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Dec 4, 2008 09:31 AM

Pseudo Vegetarian in DC for a week long confernce

The Occasion:

I will be staying at the Capital Hilton for all of next week (Dec. 7th - 13th) for a conference
Lunch and dinner are on our own every day.
Living as i do in Oregon, I am desperate to experience some culture that is not white/middle class 20 somethings.

There are few caveats:
1) I have a $35 per diem, but am willing to eat a cliff bar for lunch in order to afford a great dinner.
2) I am predominantly vegetarian, but am willing to eat small amounts of seafood.
3) I will not have a car, and so will be entirely dependent on public transit.

I would love recommendations from you natives who know best... and this seems like it might be an interesting challenge to post to the group.

The further afield cuisine wise, the better. Spicy is welcome. Not afraid of hole in the wall joints.

As an added incentive I will send a postcard to whoever provides the best recommendation. Everybody loves getting mail, right?

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  1. If you're looking for stuff you really can't get in Oregon, I'll start out by recommending Salam, at 15th and U. You can take the green line to the U Street exit. It's Eritrean - similar to Ethiopian, which also abounds in DC. It's a charming place:

    Also nearish your hotel would be Taqueria Nacional, which is inexpensive and delicious.

    1. Check out VegDC It's a website that lists all of the Vegetarian restaurants in DC and links to their websites as well.

      One of my favorite places to take out of town veggie friendly people to is Soul Veg (Jamaican/Rastafarian Vegetarian) on Georgia Avenue across from Howard University. It's not really metro accessible (about a mile north of Shaw Metro on Green) and it's only open during the day. It might seem a bit much to get to, but it's defintely where you need to go if you want some decent food and experience something outside of stereotypical Capitol Hill culture.

      And I have to vouch for Rasika (Indian). It's probably going to top out your pier diem, but man their okra dish is spicy and out of the world. I HATE OKRA, but I LOVE THEIRS. Look at me! I'm shouting at you and you don't even know me. This is one of the few places in DC that does spice right.

      [edited later for grammar and spelling errors. -b


      Rasika Restaurant
      633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

      Soul Vegetarian Cafe and Exodus
      2606 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

      4 Replies
      1. re: botnot

        Also excellent and vegetarian at Rasika are the dal and the freaking amazing crispy spinach appetizer. You may want to save this as a splurge and throw in a bit of your own cash to try the veggie tasting menu.

        1. re: botnot

          Gosh! I'm getting SO EXCITED by all this! (See, i'm yelling TOO! IT'S OK! WE'RE EXCITED!!!)

          Other things I'm considering checking out:
          Busboys and Poets poetry slam
          Meet the artist at the contemporary art museum

          My concern is that those two events will work against my goal of being around people who are not like me. Suggestions?

          I'm not afraid to walk that mile to the Jamaican place if it is as promising as it seems. One thing Oregon goes give you is a penchant for hiking....

          1. re: mslilyb

            Stop worrying and just do what you want to do. One funny thing about DC is that while it has a reputation for being totally wonky, it's actually a really interesting city with something for everyone. I think that so far, you'll be getting a lot of different tastes of it.

            Speaking of which, another good option for you would be Jose Andres's restaurants - Zaytinya for mezze, Jaleo for tapas, Oyamel for Mexican. Grab a seat at the bar with a book and get a few different nibbles, allowing you to sample a few great things. I highly recommend the cauliflower and the carrot/apricot dumplings at Zaytinya.

            1. re: katecm

              I concur with katecm. If you do go to Busboys and Poets, make sure to go to the one on 14th & U. That one tends to be more "fun" from what I here. Also, next door to it is Marvin. It's a good place to hang out and their mussels' aren't too bad.

              2007 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009