either "style" of the show.

    2. Wikipedia has a list of all the places visited on the show. Seems as if Ben's hasn't made the list afterall.


      I know you can writre into the show and make suggestions though. Maybe if they do a chili or hotdog themed show.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Elyssa

        Thanks for the list, I'm not crazy about Ben's aside from the social liveliness after the clubs on Saturday night. I'm more interested in finding a local ddd of the same caliber as those on the show. (Maybe we don't have any. Or I'm not so much interested in the dives that are gimmicky or merely popular but the ones with great kitchens.) I'll check out CF Folks.

      2. I'd nominate Tastee Diner (I prefer the Laurel location for sheer grittyiness), Lincoln House Waffle Shop, Weenie Beenie, Burger Delight, Levi's Port Cafe, Deli City, Hodge's Sandwich Shop (definitely divey, but an excellent roast beef or ham sandwich), Horace & Dickies (although they've already been on Taste of America), and probably Florida Avenue Grill, although I haven't been in years. Baltimore has us beat in the diner category, and there are plenty of dives in every corner of the city.

        1. I can't think of any places, but I would love to see someone smack the host in the face when he says "That's money!"

          2 Replies
          1. re: 4X4

            Me, I'd aim three feet lower whenever he says "Da Bomb!" or "That's off the hook!"

            I'd also add the sandwich shop near 17th and U, but the name escapes me. Really good pumpkin pie.

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              Or "That's Bananas!" I still like the show though...great idea.

          2. Another place to get the list of "diners, drive-ins and dives" is on the Food Network's website---www.foodnetwork.com---it also lists the addresses of each place and if any have a website, the link to it is provided.

            1 Reply
            1. Gotta be Market Lunch at eastern market...

              1 Reply
              1. re: scotcheroo

                Ooooo good one. Totally forgot about Market Lunch!

              2. I hate to call them dives (but they are neither diners nor drive-ins), so I'd add Flavors for fried chicken, Vienna Inn for hot dogs (both in NoVA) and Oohhs and Aahhs (DC) for shrimp.

                1. great recommendations! i have to learn the locations of all these places so i know what to hit when i'm hungry and in their vicinity. i might start with oohhs and aahhs this week. (i walked by a few times these past few weeks but wasn't hungry.) what else is good there besides the shrimp?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Minger

                    IMHO, Levi's beats Ooohs & Aaahs hands down in the soul food department AND is significantly less expensive. But they do have Levi's beat in the "dive" department; the former is much cleaner. Unfortunately, O&A doesn't really deliver in the "dive" price point. But do a taste test. Two dinners at both places is still cheaper than a single dinner at most of the class joints downtown.

                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                      Levi's is located away from my usual circuit, but you've sold me on it with your passion -- I'll check it out and report back.