I stayed in Washington, NC last night and had another poor meal.
Last time it was Blackbeard's, (I can get better seafood at Twin Tops in Gastonia) and last night was Laniers, 2 small crabcakes, wasabi aioli that was as thin as water, bland garlic mashed potatos, and a thimble of slaw.
Naco, what is good here? Any good Mexican?
I was going to Washington once a week or so for most of last year, and I didn't find much that was interesting. I didn't have time to go to the nicer places downtown, and there weren't really any quick service local independents that haven't already been discussed.
The only exception I can think of is that little cinder block Mexican place on 17- it's on the right just a bit down from King Chicken. I cannot remember the name of it. Late in the week-I think from Thursday on-they had some nice soups and other special dishes. Mon-Wed was solid but unspectacular taqueria fare.
In Pia's old space is Grub Brothers Eatery. Very new place that opened in early December - I haven't had the chance to eat here yet - I hopefully will when I get back in a few weeks. It's getting rave reviews from my family and friends who have been there.
Another newish place is The Bank Bistro and Bar. It is open in an old bank building on Main St. in Washington is getting very good reviews. www.thebankbb.com
Another new place that a friend told me about is a Mediterranean restaurant that you access off the Stewart's Parkway on the waterfront down town. Don't know the name of it but a friend and her husband have been there when Grub Brother's was packed and they loved it.
So there are some exciting new things going on in Washington that are worth checking out.
Worthwhile in Washington:
Bill's Hot Dogs. One of the landmark eastern NC hot dog places. The dog is basically all about the spicy mustard based chili, so make sure to order it with that. All the way is mustard, chili, and onions.
Marabella: I've only eaten at the Greenville location, but the Washington place is run by the same folks, and apparently the only difference is that Washington is a larger restaurant with a fuller menu. The best pizza in eastern NC by far, especially the European style pies.
For non Tex-Mex Mexican, there's El Autentico. It's pretty good, especially relative to other local options. My major caveat here is that when I went, the sanitation score was a C. It looked fine to me, so I went ahead and ate, but your mileage may vary. There is also a panaderia(Mexican bakery) called La Perla downtown near the waterfront. It's on Water Street, just down from the Estuarium. The tres leches cake is my favorite(here or at any other panaderia). They usually keep this in a drink cooler.
There's another Mexican place near downtown called El Rodeo which I haven't checked out. I don't think it's a Tex-mex place because the location used to be called Taqueria El Zarape(IIRC).
King Chicken does really good fried chicken. I used to eat there all the time when I worked in Washington.
I'm not a fan of any of the newer frou-frou places downtown or either of the bbq joints in Washington- Boss Hogg's and Hog Heaven. Boss Hogg's is bland and will cover your bbq in a Lexington style sauce if you're not careful. They do have pretty good bbq chicken if you stay away from the Lexington sauce. Hog Heaven can be decent, but the quality is all over the map- I used to eat there with my grandparents a lot, and there seemed to be little, if any, quality control.
Random thoughts on the general area:
Sometimes there are food vendors at the Poorman's Flea Market on 264 between Greenville and Washington on Saturday mornings. You can usually score some elotes at this time of year at a minimum.
I haven't been in a long time, but the Acre Station Meat Farm in Pinetown(10-15 mins E/NE of Washington) has a restaurant, and they'd occasionally have unusual menu items like brains and other offal.
I disagree about the downtown places - Down on Main has good food (great fried shrimp & shrimp burgers) - casual, fun place. Pia's downtown is also very good - great seared tuna appetizer.
Backwater Jack's - way down east main before the bridge over to Washington Park is also a fun, lively place with good casual food. You can sit outside and look at the river while you're eating.
I've heard there is a new Mexican food place down River Road (near the Rebel) that is good, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.
I called on a customer this morning who suggested, and I quote, "Down on Main, Pia's, and Backwater Jacks"!
Too funny - You have good taste!
I tried D on M but they are closed for vacation, reopening the 14th, (I think)
Thanks for the suggestions, for me and the board.
I did search it prior to going out and washington had zip.