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Sep 29, 2010 07:34 PM

Cheap eats!

Looking for solid but cheap eats on October 29-31. Coming to town for Jon Stewart Rally with schoolteacher sister. Want to just backpack it, eat on the fly. Got a heck of a last minute deal , so will be staying at the Washington Court Hotel. What should we seek out, avoid? THANKS!!!!

p.s. would love love love to hit a nice restaurant...this is not the and out....later....

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  1. Can you try to narrow down your request by giving us a bit more information to go on? For example, what do you mean by "cheap eats?" -- please use a dollar amount. Are you willing to take the Metro to get to places? (This will greatly broaden your options.) What types of food do you like/dislike?

    Here is a recent thread with info for another person coming to the rally.

    6 Replies
    1. re: woodleyparkhound

      Thanks, woodleyparkhound, for the link. Usually I do quite a bit more reseach on a Chow Board before posting. However, I'm out of town the next week and a half, and October 30 will be here before you know it! So, I am sorry for the broad post, but still hope to pick up good recs!

      With regards to you questions, no metro, all walking distance from hotel, I'm allergic(gasp!) to ginger, so ethnic places are lower on the radar. I LOVE food trucks. Hope that helps!

      1. re: rp1760

        Your not wanting to take the Metro eliminates most of what I'd recommend, but here goes... "Walking distance" also means different things to different people, but I'm assuming that you are OK with walking 20-30 minutes or so.

        Taylor Gourmet at 4th and K NW has very good Philly-style hoagies. You can get a whole or a half. A whole, which costs around $9, can work for two meals (or two people, one meal).

        On 6th at H St NW, I like Chinatown Express for the "noodles in soup" or the pork dumplings, which each cost $5.00. I don't think ginger is an ingredient, but I might be wrong.

        I second Nando's Peri Peri on 7th St NW, and heartily agree with Good Stuff Eatery for good burgers and the best shakes in town - but check the map. This is a long walk IMHO. Next door to that is We The Pizza for good pizza and homemade sodas. Both these places are run by Spike Mendelson of Top Chef fame. In that same block is the Tune Inn, a cheap dive bar which was on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives recently.

        There is a crepe stand outside the Verizon Center on 7th St. which is said to be good; I haven't tried it yet.

        Continuing down 7th from the VC you pass TangySweet, a tart frozen yogurt place that I love. A large with toppings could pass for a meal.

        Further down 7th and a block over at 8th and D, near the Archives Metro Station, is Teaism for Asian-inspired dishes and fantastic salty oat cookies.

        Have fun!

        Tune Inn
        331 Penn SE, Washington, DC

        Good Stuff Eatery
        303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

        1. re: woodleyparkhound

          PS I forgot food trucks! Check here: You can find out their locations by Twitter and FB. i love Takorean ($7 for 3 tacos). Fojol Bros. of Mirlindia does good Indian. Red Hook Lobster is fantastic, but outside your price range I think ($15 for a lobster roll).

          1. re: woodleyparkhound

            The WaPo just did a review of 13 local food trucks -- this should really help the OP. The ratings overall are quite positive.


            1. re: Bob W

              Are the food trucks generally out on the weekends?

        2. re: rp1760

          Your hotel is very close to Union Station, where there's a reasonably decent food court.

      2. My cheap eats champs are:

        Nando's Peri Peri, counter service, get the quarter dark chicken spicy. Mozambiquan-influenced.

        Good Stuff Eatery, get the mushroom burger and a toasted mashmallow milkshake. Or just get two milkshalkes, they are that good.

        Full Kee, Chinatown, oyster and ginger casserole and the duck stuffed with shrimp paste.

        Full Kee Restaurant
        509 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

        Good Stuff Eatery
        303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

        2 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          o.p. specified a ginger allergy, steve.

          1. re: monpetitescargot

            Yes, 8 minutes AFTER I made my suggestion......

        2. Zorba's on CT ave in dupont circle is good...Sweet Green (CT Ave or 14th and P) for salads....Zola wine and kitchen near metro center/gallery place while not THAT cheap (probably $12 for lunch) is excellent and filling. There are a couple pret a manger locations here which have good soup. There is a whole foods at 14th and P with a hot bar and you could buy snacks for your visit.

          why no metro?

          4710 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

          7 Replies
          1. re: Jeserf

            Why no Metro?

            Maybe since the Beck crowd was warned to avoid the Green line, the Stewart/Colbert crowd was warned to avoid the Red line. :)

            1. re: 4X4

              No metro just because we both love to walk, and there are so many places to see within walking distance of the hotel we choose (Washinton Court). We're coming in late Friday. Plan on hanging around Mall all day Saturday. Then about 1/2 day on Sunday is free - will probably go around to the rest of the monuments, hit a museum or two, then we're off to Minneapolis by 4:00. A very short trip..... 4X4. love your post.

              1. re: rp1760

                It sounds to me like you are seriously underestimating how vast the mall is, how many museums there are, and how long it take to visit them and to walk from place to place. I would strongly suggest that before you come here, have a long and careful look at a map of the mall, and choose your top 3 places that you really want to visit and think about a plan of attack. Having a plan is crucial, I think, in order to avoid getting overwhelmed by how much is there and maybe missing something that you really want to see.

                1. re: woodleyparkhound

                  Agreed. Here's a recent thread where I and alkapal give a bit of guidance along those lines. Be comfortable with only seeing so much. With the crowds for the rallies, that may mean a better experience is had by hopping metro and heading in some direction to see other parts of the city or metro area. There are a few good art galleries, for instance, West of DuPont. Shooting up there and taking one in (say, the Philips) and seeing DuPont will be a great outing that will show you quite a bit of cool and historic aspects of the city.

                  1. re: Dennis S

                    Just chiming in on this -- from your hotel if you're planning to walk to the Memorials (ie WWII, Vietnam, Korea and Lincoln), I'd allow maybe two or three hours just for that -- and more if you want to do Jefferson and FDR, too. You would be passing museums on the way, but would have to go at least a bit out of your way to pass by any chowhound-worthy cheap eats. Can't remember now what's been recommended, but if you're doing that walk, you could hop up to the Teaism at 8th and D NW on the way, also Ollie's Trolley, for burgers, wouldn't be horribly out of the way, it's near American History/Natural History. I'm trying to think of places other than museum cafes and hot dog stands that would be part way along your walk.... You could also manage the Penn Quarter places, but I'd at least tentatively map it out. Another neighborhood with some restaurants that's nearest the Lincoln Memorial is Foggy Bottom, not sure what to recommend there, though, but you could search -- but it would be a long hike back to your hotel (but there is a metro stop).

                    In my opinion, the best cheap eats are the Ethiopian restaurants around 9th and U NW -- theoretically you could walk (I've done it), but that would take a lot of your time.

                    Loving to walk is a good prerequisite for enjoying DC, but visitors definitely get overwhelmed by it. I'm almost positive that there is a taxi stand at the Lincoln Memorial, south side by Korea, which can come in very handy when you've walked all the way there and realize there's no good public transportation to get away.

                    You'll have a great time, in any case! Hurray for fear and sanity.

                    Ollie's Trolley
                    425 12th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

                    1. re: mselectra

                      I sort of agree - walking is awesome...but while it's a small city, it's not THAT small and it's not convenient to only stay in one area and assume you can walk. There are rental bike stands now, though (capitol bike share) which might be an alternative since you're opposed to the metro. If it takes you an hour to get to a place for lunch, that doesn't seem like a good use of the short time you have, but that's just my opinion.

                  2. re: woodleyparkhound

                    Well, I've been here twice in the last two years. A couple of times before that. Not a novice, but not a veteran. Thanks for your concern. We midwestern chicks hold up well. :)

            2. Since you'll be on the Mall, head south past the Jefferson Memorial and over to the Maine Avenue Fish Market for fried fish or raw oysters.


              1 Reply
              1. You'll be staying right across the street from Billy Goat Tavern:


                Yes, of SNL Fame (CheezBorger CheezBorger CheezBorger!) - Not the original of course, but owned by the same folks.

                It's perfect for a cheap meal - Their breakfasts are good too....I used to do alot of business at the Washington Court Hotel and it was my favorite place to go. It's a bit of a greasy burger joint but you'll be doing alot of walking so that will make up for it! :)

                4 Replies
                1. re: tommyskitchen

                  Nando is a great option and the multiple recs are justified . While not really cheap, the sandwiches from Cowgirl Creamery are great for packing,

                  For a cheap, filling meals: the "half pastas" from Old Ebbitt Express are still a reasonable deal, although not as cheap as when they were $3.50 a shot. The Naan and Beyond at the Press Building food court has a reasonable half chicken special and the rotisserie chicken place offers discounts after 6. None are spectacular in any way, but all are pretty solid.

                  Consider checking out some happy hour deals as well, but I'm not a great resource on those.

                  Ebbitt Express
                  675 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

                  1. re: tommyskitchen

                    How did I never know that there was a Billy Goat here? Especially after a trip to Chicago earlier this summer when I went looking for one. Well I'll be...

                    1. re: tommyskitchen

                      Wow. Yours is the first good thing I've ever heard about the DC Billy Goat Tavern. The Yelp reviews are pretty savage.

                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        It is what it is - If you go there expecting something different, you will surely be dissapointed!