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4 Straight Dudes in DC

I have buddies coming to town who have some high expectations for DC having not been here before. I have lived her over 4 years and am having trouble finding restaurants that fit their requests. Any suggestions? Here is what they are looking for:

Ethnic or steak
not a chain
something DC
good food, but not 50 a plate
in a neighborhood that makes it easy to go out after

While I know there are tons of places in DC that fit some of these criteria, I don't know of one that fits all. I figured I would give this site a shot...

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  1. What about Rays the Steaks in Rosslyn, you could go to Clarendon after which has better nightlife than Rosslyn (Ballroom, Liberty Taven, Whitlows, etc), very DC the steak is normally 29.95 I think and huge, sides are free.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ktmoomau

      First place I thought of too! I love Ray's steaks. I like Etete for Ethiopian, but some of the newer places in Penn quarter aren't bad. I was at Oyamel last night and it was delish, with great service. You can't go wrong with Jaleo or Zaytinya either.

    2. Or Rasika then go out in Galleryplace after (Oya, Zaytinya, Zola, etc).

      1. Ben's Chili Bowl - right by all of the nightspots on the U St. Corridor and close to Adams Morgan for a night on the town. It doesn't get any more DC, it's cheap, filling, historic, and surrounded by bars. Also, Dukem (Ethiopian) is really good and in the same general spot. Finally, Jumbo Slice Pizza on the 18th street strip in Adams Morgan is a good DC experience for the end of the night.

        3 Replies
        1. re: corbinski

          if one likes steak tartare I recommend the Dukem Beef it's spicy, raw and stellar (comes in 2 sizes app vs. entree). also near the most live music found in DC proper.

          personally I'd save Ben's for end of night ballast. Jumbo is good, but the line when tipsy can be a little much IIRC.

          and BTW isn't the term "straight dudes" just a little redundant? not being snotty, I just can't imagine anyone referring to himself as a "gay dude" w/o some level of irony...

          I get what you're asking - and it would be silly to point you towards somewhere on 17th around P for your hunt (not that there aren't fine restaurants worth a visit).

          1. re: hill food

            sorry, after a snooze I felt a need to clarify, dude or not does not reflect in any way on anybody's masculinity. Have in fact met plenty of guys not of the het school who would qualify as 'dudes'.

            G'town is over-rated for nighrlife, Penn Qtr. for a few clubby velvet rope places (F St.) and a few sports bars near the center. U for music, A-M for a booze cruise.

            1. re: hill food

              LOL.....hill food..
              Isn't being politically correct a pain in the ass?

        2. Now, this is an interesting request. I hate to say this, but for DC novices, and for steak, Martin's in Georgetown may be good. It's quintessentially DC, has been there forever, and actually has handouts about the historic things that have happened in different booths (like JFK supposedly proposing to Jackie). And while I don't have much fondness for the food, my husband and his friends love Martin's nights for steaks and martinis. I, personally, love it for the bar (and will occasionally splurge on the welsh rarebit, which is so decadent). Your friends may not even want to leave for going out.

          For something more unusual (depending on where they are from), the now-typical recommendation of Central or Brasserie Beck could be great. Their prices are reasonable for excellent food, and you're close to nightlife (Central more so than Beck, but Beck's not bad).

          Last, Jose Andres has become, to be, a great representative of DC. So for the ethnic side, Jaleo or Zaytinya would fit the bill.

          1 Reply
          1. re: katecm

            We go back to Martin's every time we're in DC - my husband loves their oyster stew!

          2. I feel like a broken record, but Bistrot du Coin near Dupont might be perfect. Their hanger steak with shallot sauce and fries for less than $20 is almost as good as any high priced equivalent in the area. They have good beer on tap as well as a very reasonable wine list - several choices under $25/bottle. You should check it out.

            Also, a place like Matchbox in Chinatown might be a nice option. Their food is decent, and there are obviously a lot of bar options afterwards. Slightly more upscale, there's PS7 and Proof in Chinatown as well.

            I'm weary of Central and Brasserie Beck as there isn't a ton of nightlife in the area. That being said, both are very trendy and hip with top notch food at a good price.