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Aug 19, 2009 10:53 AM

Montrealer needs a dinner in DC and lunch venue near National Agricultural Lib.

Hi all -

I am in DC for a grand total of 24 hours, and I need you to give me the best you have for a reasonably priced dinner and a solid lunch option in DC proper, and one lunch in or around the NAL or Greenbelt metro. No French food please. I would love something upscale Indian (Rasika?) and/or Mexican - which we don't have a lot of here. I have no expectations for the Greenbelt neighbourhood, and I have no problem tucking into a hole in the wall.


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  1. In DC proper, if you want Mexican food, try Oyamel. in the Maryland suburbs of DC, there is some good Mexican food that isn't fancy, but if you are in town for just a day, it doesn't make sense to go there. Oyamel is just a couple of blocks from the Mall and the Museums (near Archives Metro Station). I've never been to Rasika, so I can't say anything about it. I do really like Oyamel. If you stick to the tacos or tortas, you don't have to spend a fortune. By the way, it's too bad that Spruce Beer isn't available down here.

    1. The two places I can think of in Beltsville are Sardi's chicken for peruvian chicken (it's pretty good and usually intersts my mid-westerner friends), and pho88 for pho. They are not your upscale places, but food is pretty good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cfoodie

        I second these two! They're both really close to the Ag Library and would be very easy for you to get too.

        1. re: cfoodie

          I love Peruvian chicken, so that sounds like a good option for the NAL lunch. (We have a lot of pho here owing to the French occupation of Vietnam once upon a time) Now, a dinner and a lunch in DC. The poster below seems to strongly suggest that Rasika isn't all that. (I used to live in the UK, so I am used to tasty curry) What are my other options. We could go as high as 20 for a main for lunch, and maybe 30 for a dinner main. Suggestions?

        2. Greenbelt proper doesn't have much. There used to be (and probably still are) a bunch of pretty authentic Mexican hole-in-the-wall places down Kenilworth Avenue towards Riverdale. It's been years since I worked down that way and I don't know the details, but others here might. They would require a car, though, and since you mentioned the Metro station that might not be an option. I certainly can't think of anything you could walk to from the Greenbelt Metro station.

          1. You are in the armpit of the D. C. area. Serious. Once upon a time Jerry's in Seabrook had the D. C. area's best Maryland style seafood but it was sold and now it is uneven. Still, given the alternatives, it is the ONLY place that you should consider for lunch. If you are lucky, you may have one of the best lunches of your life. (If it approaches the level it was on for twenty years before it was sold.) If you are not lucky, as bad as it may be, it will still be better than anything else in Greenbelt. (Please forgive me but as a MD grad I spent too many years, excepting Ledo's in Adelphi, deprived of decent food in P. G.

            Rasika? This is good...for D. C. Compared to Manchester and London, it is a far cry from seriously good "curry" or UK Indian. I would not spend calories or money there, rather I would go elsewhere, say, El Pollo Rico and Crisp and Juicy both of which (their Arlington locations) blow away Montreal spit cooked chicken (St. Hubert simply cannot compare to them). D. C. is the epicenter of Peruvian chicken in the U. S. Alternatively, I would give serious consideration to Central or Beck's or, again, cross the river for Guajillo just south of Rosslyn on Wilson boulevard. Unlike almost everyone else on this board I am not a fan of Riverdale Mex, all of which I think is a far cry from the best I have had around the Southwestern U. S.

            Above, I mentioned Ledo's. The ORIGINAL Ledo's in Adelphi. Hmm....well, why not? Some would say that this is the absolute best restaurant in all of Prince Georges County. For pizza. A unique, distinctive only in P. G. pie that is like no other. Now that I think of it, with years of "dining" at Ledo's under my belt, it should be your first choice. Sausage, pepporoni, green pepper and mushroom. Maybe onion, too.

            The original Ledo's. A D. C. legend. The best that P. G. has to offer... Unfortunately this is true. For years the Seabrook Jerry's was considered Prince Georges County's best restaurant. At some point the Riverdale Mexican joints achieved a level of recognition. But, in truth, the best of Greenbelt, the best of P. G. is really lacking...even today. Your best bet is to come into D. C. There is great food here, great restaurants; they are just not in P. G. A real shame since I grew up near there.

            2 Replies
              1. re: Joe H

                While Ledo's has good pizza, everything else sucks. I first heard the phrase "armpit of the DC area" used in 1983. Somethings never change.

              2. Rasika is an extremely popular place and for good reason. It is not straight Indian food and thus not comparable to the "Curry Houses" in England. Rather, it is a melding of North American and European influences with Indian basics presenting something very delicious and well received in DC. For Mexican I would also walk a few blocks up from Oyamel to Rosa Mexicano. The food as Rosa is delicious and the atmosphere is more fun than at Oyamel I think. Oyamel specializes in small plates, a kind of Mexican "tapas." For Rasika and Rosa you must make reservations since they both are extremely popular. Oyamel is very popular but you are able to walk in and if no tables are available you can sit at the bar and dine there. One thing to know is that the US Congress is out of session now and the city is fairly empty and thus it as far easier to get a reservation or just walk in to most restaurants in DC. Sorry, I don't know of one smoked meat sandwich joint in DC.

                3 Replies
                1. re: rfstockton

                  I have all the smoked meat I need here! Thanks. I am also thinking of maybe trying Co Co Sala. Thoughts?

                  1. re: chemfemme

                    Based on one visit only, I would say the desserts at CoCo Sala are great, but the meal was sort of average-- not bad by any means, but not worth going out of your way.

                  2. re: rfstockton

                    Yup! There is a barbecue joint on Rhode Island Ave that has been there for generations. It is a hole-in-the-wall type joint. No seating. People call ahead to find out what time the next batch will be done. Then they line up outside the place for their take-out orders. I use to park on a side street and walk there to pick up a BBQ pork sandwich which I ate while sitting in my car. Their ribs are the best I have ever had.

                    The best I can remember is...the place is located on the east side of Rhode Island Avenue, south of South Dakota.