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Washington DC

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We will going to Washington DC over Yeshiva week. What can you recommend,esp in Downtown DC?Are there any pizza stores or any dairy places for a sandwich,etc.TIA

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  1. Check out Shamash for the list of restaurants. In terms of the vacation, I would take sandwiches because you will be spending your entire day on your feet. Parking is a big issue and I assume you will be hitting the museums. We hit the museums (spy museum was a waste of money, try to get in to Congress and the White House--we planned that in advance with our Senator at the time--Hillary Clinton). We would collapse at dinner each night and chow down then. Eli's is great--meat in the Dupont area. The pizza place in Silver Spring next to a couple of other restaurants was good enough. FYI, there is a Marriott in the city that used to be a bank. They have the bank vault still in tact and you can see it from the indoor swimming pool. It is walking distance to the Capitol. I heard the Pita place in College Park is now closed. That place was very good. Have fun. Bundle up and bring your walking shoes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cappucino

      I respectfully disagree. Our kids (then 13, 11, 7, and 5) thought the highlight of the trips was the spy museum. We also really liked Fords Theater (where you can see the gun that shot Lincoln and see the booth where he was sitting). As for food, Eli's was ok - serviceable but not great. Definitely bring sandwiches for lunch. We stayed in a place with the kitchen and brought breakfast food as well. We also ate one meal at the JCC. It was ok. The kids like the shnitzel.

      1. re: cappucino

        I have to disagree as well on the spy museum. My kids loved it. Didn't try Eli's, but we brought lots of prepared food from home, stayed in a hotel with a full size fridge and either made it a point to go back to the room for lunch or brought our sandwiches with us. (PS. Bureau of Engraving was also great; it's closed on weekends and the lines can be pretty long so dress warmly!)

        1. re: EmpireState

          I have nothing to add other than the fact that I could very happily spend an entire Chol Hamoed in the Spy Museum's gift shop alone, kids or no kids.

      2. Eli's is passable. Better for dinner I think. But it is the only game in town. The JCC gets their food (or at least did 6 months ago) from Eli's. Better to bring sandwiches for lunch and eat in one of the Smithsonian cafes. Silver Spring or Rockville MD are a good 30-45 minutes away but are the only places you will get pizza. I would stay downtown if you can - near a metro stop -- makes getting around much easier.

        1. Our gang loved Eli's. We stayed in Georgetown in a hotel that had kitchens but we ended up spending as much on groceries and paper goods at Trader Joe's and some other store (can't remember) as it would have cost us to just eat out.

          Look - Eli's does not make its own deli, so you will eat the same stuff you can get anywhere. Stick to the soups and cooked food which they DO make themselves and you will have a good meal. If you want deli, eat out in NY or LA.

          If you have time to plan it, go to the Bureau of Engraving. We've been there twice and we'd go again.

          1. Stay in the rockville or silver spring area. Trust me. You will have a VERY wide option of kosher food places, shuls etc plus it is nice there.Try Nut HousePizza- Awesome!, take the METRO (the train) which is very nice, back and forth, it is abt a half hour.

            1. We stayed outside the city for part of the week and then moved to the city Marriott so we'd be on time for the White House tour we set up. We liked being near the restaurants and shuls out of the city for most of the week. I felt that the Spy Museum was too complicated for my kids at their ages and cost way too much money for what they got out of it. It was also extremely crowded when we were there-- we could not even move our bodies through the crowds. The Bureau of Engraving was good and Air and Space was excellent. The White House and Capitol tour were a bit boring for them at the time, but they still talk about it. I think it's important for them to have a point of reference when they learn about it at school. BTW, we have friends that have spent Shabbos more than once with Kesher Israel, the Georgetown synagogue. They love the vibe and the hospitality and they like being in the city to walk around.

              2 Replies
              1. re: cappucino

                Where is the Georgetown synagogogue in relation to downtown DC? As of now, we are staying at Residence Marriot near the Capitol. Thanks. My thought was to stay downtown to be near everything as well. TIA.

                1. re: momrn

                  Georgetown is about two miles northwest of downtown.

              2. I live in Silver Spring and am very familiar with the kosher restaurants. The only ones currently in D.C. proper are Eli's, already discussed, which is OK and Maoz which is a falafel chain. There used to be a place at the DC JCC, but it went out of business. The best place in the area by far is Pomegranate Bistro. http://www.pombistro.com/ It's an upscale meat restaurant - you can check out their menu on the website. However, it's in Potomac, so you'd have to take a cab there. (You could take the Metro to Bethesda and get a cab from there so as not to have such a long cab ride.) Another possibility is Max's. It's a casual place with no atmosphere, but they have great shwarma. You could take the Metro to Wheaton and walk a few blocks from there. http://www.theshalomgroup.com/maxs-ca...

                Have a great trip.

                13 Replies
                1. re: jerirl

                  Maoz is vegetarian; is it certified kosher?

                  1. re: jerirl

                    Thank you. We like the Maoz in NYC , It has a hashgacha. Does this one? If so, where is it?

                    1. re: momrn

                      I think it has the same hashgacha as the one in NYC. Its on M St. b/w 18th and 19th, around the corner from Eli's. Eli's also has a schwarma/falafel stand right next door to the restaurant. For seating there's only a bench outside, but Dupont Circle is only two blocks. Of course eating outside would be weather dependent.

                    2. re: jerirl

                      Where is Potomac in relation to DC OR 95? is it a thought for the day that we drive down from NJ? Is it convenient for getting off 95 and/or getting from there to downtown DC?

                      1. re: momrn

                        Potomic Maryland? Never been there, sorry. I have done the drive from the DC Metro area to and from Cherry Hill, NJ more times than I can recall and it can be very easy. it usually is unless traffic is messy.

                        1. re: Prettypoodle

                          Hey Pretty P! I am from Cherry Hill originally. I got married at Sons of Israel.

                          1. re: SoCal Mother

                            Oh wow! Cool another CH grrl! We got married at the former Beth El, they are now in Voorhees. The west side now has a yeshiva and a YI and a Kosher Pizza place and the very important Kosher Ritas water ice:)!! YUM!
                            We are now over in Montco. PA. No really close by Kosher Ritas:(

                            1. re: Prettypoodle

                              I also hung out at Beth El as a teenager. Maybe we know each other IRL??? I dislike giving out personal information online but I lived there when Beth El was on Chapel Ave.

                              1. re: SoCal Mother

                                BE was on Chapel until a few years ago but grew up at TBS when that was in haddon Heights.. I went to East. Class of 82

                                  1. re: SoCal Mother

                                    Uhh I was still at Horace Mann back then. <g>

                        2. re: momrn

                          From downtown it would be about 30-45 minutes in non-rush hour. Maybe an hour in rush hour. On route from NJ it would add about 30 minutes. However, you could spend a day doing activities in that direction and go there for dinner. Its en route to Frederick, MD and (off the top of my head) there's some civil war history and Camp David around there.

                        3. re: jerirl

                          I concur with Jeiri that Pomeganate is the best. I am rather fond of Eli's. it is unpretentious, but they will grill you a good burger burger or some chicken, do good French fries and make you a good sandwich. They even bring some dishes to the table on a steaming iron griddle, which can amuse a child bored by too much touring. And they can arrange to deliver to downtown hotels.

                          The important thing to know is that the Smithsonian actually has a policy permitting brown bagging. Lots of non-kosher, non-Jewish families do it because they are on a budget. You can get bread and sandwich fixings of some sore (lox, cream cheese, hummus) at pretty much any grocery store. You can even pick up hummus and pita and use the plastic cutlery in the Smithsonian cafeteria to make up sandwiches. You don't have to spend a fortune on restaurant meals.

                        4. Remember that security in DC is crazy over the top. If you brown bag lunch whle doing the mueseams, etc, pre cut evrything in your room and leave the knives (even plastic ones) in your room. If you are traveling with really young kids, be sure to let them know they will have to go through security before entering many buildings and what that may entail. Older kids probably have a clue already.
                          Have fun and remember weather in DC will be very similar to NYC or Philadelphia so dress approprately.

                          1. Not a big fan of Eli's but it and Maoz are the only restaurants downtown. There are also a couple of places where you can get prepared sandwiches http://wrap2go.com/locations.htm, but I'd recommend making your own.
                            If you're willing to go out to the suburbs, I'd go with Max's in Wheaton for the schwarma/falafel (and they have a kosher delight type menu if your kids just want a burger or something). I also like their onion rings a lot. Pomegranate in Potomac was fantastic but expensive. Kosher Pastry Oven has some good options for brunch/lunch (I liked the Malawach) and a rotating dinner menu that hasn't disappointed me (you missed their regionally famous chanukah donuts). My personal fave for pizza is Sienna's deep-dish in Rockville but a lot of the D.C. area natives will recommend Nut House and the New Yorkers will tell you Ben-Yehuda, both in Wheaton. Ce la vie. Sienna's also have a Mexican menu.
                            If you plan on getting prepared food for Shabbat you'll have to go out to the suburbs anyways, and all of these places are close to kosher markets.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: elmoz

                              There's a couple of strictly vegetarian places too. They don't have a hecksher. Java Green and Nirvana Express. The latter is only open for lunch and is in the International Plaza basement food court at 18th and I NW.

                              1. re: SimonF

                                I figured since the OP asked about Maoz's hashgacha (which is vegetarian), then (s)he would require a hecksher. For vegetarian options I'd recommend posting on the D.C. board.

                                1. re: elmoz

                                  I am pretty sure Moaz has no hashgacha

                                  1. re: gsquaredb

                                    I just called the DC location - ahh Google is an amazing too, maybe you should try it sometime.. I talked to a man there who said they ARE certified Kosher. I did ask by who and he asked me to call back in 5 minutes as he is with a customer. So PLEASE get your "facts" correct before posting. Here is the phone numnber if you want to follow up 202-290-3117 and see if it meets YOUR standards.

                                    1. re: Prettypoodle

                                      what did they say when you called back? Since they arent under the DC Vaad then you are correct that they dont meet my standards.

                                      1. re: gsquaredb


                                        You will find your answer on the first page of results. Why don't you do a little research yourself...

                                        1. re: zsero

                                          No I am not his lawyer. I do not eat at Moaz. I am constantly amazed that some of the participants on this blog do not care about the rules of the blog. According to Chowhound the validity of the hechsher is not up for debate. If the hechsher is good or not is the business of each member and his/her rabbi. I notice that you did not bother to answer the question I had for you. How do you know he never visits any of the individual branches?I think that you might want to follow either the Chowhound rules, or atleast answer my question without just spouting. As to queenscook, I do not know if he, or his representatives are able to be in Washington. I take it you do not eat under Rabbi Steinberg. The one thing I know is that noone worries about eating under star K which is a Baltimore organization. The location of the organization is not always important to the validity of its supervision.

                              2. re: elmoz

                                Siena is SOOOOOOOOO good! We once took a non Jewish friend there who was impressed by the faux sasuage pizza (my fav btw!)