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New Yorker looking for quintessential DC Cheap Eats 2010

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I'm going to be in DC for a weekend - are there any signature or must-have cheap eats that I should have while I'm there (under 20 dollars a person) both including restaurants and other food stands or carts or anything? Any location within the city, or nearby outside (particularly north of the city) is fine (I will have a car).

Happy to be referred to any quintessential cheap eats threads DC hounds may know that I may have missed as well. Thanks.

I posted this last year - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/647836 - but a lot can change in a year, both with restaurants and with chowounders - any updates? Are the places listed here still good? New places or places that weren't mentioned before? Thanks.

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  1. I think all the suggestions you got last year are good-to-great ones. Since then a bunch of new food carts have cropped up. Coming to mind ... Fojol Bros. of Mirlindia is good for Indian food. Red Hook Lobster (but you may have tried that one already) is brand new. People like Sauca - I tried their bahn mi once and found it vile. I'm willing to give it a second shot, but haven't come across it since when I've been hungry.

    1. Ray's Hellsburger: fantastic burgers made from steak
      Ben's Chilli Bowl: half smokes, dc icon
      New Big Wong, Chinatown Express and Eat First for chinese food in DC
      5-Guys for upscaled but fast food burgers
      any Pho Restaurant for vietnamese noodle soups
      There supposibly is a Lobster truck which serves Lobster Rolls parked near the pentagon recently

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      Eat First Restaurant
      609 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      Chinatown Express
      126 Carroll Island Rd, Baltimore, MD 21220

      1 Reply
      1. re: dining with doc

        If you're trying to track down the Lobster Truck, your best bet is to follow them on Twitter.

        http://twitter.com/lobstertruckdc