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Columbia Heights?

I'm going to be around the Columbia Heights metro this weekend. I read about Tacqueria Distrito Federal and Pho 14, and both sound good. But I was wondering what other places people like -- I'm not really interested in the gastropub. Looking for the best food, whatever cuisine. Thanks for any and all suggestions.

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  1. I think Pete's (right above the metro) is good for a quick, casual meal. Red Rocks is better (though a few blocks' walk) if you want to have pizza with more atmosphere. Meridian Pint is nice for a beer, though I've not tried the food.

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    Red Rock Cafe
    385 Muddy Branch Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

    1. Is there a reason you are not interested in Commonwealth, because in my opinion it's the best restaurant in Columbia Heights.

      I also really like the teeny but comfy Room 11. Go for the wine and small plates.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Elyssa

        Menu didn't look that interesting and I'm not a beer person. But if that's the best way to go I'll keep it in mind. Thanks

      2. Haydees is an excellent time (though more in Mt. Pleasant) for Salvadoran and related foods, and I second Red Rocks and Room 11. Commonwealth is decent, but I wouldn't put it high on my list of places to go because of the horrible, conversation-killing echo. I also don't find the food to be a stellar deal for the level of quality/taste, but it is an okay option, and if you're into organic stuff, they're all about it.

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        Haydee's Restaurant
        3102 Mount Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010

        Red Rock Cafe
        385 Muddy Branch Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

        2 Replies
        1. re: SandyCat

          SandyCat -- I know Haydee's is an institution, but I've found the food to be pretty terrible. I'd like to like it. What do you order there?

          1. re: mselectra

            While I've never found the food to be particularly sophisticated, I generally think of it as comfort food. I generally get the chicken enchiladas and occasionally, if I'm taunting my inevitable heart attack, I get the taquitos, actually. The pupusas and cabbage slaw that adorns them are also pretty good, IMO. Basically, if you think of it as a Salvadoran greasy spoon, with lots of tinsel, your expectations should be set at the appropriate level.

        2. Taqueria Distrito Federal is quite a walk from the metro. If you're willing to walk that far, then some of the places on or near 11th St would also be doable for you like Red Rocks, Meridian Pint, Room 11, etc. I haven't been to all of them, or not in a while, so not personally recommending, but just if it's helpful in your search. Prince of Petworth's blog covers that area, to get ideas.

          El Rinconcito, across from the giant Giant is mentioned here on CH a fair amount, and it would be closer walk from the Metro than TDF (but you'd go there for Central American not Mexican food). Pete's Apizza has good salads and pretty good pasta, if you're not interested in pizza, btw. Pho 14 is fairly close to the Metro and good -- there's another pho place that's gotten praise here, I haven't been, I think it's up near TDF.

          If you head a few blocks the other way, to Mount Pleasant, Radius Pizza has a fabulous happy hour deal of a slice and pint for $5 (except you said you don't like beer) and the rest of their food is really good too, in my experience. I highly recommend their fried chickpeas.

          I don't know if any of these places are "the best food", but maybe give you some more choices.

          And there's the new IHOP (24 hours)!

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          Pete's Apizza
          , Washington, DC 20001

          4 Replies
          1. re: mselectra

            Is El Rinconcito still there? I can no longer find their phone listing. If they are there, the carne deshilada with egg is a great dish.

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            Rinconcito Cafe
            1129 11th St NW Ste Lowr, Washington, DC 20001

            1. re: Steve

              Thanks everybody. I appreciate the input

              1. re: Steve

                Steve -- it is still there and open, as of a couple hours ago. I was running errands over that way right after I read your post so I walked by to make sure.

                I've never had it, but it seems like there are always a lot of people eating the seafood soup there, which might be nice on a cold day.

                Teddybear -- I think Steve also likes Ercilia's, which is an easy walk from the Metro, over in Mount Pleasant. I always forget about it, but walked by today on my way home and thought I'd mention it.

                Just for a little more info, if you do go to Commonwealth, the gastropub, I think the food can be hit and miss but usually good -- but I find I do have to be in the mood for that kind of cooking, which I'm often not. Also, I've been disappointed in their soups, even when they sound like they'd be good, they always seem too heavy or rich to me (that might just be my taste). I think they do fine with non-beer drinks.

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                Ercilia's Restaurant
                3070 Mount Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20009

                1. re: mselectra

                  Ercilia's makes a nice Salvadoran squash dish.

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                  Ercilia's Restaurant
                  3070 Mount Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20009

            2. Thanks for all your suggestions. Turned out we ate at a just ok Salvadoran place . . . on Barracks Row due to a twist of automobile fate!

              1. I just spent 3 days in DC, and dined at Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights (3400 11th Street NW). I wish it was my neighborhood bar. David Shewmaker is the chef. Don't let the gastropub look deceive you, the food is excellent. David worked at La Grenouille, and his training shows. The short ribs were subtle, rich and fabulous. The mixed greens with homemade gravlax, fried capers and curried lemon yogurt dressing left me wondering why I had never thought about pairing tumeric and salmon before. And the shortcake was delicate and not at all sweet. Oh, and the beer was great as well.