Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Dec 28, 2009 08:58 AM

Best Thing You Ever Ate - VA/DC/MD/Baltimore Edition

*Borrowed from the New Orleans Board*

"I got caught up watching the new show on FN titled "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," and have really enjoyed some of the episodes. It's a documentary style show in which has some of the Food Network stars talk about the "one dish" of a particular style that was the "best thing" that they ever ate.

Last night while watching an episode, I began to think about some of the best meals I have ever had, then did my best to narrow it down to a specific dish. So here are the rules:

Bame the best thing you ever ate in VA/DC/MD/Baltimore.

1) One dish.
2) One restaurant.

Do your best to give a description and be as specific as possible, including the restaurant where you had it. It could be a dish you had one time or something you have often. Stick to restaurant meals, because even if the best thing you ever ate was at your grandma's house, it wouldn't do much good to the rest of us. This could be a great starting point for first time visitors to the city.

In an effort to avoid cliche (cause I could think of at least 5 places in DC proper that i'd take prospective transplants in order to convince them to stay)

1) A Pit Beef Sandwich
2) Pioneer Pit Beef

Considering how much I gorged myself on high dollar menus all over DC, for whatever reason I got inspired to take a drive to Baltimore. In search of PB, I went to the very popular establishment whose main claim to fame seems to be its proximity to a "gentleman's club". Apparently the shake is supposed to add flavor to the steak....

I went in.
I ordered.
I received.
I added some tiger sauce.
I noshed.
I was unsatisfied.

"Well I carried on" (c) Pretty Blood

There was one other place to try.

A shack close to something called Johnnycake Road.
I think of it as near to the Security Square mall, but that's neither here no there.

I walked up.
I reviewed the menu choices (few)
I ordered
I received
I added some tiger sauce
I noshed

And I was in one of the lower levels of Carnivore heaven.

The right amount of smoke
The right amount of char
Still rare
Bun was the appropriate softness
The tang of the horseradish was just right

I finished the first sandwich in my car and got back in line for 2 more. (for research purposes, of course)


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The first time I had a chorizo taco from TECC when he was still in the trailer.
    I got it, and a chicken taco,
    I went to my house on Columbia Pike,
    ate the chicken first - not bad but not good
    ate the chorizo taco
    Got back in my van to drive back to the trailer to get two more.

    1. The Palak Chaat from Rasika. It's probably my favorite thing, and if I could have it every night, I would.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jeserf

        After the roasted katsikaki at Komi, the Palak Chaat from Rasika is a close number 2 for me!

      2. at proof. two years ago, it was a roasted pork tenderloin and butternut squash risotto...absolutely exquisite. also, the lamb carpaccio from the inn at little washington.

        4 Replies
        1. re: littlew1ng

          Am with Little Wing here on the restaurant, though possibly not the dish. It'd be the tuna-that-thinks-it's-a-steak (or whatever they call it!) at the Inn at Little Washington

          1. re: DonaldGately

            man, that one is pretty amazing. that seared chunk of foie gras on top, whoooosh! gotta get back there soon.

            1. re: littlew1ng

              Haha — whooosh! Somehow I'd forgotten all about the foie gras topping, which is something of a sin (both the forgetting and the topping itself). I too should get back there soon, though it's all but unjustifiably expensive in this economy (damn wine). That and I've no one to go with. (That sound you hear is a tiny violin playing just for me.)

            2. re: DonaldGately

              Agreed. Love that tuna foie gras thing - probably one of the best things i've eaten ever anywhere.

          2. Gosh, the first ones that come to mind are
            DC-seared scallops with chanterelles and chardonnay sauce at Corduroy. Wonderful! Always order it when dining there
            B'More-rosemary and garlic fries at Brewer's Art. Very addictive on own or as a side.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MrsWheatie

              Thank you for the scallop recommendation----

            2. In the late 80's on Belair Road in Baltimore, "The Garden Inn" served crabs in what looked like a wood paneled clubbasement. I had never see crabs so huge before (or since), they were delicious and so big I could only eat 3. The owner stopped selling crabs after a year or 2 because he couldn't get them that size anymore.