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Jul 16, 2009 02:00 PM

Italian place to carbo load before Marathon

I will be visiting DC for the first time in October to do the Marine Corp Marathon. I am looking for an Italian place to carbo load on the night before, but still want good quality pasta and great tasting food. I was looking for a nice inexpensive place, probably $10-$17 for a plate of pasta. I have looked at numerous websites and cant seem to find any good places. I will be staying near the mall, but would be willing to travel to Alexandria or Georgetown or another area that I am not familiar with.

Also, thinking about going to the Blue Duck Tavern another night. Any thoughts?


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  1. there is a place in arlington called il raddichio that has unlimited pasta. you pay for the sauces and they bring out as much pasta as you want. it's not incredible food but it is good, fresh, inexpensive, etc. It's in between courthouse and rosslyn metro stops and very easily accessible from downtown DC,

    1 Reply
    1. re: littlew1ng

      I second the il raddichio recommendation. If you truly want to load up on pasta, its a good place to do it...a dozen (maybe more?) sauces to choose from to apply to all-you-can-eat spaghetti. it can be a little hit-or-miss, but for your purposes it should work quite well.

    2. Are you willing to carbo load on rice instead of pasta? This area has more options with Asian cuisines than moderate priced Italian.

      1. I took my sister-in-law to carbo load at Dino's before she ran a marathon and she liked it.

        Another option (possibly more in your price range) would be Vapiano. There is a location in Gallery Place/Chinatown and Dupont Circle.

        Other places to consider is Anna Maria's (although in all honesty it's been at least 5 years since I've eaten there so I don't know if it's still good). It's basic red sauce Italian at afforadable prices, nothing fancy but probably in your price range.

        Sette Osteria (in Dupont w/ great outdoor seating) and Filomena (perfect for this purpose and in Georgetown) are both probably above your price range.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Elyssa

          I need to confirm this, but on my way out of town last night I did a double-take because it appeared that Anna Maria's has closed. My jaw dropped open, but rush hour traffic didn't afford me the luxury to confirm. Although, honestly, I ate there about six months ago and was overwhelmingly underwhelmed.

          1. re: Sabine12

            I walk by every day, and yes, Anna Maria's has closed.

        2. Spezie on L and 18th has excellent pasta. Potenza on 15th and H is OK, also, but not as good as Spezie.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KevinS

            The standard load of pasta place in DC is Filomena on Wisconsin Avenue just below M in Georgetown.

          2. I second Sette. And if it is still warm out, they have a nice outside seating area. Right in Dupont. They have great pastas and pizza.

            5 Replies
            1. re: FoodieLTD

              thanks for all the suggestions. I will check them out.

              Now for a nice dinner out? I am looking for a place that concentrates on local and organic ingredients, changes the menu regularly, doesn’t have the 12 page menu, but maybe 12-15 items. This can be any type of cuisine, but modern American is probably the best.


              1. re: chiguy13

                For your nice dinner out do you have a price range?

                1. re: Elyssa

                  nothing in the $100/plate range. probably more around $25-$35 for your entree. and then all of the other things will add up.

                2. re: chiguy13

                  proof fits your description perfectly, so does sonoma on capitol hill.

                3. re: FoodieLTD

                  Sette sounds good, and besides one review about bad service and watery sauce, people agree with your recommendation.

                  Any ideas if they take reservations? I saw that when they first opened they did not, but I assume they do now.