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DC with a dairy allergy: No Moo near the Zoo?

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Hi all! New England hound here --

I'll be in DC for a couple of days and would love some recommendations around the National Zoo.

I'm allergic to milk and dairy products, but enjoy pretty much anything else. I'm thinking Etete for dinner one night, although I do need to call them and see if there's anything without butter available. Can anyone suggest other tasty ethnic and/or offbeat places I should visit?

Finally, if I wanted to walk to the Whole Foods on P street, is it safe?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Cute headline. You should do well in Cleveland Park - you've got Indique for Indian, Spices for Asian, Palena Cafe for upscale American (the bar is cheap compared to the restaurant), other options. People think highly of Nam Viet for Vietnamese but it's not my fave. You'd be fine walking that far, and have other choices around Whole Foods - Stoney's for pub grub, Cork up a bit further for a trendy new wine bar, etc. You're right on the mark for doing Ethiopian, though I'm not sure how ghee-heavy their cooking is.

    1. it's a long walk from woodley park to P street, but I'm not sure what you mean by safe - this is a city. But it's not a dangerous area, if that is what you mean.

      right at woodely, there's open city, which should be able to accommodate you and I think they have a lovely outside area.

      Further down 18th st is amsterdam falafal - yum - and Julia's empanadas - also yum. Since you can't handle dairy, a great place would be sticky fingers bakery in columbia heights. you could, if you're a walker, walk down Columbia Road. their baked goods are SSSOOO good and they have regular vegan good too, if you like.

      1. I'm vegan and have been to nearly all the Ethiopian restaurants in the district. At the vast majority, all the vegetable dishes are made with vegetable oil save in some rare cases for the mushroom tibbs. One of the reasons for this is that traditionally, religious fasting in Ethiopia included abstaining from all animal products, including butter, and so most of the vegetarian dishes developed without it. On the meat side, spiced butter (niter kebbeh) is a common ingredient. Hope that helps (and Etete is a good choice; other good choices around U Street are Queen Makeda across the street and Dukem).

        1. If you're staying near the zoo, and are eager to go to a Whole Foods, you may well be closer to the one on Wisconsin just south of Calvert. But yes, the area between the zoo and the P St store is completely "safe," except maybe late at night but that's true anywhere.

          1. Thanks so much for the great suggestions -- they look awesome ! I really appreciate them, and will definitely report back!