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Help me please my parents!

The parents are coming into town this weekend. Usually I feed them at my house because they're hard to please with restaurants, but they insist on taking me out to eat. Help me find a place that will satisfy them! First, they are from a small town and aren't used to city prices. High teens to low 20s for the entrees would be my maximum to stay comfortable. They also don't do ethnic, don't do spicy, wouldn't like small places, and aren't drinkers more than a beer for two for Dad. Places they have liked: Filomena (for special occasion), Matchbox, Sesto Senso, Clyde's (!!!). They haven't like CommonWealth. I live in Shaw, so would prefer to stick with Dupont, Logan, Downtown, maybe Barrack's Row since they've never been there. Mom wouldn't really like the boisterousness of U Street, but further south on 14th would be fine (I was considering Posto, and still am, but think the pastas would be a bit too novel for them. They're just not adventurous). They'd love the vibe at Tabard, but not the prices. This stresses me out, and it's why I usually keep them at home for dinners!!!

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  1. What about Daily Grill or Cafe Deluxe? Not in the area you specified, but seems like places they would like that are pretty good for what they are. Or Dino, they are still doing RW menus even so a good deal?

    Daily Grill
    2001 International Dr, Mc Lean, VA 22102

    Cafe Deluxe
    3228 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

    1. Aren't Birch and Barley and Againn both within the price range? I think they'd like either of those places.

      1. Barracks Row: Ted's Bulletin? Levi's Port Cafe? I haven't been to the latter yet - it might be too small for them. (??)

        Ted's Bulletin really might work, though. http://tedsbulletin.com/index.php/men...

        Dupont: Pizzeria Paradiso? BGR: The Burger Joint?

        Pizzeria Paradiso
        3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

        The Burger Joint
        4827 Fairmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

        Ted's Bulletin
        505 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

        2 Replies
        1. re: woodleyparkhound

          mmm Ted's.
          It's very good (at least in my opinion), not fancy, lots of choice, and each time I've been I've had excellent service.

          1. re: woodleyparkhound

            Ted's was my first thought; pretty much everything there is $16, IIRC, and it's also right next to a Matchbox, so if they get finicky once they get there, you can always bail and go to someplace you already know that they like. BGR & Pizzeria P are good options too; sadly, in my experience (unless they're from the south) a place like Levi's would be too ethnic for people who don't like ethnic food.

          2. Maybe you are selling your folks short? If they want to take you out, I'd take them at their word and find a nice place near your digs, and not worry about it. They aren't breakable china. They'll be fine.

            5 Replies
            1. re: sueatmo

              I'm afraid "a nice place near my digs" doesn't quite exist yet. And trust me, I know them. If I push past a certain price threshold, my mother will instantly clam up. It just doesn't work.

              Ted's or Againn may be an option. Dino could be clever, too, since we may do dinner on Sunday and they have a good Sunday special. Keep 'em coming!

              1. re: katecm

                Then choose a couple of options, send them links, and have them choose. I have 3 grown sons, and I'd go anywhere they wanted to take me. I do think if you do this a few times, your parents will loosen up a bit. JMO.

                1. re: sueatmo

                  Or if you know they are happy at Clydes and it isn't stressful for them, then go to Clydes (it is not horrible)

                  1. re: nytdct

                    Or maybe the Old Ebbitt Grill, a Clyde's in disguise.

                    Old Ebbitt Grill
                    675 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                2. re: katecm

                  definitely dino. it's great food at great prices and parents will love cleveland park

              2. My recommendations would be
                1) Dino - my grandparents really enjoyed it
                2) Teds - yum
                3) Rosemary's thyme - it's cheap, pretty reliable, not "ethic" in that there's pizza, pasta, salads
                4) Busboys at 5th and K - cheap, reliable (well, I've only been to U St but they can't be that different)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jeserf

                  They're not. If anything, the one at 5th has even more a normal restaurant set up than the Busboys on U St.

                2. My first thought would be Clyde's and I'm not at all surprised they enjoyed it . It works perfectly for people like your parents, I've used it a few times for similar situations. The food is good and the price is right. The Chinatown location at Gallery Place is a very nice space, lots of dark wood, much fancier looking than the food quality and price let on. I'd take them there and they will be very pleased for sure. Italian and Chinese also work well in this situation, but in both cases, nothing too fancy or chowhound-ish. If you were in Virginia, I'd say A La Lucia or China Garden, their equivalents in DC.

                  A La Lucia
                  315 Madison St, Alexandria, VA 22314

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: justaddwater

                    Clyde's also has the same raw bar happy hour Old Ebbitt Grill has. That's what I usually go for there.

                    Old Ebbitt Grill
                    675 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                  2. Ok...big breath! We can do this. :)

                    How about Hank's Oyster Bar or Sette Osteria in Dupont? You could also try Pizzeria Paradisio.

                    I haven't been to Ted' Bulletin yet but it sounds like it might be something you all would like.

                    Sette Osteria
                    1666 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

                    Hank's Oyster Bar
                    1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Elyssa

                      I was hoping you'd throw in your two cents...Hank's is a really good idea. Of course, I'll have to talk my mother down from her tizzy once she sees that the lobster roll is with mayo instead of CT-style butter, but there's plenty else that she would like. Do they tend to have specials on top of the regular menu? I don't recall. It's been a while.

                      1. re: katecm

                        Yes they have daily specials that are usually quite good (if a little more on the price scale). They also have daily specials that are on the website like meat and two specials, or short ribs etc.

                    2. Clyde's can mean SO many things, which is its charm. just go to a different one.

                      my parents are sorta the same people (they need to eat around 5 PM - why? because it's 5) so I took them to Belga on 8th (around 6 PM horrors!) and they were happy, nothing 'weird'

                      Hank's is great, does have specials and usu has a red meat option just no reservations beyond a 15 minute phone call, but is it maybe too much on the small side? (as a person with a bathtub-ful of food issues I'm curious about that one) hey there's an idea for a thread.