HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Are you making a specialty food?
TELL US

You Haven't tasted D.C. Until...?

ZenFoodist Feb 11, 2009 05:36 PM

So...the chowpup, me, the husband, and the parental units are heading down to D.C. to sate the pups recent obsession with the Founding Fathers ( AND the Hope Diamond) and we'll be leaving on Friday. Plan to have a dinner in Baltimore at Obrycki's and then will have all of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning to explore the museums and monuments. We've been before and have had some stellar meals at the top places, but this time since we are a bigger crowd and with our 5 year old, we'd like more casual, but still excellent, local faves. We like it all and out of the way ,off the beaten path places do not deter us.

What shouldn't we miss?

Thanks in Advance,
lisa antinore

  1. Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. ZenFoodist Feb 11, 2009 05:39 PM

    Just realized Obrycki's won't re-open until March 10th . Any good Baltimore reccs for crabcakes?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ZenFoodist
      themeatguy Feb 12, 2009 04:39 AM

      Jerry's Crab Bomb is the best I have had.........I don't know how to get there...but I am sure you can google it..

    2. themeatguy Feb 12, 2009 04:38 AM

      You have had....

      Oysters at the Old Ebbitt Grill
      A Steak at Ray's the Steaks
      Foie gras and rillettes at Central
      A Ruben at Deli City
      A Half Smoke from Ben's Chili Bowl
      And a 4 star dinner at Cityzen

      3 Replies
      1. re: themeatguy
        monkeyrotica Feb 12, 2009 05:23 AM

        Second the reuben at Deli City.

        I'd add....

        -the four-piece fish sandwich at Horace & Dickies

        -five wings, frenchfries, and mambo sauce at almost ANY chinese carryout downtown.

        1. re: monkeyrotica
          themeatguy Feb 12, 2009 09:04 AM

          TOTTALLLLLY agreed on Horace & Dickies!

          1. re: monkeyrotica
            m
            MakingSense Feb 12, 2009 07:38 PM

            Deli City is sadly closed on weekends.

        2. n
          nickdanger Feb 12, 2009 09:22 AM

          The problem with Horace and Dickies, well recommended, is that it is only a carry out, and in inclement weather, not a great destination. You might want to check out fish tacos at Surfside, upper Georgetown, grilled pork at Minh's vietnamese on Wilson Blvd in Arlington, or mussels and beer at Granville Moore's on H St NE. Also, remember that Sat is Valentine's day, with some places changing their menus or being booked.

          1. Meg Feb 14, 2009 09:50 PM

            Pizza at 2 Amy's!

            1. w
              whitetrashfoodie Feb 15, 2009 04:19 AM

              A DC must is the Market Lunch in the Eastern Market. Go for breakfast before 11 am on Saturday for blueberry buckwheat pancakes. They also have some of the best eggs benedict ever. The market is temporarily in a big tent across the street since the Eastern Market burned down. The Market Lunch is just the same though. A DC staple!

              1. r
                Rick Feb 15, 2009 09:35 AM

                Every time I visit DC I have to go to Murky Coffee, well if being in Arlington counts. I also love to hit that chicken place up the road from Murky Coffee, forget the name!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Rick
                  ktmoomau Feb 16, 2009 11:58 AM

                  El Pollo Rico

                2. i
                  isabellaflynn Feb 16, 2009 11:42 AM

                  I like to go down to the DC waterfront to Maine Avenue and eat oysters on the half shell. It's very unique and completely DC. In fact, Anthony Bourdain recently went there on his show "No Reservations." Nothing fancy, but a fun experience.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: isabellaflynn
                    l
                    link_930 Mar 5, 2009 05:37 AM

                    Not only that, but the (what I presume to be deep fried) crab cakes and fried shrimp... and chowder... and... it's just fun to stand at the ledge overlooking the water on a sunny day with your meal.

                    1. re: link_930
                      beauxgoris Mar 11, 2009 09:22 PM

                      link 930 - is there a certain stand or vendor for the crabcakes or do many sellers have them? What's the price point?

                  2. w
                    WestIndianArchie Feb 17, 2009 06:43 AM

                    Mumbo Sauce on your chicken wings @ Yum's, that may be too DC though, lol.

                    1. f
                      foodcheck Feb 20, 2009 08:05 PM

                      Funny stuff: Ben's Chile Bowl? You don't go there for good food, you go there because Cosby and Obama have been there. There are better sausage products in most good supermarkets.
                      Oysters at Old Ebbit? Again, the main attraction is it's near the White House. There are oysters just as fine at a good seafood store.
                      Foie gras? Yeah, real American food.
                      Delis? The worst of any major city north of the Mason-Dixon Line in the country.
                      The fact is there is not "DC food' in the same way there is New Orleans food or even Baltimore food. Maybe go to Eastern Market on Saturday or the boutique Dupont Market on Sunday - two very different experiences featuring local produce, (At the latter, you will find that DC is the only place in the world where people actually buy food without asking the price!) Or a government cafeteria, where all the overpaid GS-13s chow down. But for the truest DC experience, go to a pricey K St. or Capital Hill restaurant at lunch to watch all the corrupt lobbyists and lawyers in their $1000 suits paying outrageous prices on their bloated expense accounts. Do it soon, the party may be ending.
                      PS: If you are a real food-lover, the best crabcake in Baltimore is probably at Faidley's in the Lafayette Market, at least when blue crabs are in season. The neighborhood is quite seedy, so you won't really see any "foodie" poseurs there.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: foodcheck
                        w
                        w.phillyeater Feb 21, 2009 01:09 PM

                        Whoa...harsh. I'm actually heading to dc for a few days myself soon (7-9 of March).
                        So as not to create redundant threads I have pretty much the same request.
                        Being in our twenties, bargain deals are the name of the game for my partner & I. Not looking for anything over 35 dollar head.
                        If it helps, I'm pretty omnivorious as far as preferences go. I like anyplace that serves meat in dough done well (as in British pasties, Jamaician patties, middle eastern style patties or brioche surprises). I'm a huge fan of craft beer and fine cheese (and imagine I'll be getting my fill of the latter at Cowgirl Creamery).

                        Any ideas?

                        A second to Faidley's btw, I went there four years ago solo just seek the crab and indeed that is one memorable cake (mhmm...maybe that will help my non-poseur cache ;)

                        1. re: w.phillyeater
                          Gonzocook Feb 21, 2009 01:43 PM

                          Try Cafe Assorti in Arlington, a Central Asian restaurant. Most of the menu is meat in dough. In your price range, too. New place; very spiffy. Also recommend the beet salad.

                          And maybe you can tell me where to get a good pasty.

                          1. re: w.phillyeater
                            alkapal Mar 4, 2009 08:32 PM

                            go to nam viet in arlington. we were the locale for massive relocation of s. vietnamese people after the war, so we've got "dibs" on great vietnamese food. grilled pork there is the best!

                          2. re: foodcheck
                            4
                            4X4 Feb 21, 2009 01:39 PM

                            Faidley's is in Lexington Market. I usually go there for the raw bar oysters and clams. One of these days I'll try the crabcake and fried fish sandwich.

                            1. re: 4X4
                              ZenFoodist Feb 22, 2009 08:57 AM

                              Thanks for all the suggestions. Valentine's Saturday was tough- wanted to go to Blue Duck Tavern (?) across from our hotel but it was swamped. Ended up eating at a local Thai place around the corner. Decent fare. Celebrated my dad's b-day at Kincaid's- awesome- but very small portions. I am such a fish lover, but ordered the roasted porchetta with cannelinis and broccoli rabe in sage au jus. Best plate on the table! B-fast at the Market Lunch place in Eastern Market was out as it was a 45 minute wait and my 5 year old was starvin' marvin. Had a decent lunch in Gerogetown at Tacklebox, nothing awesome, but simple grilled fish served in a cafeteria-like setting. Should have gone to Clyde's or Zed's.

                              The hightlight, however, was Jerry's Seafood in Bowie, Maryland. Thanks for the recc! The Lanham branch was closed, so we drove out of the way to Bowie , MD. Man, was it worth it. That crab bomb ROCKED. Best crab I've ever had. Salads, soups, and other entrees were excellent. However the bomb was incredible. Almost cried :)

                              Didn't get to Jose Andres minibar or even just to Cafe Atlantico- so many people had reccomended it. That's what "next times" are for though....

                              Thanks for the suggestions. We love DC so much. Great town with great people.

                              lisa antinore

                            2. re: foodcheck
                              hill food Mar 4, 2009 09:17 PM

                              "The worst of any major city north of the Mason-Dixon Line in the country."

                              ummm that could be a great District tagline as I last checked we're just a tad South.

                              not defending DC delis, just hope continental drift hasn't accelerated.

                              I think I might look into printing bumper stickers.

                              1. re: foodcheck
                                hill food Mar 4, 2009 09:19 PM

                                but I do agree about Faidley's and the Lexington Market - awesome and overwhelming.

                                and it's such an easy and cheap ride up on MARC weekdays.

                                1. re: foodcheck
                                  jrsmoltz Mar 4, 2009 09:37 PM

                                  DC is south of the Mason Dixon line. The line runs along the Pennsylvania/Maryland border and down the Maryland/Delaware border.

                                  Yes, Ben's Chile Bowl is better for the atmosphere than the food; I actually prefer the half-smokes from the street cart by my work, but then I like them with sauerkraut and mustard . But Deli City is great for the area. And as far as my favorite "DC experience" goes for out-of-towners, when I have friends in I always take them to breakfast at Florida Ave Grill; it has the feel you would expect from Ben's but without the crowds. My mom from the south approves of the grits (which, honestly, are usually terrible in DC) and my dad said the scrapple tastes pretty close to the way his mom made it.

                                  And yes, if you have the money, go watch the lobbyists eat on K Street. It'll be a good meal and is sure to be entertaining... and expensive. But if you want a nice seafood dinner at a reasonable price just go to Hanks Oyster Bar. The oysters and fish are great and they won't make you wear a sport coat to come in.

                                  1. re: foodcheck
                                    m
                                    MTP Mar 6, 2009 09:45 AM

                                    wah wah wah

                                  2. Bob W Mar 6, 2009 12:35 PM

                                    What about Ethiopian food? DC supposedly has the best (and most) Ethiopian restaurants in the US. Most cities have few or none.

                                    Search this board for good recs. I think the current fave is Etete (sp?) on U St.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Bob W
                                      ZenFoodist Mar 11, 2009 09:43 AM

                                      There was also Zed's in Georegtown...and Meserkem?

                                    Show Hidden Posts