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Nov 11, 2010 12:14 PM

Help find long lost Paella resturant in DC?

In 1991 I traveled with college friends from FLA to DC to march against the Gulf War, and one our friends took us to a small Paella restaurant in the DC area. The food was incredible, with huge plates of paella and pitchers of Sangria that was out of this world... I'm not sure where it was located, except that I think it was across the street from a greyhound station.

I'm going with my family to DC this weekend and have been searching for this place on line. Does anyone remember this place, and is it still around?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Any other clue as to what t it looked like? What kind of building? Any other details? When you say DC area, do you mean in DC, or maybe somewhere in the surrounding area? Ecxlusively paella? Upstairs? Spanish-speaking servers?

    8 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      I do remember it being a very small place, only one room on the ground floor of a brick building. Nothing fancy at all. The servers (and owners) only spoke Spanish if I remember correctly. It's been so long, and there was so much Sangria haha.. I don't remember it being far away but we DID drive. I wish I was still in touch with any of the folks I went with so I could get more details.

      1. re: btompkins

        There is (or was - I haven't been to the area in more than a year) a Spanish restaurant in Adams-Morgan. That has to be the place you went. Still, nearly 20 years is a long time. If you want Paella, I would search for a current restaurant. The place is still open, called Churreria Madrid. You might also try Jaleo or Taberna del Alabadero.

        1. re: ChewFun

          If it is Churreria Madrid you're thinking of, it is still there and serves paella and sangria and fits the description of the building; BUT, it is not opposite a greyhound station.

          1. re: ChewFun

            There are two Spanish restaurants in Adams Morgan, Churreria Madrid and Rincon Espanol.

            Churriera Madrid has a bar and a few tables on the ground floor and a dining room on the second floor. No decor to speak of. In 1991, it was a very bare bones place. Still is very informal even after a renovation.

            Rincon Espanol is tiny, has a Spanish decor, and is also very informal. It was a bit run down looking, even in 1991.

            Still, no Greyhound Station, so I am thinking that is a memory problem. There are no restaurants near the present Greyhound station, and I don't remember any across from the old one. Does anyone know when it moved?

            Churreria Madrid
            2505 Champlain St NW, Washington, DC 20009

            1. re: Steve

              Greyhound sold the NY Ave terminal in '85. For those who like old buildings, here's a great history of that one:


              1. re: Steve

                There was also The Omega in Adams-Morgan at 18th and Columbia Road. It was a Cuban place that got firebombed at some point. They had great paella and sangria. It was also in a brick building, in a walk-down space. Their food was first rate, especially the masitas. There isn't anything in the DC area nowadays that comes close. It may have been torched before '91. Not exactly sure, because I was out of the area. I sure miss it, though.

                1. re: flavrmeistr

                  the Omega is actually a place that visitors might have been taken to. It was damaged by fire in 1990. I do not know if it was ever resurrected after that.

        2. By 1991 Greyhound had moved from their gorgeous art deco terminal on New York Avenue, NW, to their present location behind Union Station in NE. I don't remember there being any restaurants across the street from that location.

          3 Replies
          1. re: treetop tom

            All I remember from that area was The Blue Mirror, Nightingale's Tatoo Parlor and Eddie Leonard's on 11th Street.

            1. re: flavrmeistr

              Thanks everyone for the responses. Yes I agree it could be a memory problem, but I swear there a greyhound buses parked nearby. I also remember they served arros con pollo if that helps

              1. re: btompkins

                Your best bet is to go to the two places in Adams Morgan. Jaleo wasn't there at the time. Enjoy your visit.

          2. Perhaps you are remembering a great Spanish restaurant from long, LONG ago. It was called El Bodegon. Alas it has been closed for years. It was in an old brick row house on R street NW between 16th and 17th streets. Their paella and sangria were memorable. The owner often walked the dining room with a porone (splng) - sort of a native wine jug - filled with wine and demonstrated its working. If you flinched you got wet.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rcooperman

              Went to chuerria Madrid... food was good Sangria was awesome. It wasn't the same place, but good nonetheless. El bodegon sounds promising...but can't say for sure... anyhow thanks again!

            2. I think this is newer, but I had dinner at La Bodega recently and it was really good. We ate tapas, but they had a huge paella pan, and the paella looked great.

              1. Please forgive my English, I´m from Argentina, I´m 72 years old, I work at the El Bodegon from 1969 to 1973, Bob Callahan and his wife the owners, As far as I know It´s close.