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May 13, 2009 09:51 AM

DC with very picky 7 year old

We'll be in DC (from Chicago) mid-June with my extremely picky 7 year old step-daughter. My husband and I are foodies, the more local and authentic the better. We've been known to feed her in advance then go out to eat with her Nintendo DS keeping her company at the table with us while we enjoy dinner/lunch.

Any help with lunch/dinner places would be much appreciated! Kid friendly is not essential but would be helpful. We like Mexican, local harvest, Spanish, Asian, contemporary, Italian....


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  1. Pizzeria Paradiso (Gtown) and Two Amy's (Cleveland Park) are my two immediate choices. Two Amy's is pizza too -- they have these great risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella.

    1 Reply
    1. re: zelda68

      Pizza Paradisio is a good idea. You might also want to try Central. I see kids there all the time. You guys can get your foodie fix and your step-daughter can get fried chicken or a simple burger and fries. Great food and centrally located to a number of tourist spots on the Mall.

      Another place you might want to check out is Matchbox for mini burgers, salads, and pizza. You might also like Bistro D'Oc (quieter and more quaint in Metro Center) or Bistro du Coin (loud, fun genuine Parisian feel in Dupont). If your picky eater can eat steak or roasted chicken, this would be a good spot.

      For Italian you might want to try Filomena or Dino. And for Spanish you can try tapas at Jaleo.

    2. The best of DC includes:
      Central (French), Brasserie Beck (Belgian), Jaleo (SpanishTapas), Zaytinya (pan-Hellenic tapas), CoCo Sala (cacoa inspired food, VERY limited but delicious menu), Queen Makeda (Ethiopian)

      If you want downscale and are willing to go to a TRUE hole-in-the wall:
      Oohs and Aahs (Soul Food)
      Thai X-ing, MUST ORDER the red curry salmon Warning, this place only has two tables,so you may want to call before going.
      Chez Auntie Libe (Senegalese)

      If you have the means to venture out into the suburbs:
      Joe's Noodle House (Sichuan)
      Ruan Thai
      Lighthouse Tofu (aka Vit Goel, Korean)
      Bay Lo (Vietnamese)

      Please do a search to find specific recs at any of the above.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Steve

        The kid will starve at all of these places if she doesn't eat beforehand. All are not good for a picky 7 year old.

        1. re: Jacey

          Perhaps you should read the OP carefully:

          "We've been known to feed her in advance then go out to eat with her Nintendo DS keeping her company at the table with us while we enjoy dinner/lunch."

          Also, plain rice and noodle dishes are available at all of my suggestions.

          1. re: Steve

            She will eat plain rice and noodles. We're talking picky, pasta, cheese pizza, hamburgers (no pink!!!). That's about it. She knows that we like going out to eat at places she may not like.

            Thanks all for the great suggestions. My sister mentioned Tenpenh and said it was great, I'll do a search for it.

      2. If you'll be here on a Friday evening, you might try to get reservations for the Evening Parade at the Marine Corps Barracks, Headquarters at 8th and I Streets, SE, one of the most impressive Summertime shows in town
        You have to be there by 8 which would allow you to catch an early supper at any number of interesting restaurants just off the Eastern Market Metro stop.
        Cava, a new Greek place, is directly across the street from the Parade Grounds.
        There's Montmartre, an excellent French bistro on 7th Street, near the historic Eastern Market.
        Good pizza and burgers at Matchbox on 8th. Down Pennsylvania Avenue is Good Stuff Eatery with good burgers and a yummy toasted marshmallow milkshake.
        Lots of choices in the neighborhood, most of which will make you and a picky child happy.
        The Evening Parade is spectacular and memorable.

        An unusual upscale option for true Spanish alta cucina is Taberna del Alabardero, said by many to be the best Spanish restaurant in the country. Expensive and not the place to settle for a humble paella. Go for the classics. A destination of Embassy, World Bank, IMF, and international types.
        Although it's very formal, they should have no problems accommodating your child.

        1. I agree with the choice of Brasserie Beck for a 7year old. They have a bunch of options and delicious Belgian waffles for dessert. My son loves it. I also think Two Amys would be nice, but it can get very crowded and it's close to the zoo, so not right downtown. Ella's Pizza might be a good option and it's fairly kid friendly. Jaleo is also good for Spanish - it's lively and fun and right in Penn Quarter. Poste in the Hotel Monaco also has a lot of good choices and you can eat outside in the courtyard if the weather is good. I really enjoyed Oyamel, also in Penn Quarter for Mexican tapas recently - not sure if it would be too outlandish though. Just a few thoughts - good luck!