Casual joints around the Mayflower?
My brother is attending a speechwriters' convention in a couple of weeks and he's staying at the Mayflower. He'll be eating solo most of the time and I'd love to suggest a few places to him.
Nothing fancy. Where should he go for his morning coffee? Soup and sandwich? Dins?
Notable civil servant sighting would be a bonus too.
Morning coffee at the Mayflower isn't too bad, but down Connecticut a block is Firehook bakery which has coffee, bagels, croissants, etc, and decent sandwiches at lunch. Also nearby Luna Grill has good omelettes and sandwiches, I also like Cafe Asia for sushi or quick big asian lunch/dinner (they have nice take out containers too) and the Art Gallery Grille for lunch at 17th and I St.
The Greek Deli at 19th and M always has a line but moves quick and is great.
Dickey's has good cuban sandwiches at 17th and I for lunch.
Dinner is a bit harder to stay casual as it is the main business district, but up the street Daily Grill is a chain, but it's casual and has some good stuff. In Dupont he would find more, it is a bit more of a walk though. There is Zorba's for greek which is SUPER casual, Sette for Italian and some other stuff.
If he wanted a quick cab or metro to cleaveland park both Dina and the front of Palena are casual and great.
Not really a lot of notable civil servant sighting nearby... The Tune Inn is good at sighting staffers, Charlie Palmer at lunch you normally see some civil servants...
Breadline isn't too far away at Penn and 19th and you might see White House staff although you probably wouldn't recognize them, the sandwiches are worth the trip though. Founding Farmers is right there too and is a great casual dinner.
For morning coffee there is a Starbucks, Au Bon Pain, and Caribou Coffee all within walking distance to the hotel.
For lunch I would check out CF Folks, which isn't too far away. I also like the affordable kabobs at Moby Dicks. He might also want to try an empanada at Julia's up the street. My boyfriend also swears by the Greek Deli but I've personally never been.
For dinner he can Vapiano for pizza and pasta. If he heads up towards Dupont Circle there are lots of good eats for solo diners, including Sette Osteria (Italian), Bistro du Coin (French), Hank's Oyster Bar (New England Seafood), and Heritage (Indian). You can get tables at all of these places and be fine as a solo diner, but I also enjoy dining at the bar.
He also isn't that far of a walk from Taberna del Alberdero. He should go for their wonderful tapas, which are especially cheap during happy hour (1/2 off tapas and sangria).
In terms of celebrity sightings....right around the corner from his hotel is the HQ for ABC News (is it ABC???). Maybe he'll see some folks coming or going. If wants to head up to the Hill be might see some more notables at Charlie Palmers, Art and Soul, and Bistro Bis.
Elyssa - you've NEVER done Kosta's Greek Deli? your boyfriend has good sense. you work on the Hill right? you can scoot over (before or after primetime) be back to the office within an hour and eat at your desk, or get the the BF to swing by for a hefty gyro for dinner (it'll keep and I think they're open til 4 but one bought at 2, I'd eat at 10).
or if ever you play hooky from work... (although I know everyone working in policy/lobby/public issues has all sorts of things on their legislative agendas right now and is too busy to even be genuinely sick)
re: hill food
I know...I really need to try it. Everytime I think about it though I'm put off by the long lines.
I'm in the area for meetings sometimes (and I work from home every now and then) so I should put it on my short list.
I would love to get my bf to bring me food, but he now lives out-of-state, making it a total surprise if he ever shows up at my office with a gyro :)
fwiw, the mayflower bar's happy hour has free food that's pretty good. sam, the venerable star bartender, does magic tricks for fun. it is worth an early evening stop.
Panache around the corner from the mayflower on DeSales Street has a nice moderately priced menu for lunch. The dinner menu looked interesting as well though I have only eaten there for lunch..