Please help w/family trip to DC
We are coming to D.C. from Philly in a couple of weeks for a Sat.-Mon., primarily to do tourist stuff (see the monuments, National gallery, Smithsonian, zoo, etc.), staying at the Embassy Suites at 22nd and M. We are two adults, and two kids ages 6 & 8. The 6 year old is ridiculously picky, but we don't let her dictate our restaurant choices, as long as the place has bread or noodles). My husband can't eat wheat (celiac), so burger and pizza places are out, but just about anything else goes. We like all kinds of food and like to avoid chains.
So, I guess what I'm looking for is suggestions for dinner near the hotel (Dupont Circle? GW?), and lunches near the Smithsonian and zoo. Because of the kids, places that are relatively casual and with fast service are the easiest, though they are well behaved in restaurants.
We will have a car, but I'd prefer to leave it in the garage and take the metro. I'd love to try some peruvian chicken, and would also love to get some pupusas if there is anyplace convenient that has Salvadoran food. Those places could also be stops on the way in and out if they are more convenient coming in our out of the city from the north.
Thanks for any help you can give me!
For lunches near the Smithsonian, that buffet at the National Gallery soudns spectacular. If not that, consider the cafeteria at the American Indian museum or Teaism. The cafeteria has good (although not cheap) food inspired by different American regions. Teaism has a small, but interesting lunch menu and great oatmeal cookies. Great cookies. Also, check out some old topics on similar veins: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/610149, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/606568?tag=search_results;results_list
For lunch at the Zoo, I recommend that you concentrate on the animals, eat just a snack there, and then look for good food afterwards. There isn't much close to the zoo entrance, and you'll lose too much time in the middle of the day walking. The Metro stops for the zoo each have good restaurants. (I always go by way of Cleveland Park and leave by way of Woodley Park. That means you walk downhill from Cleveland to the zoo to Woodley.) Personally, I would grab a snack at the zoo and then eat afterwards at Lebanese Taverna in Woodley Park. But again, check out some old topics like this: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/498388
For the Smithsonian, Jose Andres (a local celebrity chef behind Jaleo, Oyamel, etc) is the visiting chef at the National Gallery for the Summer while they have exhibits highlighting Spanish still lifes and armor from the royal family. It's a buffet, but there are some a la carte choices.
There are tons of good choices near your hotel. Meiwah Chinese is very good, as is the Thai place on M St (Thai Kitchen). Other places off the top of my head in Dupont that fit your needs -- Sette (Italian), Raku (Asian), Nooshi (Asian), Levante's (Middle Eastern), Teaism (varied). El Tamarindo has fantastic papusas and good Salvadoran food generally. Also check out Luna Grill on Connecticut for breakfast.