Cheap Eats Recs in DC/Bethesda
Hey all. Boston Chowhound visiting a friend for about a week this March. I'm a med student, so I don't have a ton of free cash to throw around, so what are some cheap eats/can't miss places in the DC area. I'm thinking mostly cheap eats with a couple moderately priced places thrown in. She lives around the White Flint station, but I'm willing to go anywhere the Metrorail does. I like just about everything, but I'm probably looking in particular for things that are representative of the area. Can't wait to hear what you all have to say. Thanks a ton!
There are three places you should try that are near the U St/Cardozo metro Stop. Right across the strret at 10th and U is oohs and Aahs for soul food. A complete hole-in-the-wall, get the grilled shrimp, greens, and ricewith gravy. At Queen makeda on 9th St below U, ignore the menu and just ask for a variety of Ethiopian dishes like shiro, red lentils, carrots, greens, tibs wat. A real family -run place. And at 515 Florida Ave (just walk 4 blocks east on U St), the unbelievable Thai X-ing, a tiny basement restuarant with one table. Get the red curry salmon, tofu soup, and pad kana. Opens at 4pm.
In Rockville, MD going north is Joe's Noodle House for Sichuan cuisine and dishes like wontons in red hot sauce, freid peanuts with dried baby smelt, and pressed tofu. Urban BBQ is up there as well for Kansas City style pork ribs - stick to the ribs.
This may help:
I would go to Bagel City on Rockville Pike...Amazing bagels and Black and White Cookies.
Louisiana Express in Bethesda is a great place- cheap but good. You can get half a chicken, salad/ jambalaya and a biscuit for $8. There is always so much food that I have dinner too.
I have to wonder if Goldielocks has been to Louisiana Express within the past six months. It has gone very, very far downhill, well into the realm of truly awful. It was a regular in our rotation for many years. About six months ago, we had a very bad meal. We chalked it up to "everyone has a bad day." We went again a couple of weeks later. Even worse. This place used to have lines out the door and an endless stream of people picking up takeout. Now it is desserted, and rumor has it that it was sold. Whatever the reason, it is to be avoided.
If your friend has a car:
Try La Limena (Peruvian, duh) - in the Ritchie Center. It is a little hard to find because it isn't visible from Rockville Pike. If you are going north from the White Flint area, you have to turn onto Ritchie Parkway which is before the Ritchie Center, go to the t-intersection, and turn right, driving around the 7-11. Better option is to pass the Ritchie Center, make a U-turn at the next light, go southbound, and enter into the Ritchie Center directly from Rockville Pike. La Limena is in the far corner. You could walk from the Rockville Metro, but it isn't that close.
Another good option in Wheaton, if you like Thai, is Ruan Thai. Also a bit hard to find, but about a 5 minute walk from the Wheaton Metro. Widely considered one of the best Thai restaurants in the area. Personally, I prefer Thaiphoon, which is at the northern end of Dupont Circle, but I think Ruan Thai is terrific, too.
If she likes sushi, Taipei Tokyo at Rockville Pike and Nicholson Lane is an excellent deal. I think its like $5 for rolls and they also have these combo packs with rolls and pieces that are a steal. The joint is 1/2 sushi 1/2 Chinese, SKIP THE CHINESE.
Ambrosia is a great Greek resturant, also in the White Flint area.
My favorite cheap eat is El Pollo Rico, Peruvian chicken with the biggest "frill" being cole slaw, in Wheaton, on Ennalls Ave. I also like The Chicken Place on University Blvd, if you want get a little fancier. The metro ride is all the way on the other side of the red line, but 15-20 minutes by car.
Sorta close by in Friendship Heights - Lia's has a GREAT happy hour deal of $7 pizzas and $5 burgers. It's goes on every night until 7pm, and Mondays/Wednesdays, it goes on ALL night.
A block away is Mei Wah, which is like my crack so I tend to get hooked. Moderately priced chinese food.
That's it for my hood, a few metro stops away towards the city.