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Sep 2, 2010 07:43 AM

DC Metro Center Lunch

Hi Chowhounds,

Some working professional friends and I all are centered arond the Metro Center, Chinatown, McPhereson area for the next few months and would like suggestions of great places to have a casual lunch. We're not expensing this (unfortunately!) so we'd like to keep costs down, quality up and only hit places with seating, if possible.

Thus far we've been to:

Devon and Blakely (delicious but limited seating)
Chop't (How many times can I eat this in one week?)
Mix't Greens (Slow slow lines, less options than chop't,but I like the real silverware)
Cheff Geoffs (Getting pricey but nice lunch specials)
M&S Grill (Yetch, I had TERRIBNLE fish tacos)
Cosi (I hate this place.. it all tastes the same)
Au Bon Pain (Limited to no seating, bland)
Ollies (Greasy, but delicious)
Pret a Manger (Colleague doesn't like refridgerator case sandwiches)

Any suggestions? We would be up for ridiculous steal lunch specials, and I have to have faith that SOMEWHERE in DC there is a cheap and delicious Chinese lunch!


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  1. I really like both the steamed dumplings and the "noodles in soup" at Chinatown Express on 6th St., near H. Each costs about $5.00 and either makes a meal.

    Taylor Gourmet has truly great sandwiches, but it may be a bit more of a walk than you want to do. It's at 485 K St. NW.

    I'm with your colleague on Pret a Manger - can't bring myself to try it for the same reason! And enough with the Cosi already!!

    4 Replies
    1. re: woodleyparkhound

      Agree with Chinatown express. The noodles in soup and the roasted meats are great and cheap. But stick with those items - don't get the noodles stir-fried (they end up swimming in grease). Also the condiments on the table are awesome, especially the green onion/vinegar one.

      1. re: scotcheroo

        Right, scotcheroo! I should have mentioned the condiments in my post. I use them liberally in the soup (I'm sure they have to top up the pots on the table after I leave!) I love the pickled garlic slices almost as much as the green one you mentioned. I had the noodles stir-fried once. Never again - yuck.

      2. re: woodleyparkhound

        Taylor Gourmet is worth the walk! Smellious, get the "Pattison Avenue" -- roast pork, broccoli rabe, and aged provolone.

        1. re: Bob W

          Second the Pattison Avenue. Tried several sandwiches and always come back to that one. I think the juiciness of the meat helps soften the otherwise dry sandwich bread. I was looking forward to the Cherry Street roast beef/brie/arugula sandwich, but found it disappointing. The flavor combination really didn't work for me. However, the fried risotto balls are oustanding: a cube of mozzarella surrounded by rice seasoned with parmesian and rolled in breadcrumbs and deepfried. The marinara on the side has the perfect tart tang to offset the richness of the risotto balls. It's as close to Roman street food as you're likely to find, and a steal at $4

        1. Teaism
          Asia Nine

          2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

          1 Reply
          1. re: mymomisthebestcook

            I haven't been to Asia Nine but it looks pretty delicious. It fries me that all over NYC you can walk into a Pan-Asian place and find the $10 lunch special with appetizer included, but in DC somehow its ONLY pretentious (and quite frankly crappy) sandwich shops.

            Has anyone had the Zengo lunch menu? I like the concept of the bento boxes and don't really know where else I could get something like this.

            My coworker isn't too fond of sushi etc., but I know she loves plank salmon!

            Zengo Restaurant
            781 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

          2. Sushi Go Round has decent, fresh sushi. And since you pick what you want off the conveyer belt, you in control of portion/price.

            Port of Pireaus does decent gyros and other Greek standards. I'd recommend Urfa Tomato Kebab but they're carryout only. Irish Channel Inn does your usual pub grub and is relatively inexpensive.

            Of all the chain sandwich shops (Subway, Quiznos, Potbelly), the only one close to edible for me is Potbelly.

            Sushi Go Round
            705 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

            1. TenPenh
              Elephant & Castle
              The Shops (huge food court with seating and a variety of options)

              Elephant & Castle
              1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW Lbby 2, Washington, DC 20004

              1001 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20004