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Visiting DC this weekend...what are some "must-try" restaurants/food stands/bars?

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I'm not looking for anything fancy...just some transcendent food and/or bars that have a good "vibe". Off the beaten path is preferred...thanks in advance! =)

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  1. Not sure if you are looking for a transcendant vibe or transcendant food. Not sure even what a transcendant vibe would be like. I just had a phenomenal meal at a soul food hole-in-the wall, Oohs and Aahs. My family had the grilled shrimp, the lemon-pepper wings and the crabcakes. For sides we had the rice with gravy (the rosemary in the gravy kicks), and greens. It was a transcendant meal. If you are solo, then get the grilled shrimp ith peppers and onions. Be prepared to wait if there is a line. There are four stools downstairs and three or so tables in the air-conditioned upstairs. Not much competition for the upstairs as most folks are getting carry-out.

    4 Replies
      1. re: GyroBall

        Crepe's outside Eastern Market, Chai & Salty Oat Cookie at Teaism or a bento box, Eden Center in Falls Church for Vietnamese (especially fried tofu), Dolce Gelato & Patisserie Poupon both on Wisconsin Ave Georgetown, Julia's Empenadas, Spices Asian/Sushi Connecticut Ave.

        1. re: GyroBall

          Ben's is like so, you know, over rated.

          The half smoke is a burned (nicely charred?) weenie in a bun with this kinds greasy, gritty chili.

          1. re: filth

            Ben's is a local legand, but mainly because of the folks who go there, not because of the food. It survived the riots of the '60s, the construction of the METRO, and is still a place to see the local politicos and some celebs. (Bill Cosby drops in whenever he is in town.)

            One of DC's strengths is ethnic food, abet a lot of it is in the suburbs. However, if you have not eaten Ethiopian food, you must try it while in DC. Etete, Dukem, and others that you can find by searching this board are excellent examples of the cusine that is not easily found elsewhere.

      2. Cork on 14th St. NW and Dr. Granville Moore's on H St. NE. Best atmospheres in the city, both with delicious and interesting food plus great wines (at Cork) and Belgian beers (Dr. GM's).