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What's worth it in Adams Morgan?

Hey everyone,

My boyfriend moved to Adams Morgan and we're looking to try out different restaurants in the 18th and Columbia area. Problem is, I really haven't heard much of anything about any of them, so I don't know what's good, what to avoid, or what's overpriced. The only places I've been in the area are Jyoti (yum), Amsterdam Falafel (yay) and Meskerem (ugh); the others I was thinking of trying are:

Mama Ayesha's
Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken
Little Fountain Cafe
El Pollo Granjero

Thoughts and additions?

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  1. I've been wanting to try Oaxaca, but rarely make it up that way. would love to hear feedback. Sietsema liked it, but subsequent reader reviews give a mixed message (I know, on the net it has to be allowed that maybe some were just cranks).

    2 Replies
    1. re: hill food

      I enjoyed it the one time I went... only ordered a few apps, but they were all declicious. And the servers were quite nice. They also give some sort of spicy fresh cucumbers and jicama for the table, which I though was great.

      1. re: hill food

        I've been there twice now. I'm by no means a Mexican food expert, but it's a slick, Adams Morgan, pro-type place, not a hole-in the-wall kind of place like Pepitos Bakery (yummy tacos). The meals I've had at Oaxaca were fun and good and delicious and the drinks the same. I had a huitlecoche-stuffed "tortellini" the size of the plate. It was delicious, but I had no idea stuffed pasta was served in Oaxaca, heheh. Is the place "authentic?" I have no idea.

      2. Add Pepito's for a cheap eat place (only tables outside when warm).

        The Mexican-ish place down at U and 18th is good (forgetting the name).

        You also have quite a few more choices within a short walk, such as Hank's and much of what's in the DuPont area. Some are somewhat pricey, including Cashion's, but for a good special meal, those are nice options - and not overpriced for what you get.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Dennis S

          Cushions is definitely on my list for "special meals" -- completely forgot that it's up there! I forgot to add that we both used to live in DuPont and have pretty much worn out the area. I'm looking more for places above U street.

          1. re: SouthShore

            I second Cashion's, though Ann Cashion sold the place to her sous chef a bit ago but is still very good.

        2. Mama Ayesha's is quite good. I use to live in Adams Morgan and places that I frequented often (and were good) are Bourbon, Cashion's Eat Place, L'Enfant, The Diner and New Orleans Cafe. I also really really miss So's Your Mom for great sandwiches and bagels and coffee on the weekends.

          1. Make Pasta Mia your first stop. You won't be sorry.

            1 Reply
            1. re: TubbyChimp

              I'm still not feeling the urge to go to Pasta Mia! I'm Italian-American, and when I looked at their menu it looked pretty standard --- nothing I couldn't make at home fairly simply. But, I'll keep it in mind for a lazy weeknight.

            2. I wasn't very impressed with Cafe Bardem - the Louisiana/Cajun/Creole place.
              I did like M'Dawg's take on the hot dog though.

              2 Replies
              1. re: WestIndianArchie

                Cafe Bardem/New Orleans Cafe isn't steller Cajun cuisine but its not bad. And its an adorable little neighborhood spot. The owner in particular is very friendly. I use to eat there about once a month when I lived in the neighborhood and he would often sit and chat with me and sometimes gave me free beignets which are quite good. Their coffee is also Cafe Du Mond coffee with the yummy chickory flavor.

                I hear their brunch is good, but I've never tried it. It's just a nice spot, especially in the summer/spring if you can get the seat up front in the window and people watch and enjoy a Turbodog.

                1. re: WestIndianArchie

                  M'Dawg is tasty! But I can't look at their food without cringing at the thought of my friend devouring 22 hot dogs in M'Dawgs first annual hot-dog eating contest. The look on his face was brutal. And from what I heard, so was his evening.

                2. Down the street Regent Thai is def worth it.

                  1. Little Fountain Cafe is great; a little hidden gem. haven't been to Felix in a while but it was good last time i was there! Grill from Ipanema might suit your tastes. and dont' forget you are just a 10 min walk or so from upper dupont in that area.

                    1. Go to Rincon Espanol for their platanos rellenos, tortilla espanol, and Galician soup.

                      1. I lived in AM for years. I agree with Little Fountain (though a little pricey) and Regent (the best Thai in the district, imo). New Orleans Cafe has great brunch, and I love the mole at Mixtec. Also, the Reef has very good local, mostly organic food -- try the roofdeck in summer. L'Enfent has good brunch, too. I've always had bad experiences at Grill from Impanema (over-priced and over-cooked fish), and I've never understood the obsession with Pasta Mia (it's fine, but why wait in line for 30 mins?).

                        1. Mixtec is great. The sangria is really good.

                          1. If you like Mexican, Pepitos Bakery up on Columbia above 18th is cheap, real, and delicious. I used to like Mixtec but it's gone downhill since a long time ago but I still go there for nostalgia sake.

                            1. I like San Marco a lot. Really nice simple appetizers and great risottos for sharing. Also, you can get the food from Little Fountain kitchen upstairs at Angles. Tasty.

                              1. Oh yeah, I forgot. Try out So's Your Mom deli on Columbia below 18th for sandwiches (I love the Italian w/everything) and topped bagels (onion bagel, cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomato and onion) and salads. They also have the NYTimes for sale so a Sunday morning bagel run has you carrying home a big load. heh.