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DC: early-ish dinner for a group of 10 that includes vegetarians?

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travelmad478 Oct 14, 2008 10:38 AM

I'm trying to get a bunch of friends together in DC for a Saturday night dinner that would let us sit around, nosh, drink, and talk for a few hours. While we are all adventurous eaters that love interesting food, three of this group are vegetarians (no fish)--so they'll need some decent options. We can arrive in the 5-6 PM range, if that will help us to commandeer a big table. Anywhere in the District would work, although proximity to public transit would be a plus.

Thanks in advance!

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    ViolentScarlet RE: travelmad478 Oct 14, 2008 12:40 PM

    You should try one of Jose Andres' joints, specifically Jaleo (tapas) or Zaytinya (Middle Easter mezze), which both have a bunch of vegetarian options - plus it's small plates, so more fun. You can make reservations for large parties at those places too and they're both very metro accessible (Gallery Place/Chinatown metro).

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      Elyssa RE: travelmad478 Oct 14, 2008 01:06 PM

      My recommendations would be Dino, Jaleo, or Heritage. You can try making a reservation at any of these places, although showing up early will also help to get a table.

      All have great food with veggie options and are near the metro (Cleveland Park, Gallery Place/Chinatown, and Dupont).

      5 Replies
      1. re: Elyssa
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        travelmad478 RE: Elyssa Oct 14, 2008 01:23 PM

        Thanks to ViolentScarlet and Elyssa. Can anyone think of someplace a little more casual/inexpensive? Having looked at the website for Dino, and having been to both Zaytinya and Jaleo (which I like very much), I am thinking that all of their prices might be a bit high for some people in the group. And I was hoping for a more casual vibe than what Heritage's website suggests. I appreciate your help, and wonder if anyone can suggest more places?

        1. re: travelmad478
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          Elyssa RE: travelmad478 Oct 14, 2008 01:54 PM

          Heritage isn't all that dressy. You can go in jeans etc.

          Perhaps Vapiano--you can get drinks, pizza, pasta or salads. Plus it has the added bonus that you don't all need to worry about dividing up the check at the end of the night since everyone has their own little card for all their food and drinks.

          Other ideas: Regent Thai or Mai Thai.

          1. re: travelmad478
            hill food RE: travelmad478 Oct 14, 2008 01:57 PM

            you can't get more casual, veg friendly and relatively inexpensive than Ethiopian.

            1. re: hill food
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              JRinDC RE: hill food Oct 14, 2008 02:03 PM

              I agree. Ethiopian may be the way to go. Heritage India is not dressy at all. FWIW, I consider Zaytinya and Jaleo to be quite inexpensive if you don't drink too much, especially given the quality. I was going to suggest Rasika, but that's probably out of range as well. Lebanese Taverna or Skewers comes to mind as lower priced options.

          2. re: Elyssa
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            Jeserf RE: Elyssa Oct 16, 2008 03:50 AM

            Dino is OK for vegetarians for small plates, but if the people want to eat a main meal, I've never been impressed with the vegetarian options.

            Though I am giving it another try in a few weeks.

            Busboys and Poets is near the metro, veggie friendly, and they wouldn't care if you sat there for a few hours (that I've ever noticed).

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            katecm RE: travelmad478 Oct 15, 2008 09:09 AM

            You guys may benefit from looking around a pre-theater menus, where you can get 3 courses for a reasonable price. I never get to use them, since I'm a late eater, but if you're willing to go early, they are generally a great deal.

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