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Matchbox in D.C. - Chinatown

You've got to go to Matchbox in Chinatown. Went last night...it was incredible.

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  1. Uh, been there. Way too loud. Food is just okay, but if you like a restaurant where you have to scream above the din to communicate with your companions, this is the place for sure.

    3 Replies
    1. re: BigEats

      It's nice on weekdays at 5, then goes downhill.

      1. re: chowsearch

        There's a fine line between "hip and vibrant" and "having to scream until blood flies out of your throat." Matchbox rides that razor's edge. Don't think the mini burgers are worth having to eat a bag of throat lozenges.

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          LOL. I didn't think the food was worth the effort to even find parking near that area.

    2. 4 years ago called and wants their thread back :) j/k It is very good there, but the wait time is insane. to me its not worth it for good burgers and decent pizzas. I think they are opening another one in DC sometime in the near future as well.

      3 Replies
      1. re: elegantelliot

        They are opening one on 8th Street in Eastern Market. I work a street down and walked by the Matchbox 3-6-9 van today. I keep peaking in since I thought they were opening it soon, but it still seems like they have a looooong way to go. The interior is more or less gutted at this point.

        It will be a good attention to this neighborhood, especially since I'm totally bored with our lunch options.

        1. re: Elyssa

          Popeye's and 7-11 wearing out the welcome?

          I'm with you on that one E, and if you stroll down 7th by the Mormons and look across the alley and parking lot - there seems to be something happening roof-wise (terrace?!).

          still waiting to see what happens with the former District Lock space.

          what was in the space Matchbox is taking over? - nobody in the last 8 years could ever give a clear answer. not even the local artist that had work displayed in the window.

          1. re: hill food

            I was told it was a "storage facility" of some sort....storing what? I don't know.

            There is also possibly a new restaurant opening up way down 8th, right across from the Barracks. It's almost right next to my office. It's a little confusing because there are those big DC govt liquer license and construction type posters up. But right above that is some sort of "For Lease" sign. So who knows if a restaurant will ever go in.

            I also heard Tapatinis got a make over.

      2. Despite all the criticism you got, I think you are right. I often get lunch here as there isn't a wait for lunch, but the mini-burgers and pizza are great, and they have good, fun mixed drinks. And I have only found it really noisy on the bottom floor and the mid-level floor on the left, if you are upstairs it really isn't bad. Then again, noisy places don't bother me that much at all, I come from a huge family, I am used to it.

        1. I agree with the criticisms of Matchbox. I went on a weeknight with a friend for dinner, and the wait was substantial (30-45 min?). The music is moderate volume, but the interior choice of materials makes the place an echo chamber, so it gets noisy and difficult to carry on a conversation (even for those with no hearing problems). I had the pizza, which was ok but not remarkable. I think the pizza's appeal is supposed to be that it's wood fired.

          1. Matchbox is great for what is, fun and lively, with decent food. If you don't want to wait, don't go there around happy hour. It definitely has a party vibe to it. A restaurant can't help if it is busy, so I'm not sure if I understand the criticsm.

            5 Replies
            1. re: rappel75

              no one goes there anymore anyway, its too crowded!

              1. re: elegantelliot

                Well someone must be going there :)

                1. re: Elyssa

                  its an old yogi berra quote, i was trying to be funny :)

                    1. re: elegantelliot

                      Ahhh gotcha. I swear I have a sense of humor :)

              2. I adore Matchbox! I always crave those delicious mini burgers w/ crispy onions.
                And they have an excellent apple/blue cheese/pecan salad. I have only had good service there, and stellar meals.

                1. They are open late, and make a great late snack. Parking isnt that bad then either. Their burgers are good, fries are so so. I've heard the pizza is good also. Check this place out

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: vince1234

                    It was voted one of the most overrated by Washingtonian. Parking isn't bad when? 2 a.m.?

                    1. re: Ericandblueboy

                      Well, to be fair, Washingtonian consistently rates Lauriol Plaza "Best Mexican."

                      They really need to stick with what they do best: telling well-bred debutantes how to gnaw on a chicken bone.

                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        Monkey, you almost made me spit out my salad! So true, Washingtonian is just one big ad for twits.

                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                          My boss says he would never trust their food reviews, because they rated him as one of the top Washingtonian Lawyers, hee hee hee.

                          Their ratings are always a bit off, but WaPo often isn't much better. I think we do pretty good on here because you get a mix of all voices and you can learn whose tastes are a lot like yours.

                          1. re: ktmoomau

                            Most people here are missing the point, but Ericandblueboy nailed it: the Washingtonian "Best Of" are READER POLLS, not critics picks.

                            For critics picks, I think Sietsema hits the nail on the head more often than not. I don't think the Washingtonian reviewers are as frequently accurate, but the volume is substantially higher, so they can still be used as benchmarks.

                            Honestly, I think the best place to look for reviews is on DonRockwell.

                            1. re: DanielK

                              I think they get that point, I think we are all shocked that their readership chooses those things. It says a lot about the readership, no?

                              1. re: ktmoomau

                                Well, you could vote on the web, so it doesn't necessarily represent what the READERS say.

                                The problem becomes one of volume. The places we all love don't get the same number of people through the door that large restaurants or chains do, so it takes a far smaller percentage of people to enjoy it to give them a sheer number of votes.

                          2. re: monkeyrotica

                            I believe Lauriol Plaza is also on the overrated list of Washingtonian.

                            1. re: Ericandblueboy

                              Well, FINALLY Washingtonian is learning to cover its bases. Just as many people hate their Cheap Eats picks as love them.

                              Reminds me of Charles Dickens: It was the best of Mexican restaurants, it was the worst of Mexican restaurants.

                              1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                Yes - Lauriol Plaza is rated "Restaurant not worth the wait". Here is the link: http://tinyurl.com/3vedkr

                                1. re: candrews

                                  That Washingtonian "Best of" list is HIGH-larious. Best barbecue: Red Hot & Blue? Best cupcakes: Cakelove?

                                  Stop it! You're killing me!

                                    1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                      Well, there is the problem! I have been in DC for 25 years now. The steak and potato mentality and tolerance of mediocrity is still more pervasive than DC foodies would like to admit.

                                      1. re: HSBSteveM

                                        What makes you think CHers are any different from Washingtonian readers? If anything, I suspect there are more knuckleheads on the internet than readers of Washingtonian.