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New restaurant.com deals at some really great restaurants: $2 for $25 gift certificates

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http://www.travelzoo.com/entertainmen...

I was pleased to see that they have added a bunch of new restaurants to the restaurant.com list in DC. Be careful to read the fine print since most of them require a $35 minimum purchase, but right now you can buy $25 gift certificates for only $2 for places like Oohs and Aahs, Bistro Bis, Cedar, PS7s, Commonwealth, Creme, Social, and many others.

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PS7 Restaurant
777 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

Bistro Bis
15 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

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  1. Wow! Those are good restaurants. Normally the restaurants.com restaurants are pretty crappy.

    1. amen these are great deals!

      1. Check before you order: At least 2 of the restaurants on that site have been closed for several months.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bcarter3

          I feel a little guilty buying these - that's a huge difference. I have 2 $50 ones for PS7 in my cart - seems so wrong

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          PS7 Restaurant
          777 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

          1. re: Jeserf

            You're confusing "wrong" with "wonderful". :)

          2. re: bcarter3

            And amazingly, Chief Ike's is not one of them.

          3. Good deals, but note that many of them actually have min purchases higher than $35--I see a fair number of $40 and $50 mins on the $25 certs, and $100 mins on the $50 certs.

            9 Replies
            1. re: sweth

              right, but doesn't that mean the total meal needs to be $100?

              $100 at PS7 is easy - especially if you include wine/cocktails.

              So the $50 gift certificate costs $5, and if my meal tab is $110, the $50 gift cert gets deducted, leaving me with a tab of $60 plus the $5 for the certificate....right?

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              PS7 Restaurant
              777 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

              1. re: Jeserf

                Correct. I was just noting it because hamster had mentioned the $35 min, which is only true for some of them, and I didn't want someone to get surprised by higher mins. But if you are going to hit the min, then they're all pretty good deals; for the $10-for-$25 deals w/ $35 minimums, when combined w/ the 80% off sale this week, you end up paying $12 for $35 worth of food, which is 2/3 off.

                Also, note that you often can't use the certs on alcohol, although alcohol does usually count towards the minimum; for two folks at PS7, that won't be an issue, but for a singleton there, you might have some trouble using the $50 on food even if you're hitting the minimum w/ drinks, and since most of the certs are for dine-in only, a lot of the lower-priced places on the list would need 3-4 people or more to hit the minimum.

                And, since apparently I've turned into Mr. Caveat Emptor on this topic: when you use these certs, they also usually add 18%-20% tip automatically, after tax but before applying the cert, and the tip doesn't count towards the min; again, not a deal breaker for most folks, but better that people know about it up front so there aren't surprises.

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                PS7 Restaurant
                777 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

                1. re: sweth

                  Thank you for the great tip!

                  I bought ones for El Manantial and Russia House in the Reston/Herndon area.

                  Are there any other tips for which good DC restaurants have ones available?
                  I didn't see Bistro Bis in the list - is there something I did wrong.

                  1. re: majmaj4

                    It asks you for a zipcode and a distance you're willing to travel. I *think* I saw Bistro Bis when I put 20009 and 5 miles, but I might be mistaken. You might want to play around with your settings.

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                    Bistro Bis
                    15 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

                    1. re: hamster

                      I put the same settings and got Bistro Bistro, which is at once very similar to, and at the same time very different than, Bistro Bis.

                      1. re: marcj

                        Oops! My mistake! I just bought Oohs and Aahs.

                        1. re: marcj

                          Ha ha, I was looking for Bistro Bis as well- I would've snapped that up in a second.

                          There are really some great deals floating around on this site as well as others like Groupon, Opentable, and Living Social. In the last 6 months I've used certificates at Tackle Box, Againn, Kinkeads, Taberna del Alberwhatever, Foster Harris House Inn, and I've got three in my wallet for Charlie Palmers, Brasserie Beck, and Restaurant Three. If you keep an eye out and "collect" them, you can eat really well around this town without paying full price. I'm a fan.

                          -----
                          Bistro Bis
                          15 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

                          Brasserie Beck
                          1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                          Kinkead's Restaurant
                          2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006-1812

                          1. re: mjhals

                            With the 80% off (which I just learned isn't that unusual--apparently there are 60%-80% off codes that circulate on the web for restaurant.com every week), I like it a lot more than Groupon and the ilk, for two reasons. One, there's no expiration date, and two, your upfront expense is minimal. So rather than, say, lending the business in question $20 for six months (and running the risk of the coupon expiring before you can use it) you can spend $2 and keep the other $18 in your own pocket, have as much time as you want to use the discount, and get a better deal to boot.

                        2. re: hamster

                          I tried a 5 mile search from my home zip code and there were indeed a few places within 5 miles, but many more that were more like 7 miles if you take roads rather than fly on the back of the proverbial crow.

                2. Ahh awesome tip! Thank you so much. Usually they have bad choices that aren't worth it, but I grabbed quite a few : )

                  1. The 18% gratuity that is added - do you still need to tip, then? The printed vouchers says, "remember to tip on the original price of the bill", which is fine, but if they're already adding gratuity, doesn't that mean I no longer have to add my own tip...?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Jeserf

                      "Gratuity" = "Tip" in my dictionary. I think the reminder is so that if you have a $30 meal and a $25 coupon, you tip your chosen percentage of $30 and not of $5. That seems fair to me. But if they've already calculated it at 18%, to me, that says "this is enough of a tip, thank you." Of course you can add more, but I surely wouldn't add 20% of the pre-coupon amount.

                      1. re: MikeR

                        ok, that's what I thought!

                      2. re: Jeserf

                        I think it's up to the restaurants whether (and how much) they want to pre-tip, and so the site includes the "tip on the original price" reminder in case one of the restaurants opts to not include the tip at all.

                      3. I just wanted to also thank hamster for this great tip (and the Francophone party one too). I also forget about restaurants.com, so really appreciated the reminder. And I also was unsure if I could make the minimums on some of them, since it's usually at most two of us and the ones I was interested in aren't very expensive restaurants -- but at $2 and without the expiration date I figured it was worth it. (BTW, I spent a while looking around the site to make sure there really wasn't some hidden expiration date, that's really something.)

                        1. I just bought several of these. Has anyone used them before? Any positive or negative experiences?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ahack

                            I've used a bunch, and generally had good experiences.

                          2. Wanted to update with new code valid until 4/14 --- STEAK for 80% off. They have a new restaurant Vegetable Garden on Rockville Pike, which I was happy to see. $25 certificate for $4 after using the code

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                            Vegetable Garden
                            11618 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: MoCoMe

                              Just got a new one in my inbox today, it's $2 for a $25 certificate with the discount "BLOOM"

                              http://www.travelzoo.com/entertainmen...

                              They added Muzette, the Korean place in Adams Morgan which actually has some solid food. Weekdays only.