Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Feb 9, 2011 04:59 PM

Can you ID this restaurant?

Hi, everyone. I've only been living in DC for a couple of years, but I came here for a wedding in the summer of 2000. While I was here, I had lunch with someone I was friendly with at a restaurant in Georgetown. She and I have lost touch, but I was curious if someone here can help me figure out which restaurant it was.

I remember it as a somewhat casual coffeehouse/sandwich type place. I'm pretty sure it was on M Street, on the south side. I remember entering the restaurant and having to turn somewhat to the right and walk up three or four steps to get to the dining area; the counter was in the back, possibly towards the left side. The bathrooms were in the back right corner. I recall having a chicken sandwich--which was presented in such a way that I felt compelled to eat it with a knife and fork--and fries. I remember thinking that there was more food than I had expected (I think I had a lot of fries). My friend had a coffee, hot chocolate, or something similar, I think with a muffin. I vaguely recall that the floor was black and white, but I wouldn't swear to that.

When we were done, we headed west and went to a bookstore, which I've been told is no longer in business (I don't think it's the Barnes & Noble that's still there, but I could be wrong).

If anyone happens to know what place that is (or was), please let me know. Thanks!

Edited To Add: I have walked along M Street, looking into the various storefronts in the hopes of recognizing this place, but I was unsuccessful.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Could it be La Madeleine?
    I remember that bookstore, it was amazing. It was on Wisconsin Ave, just up from M Street.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hamster

      Olssons Books and Records (now defunct - all locations closed)? though not on M Street?

      There were (are) a few antiquarian book stores on/near M

      1. re: hamster

        La Madeleine was the first thing that came to mind when I read the description....

      2. Cafe Tu o Tu near the Four Seasons?

        1. Thanks, everyone. I probably never knew the name of the restaurant, but seeing that the places that have been named are still in business, I'll plan to take a closer look the next time I'm in Georgetown.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Garlic Guy

            I was thinking the bookstore may have been Brentano's, but I may be going too far back.

            1. re: flavrmeistr

              I can't remember the name of it, but there was an awesome bookstore on Wisconsin Ave in the summer of 1999 when I lived in DC for an internship. It was on your right as you walked up Wisconsin from M Street. I assume it was still open the following summer when the OP visited.

              1. re: hamster

                That would be Olssons - bankrupt and gone now

                1. re: nytdct

                  My memory says that Olsson's was located on M Street in the block east of the intersection of Wisconsin and M. I'm having no luck trying to remember a casual cafe in that same block.

                  Brentano's! I haven't thought of that place in decades. Here's another business that's a relic from the Brentano's era: Hahn's Shoes. (And just to keep this appropriate for the DC board...) When I eat at Ceiba, I can look out the window and see the long-vacant space where a branch of Hahn's Shoes used to be located.

                  1. re: Indy 67

                    Olssons was on Wisconsin abouyt 1/2 block north of M - for really old times sake, was just a few doors up from the original location of American Cafe

                    1. re: nytdct

                      American Cafe was the original Mr. Henry's before that. The best ever rare and used bookstore was the Quizzicum, further up M near the old Sunny's Surplus.

                  2. re: nytdct

                    Isn't there an Olsson's on Wilson Blvd. still?

                    1. re: flavrmeistr

                      That is defunct also and has been replaced by a Corner Bakery.

            2. The bookstore could have been Bartleby's used books, which was on M street for a long time. There was also a used books store on 31st whose name escapes me. Bridge Street Books is on Pennsylvania ave near there too, but you couldn't have gone west to get there unless you were in the Four Seasons.

              2 Replies
              1. re: brooklyndude

                Perhaps you are remembering Second Story Books? I worked on Thomas Jefferson Street in the late 90s so I knew the neighborhood well in the time frame the OP references. That would have put you east of a block of many restaurants that have come and gone. I can't remember the name but there was a pub food type of place there in the 90s that had a nice back patio. It's long gone though might have become a Charbucks or some other chain. Georgetown just isn't like it used to be!

                1. re: HokieAnnie

                  Second Story books is still on P street in Dupont, I don't recall a Georgetown location anytime in the last 20 years.

              2. I was in Georgetown earlier today and walked into La Madeleine. I think that's the place; it doesn't look exactly like I remember, but it has been over 10 years, so that's to be expected. I'm not 100% convinced, but I'm 90% sure that's the place I was looking for. Thanks for suggesting that might be the place!

                I'm not even sure I went into the bookstore, and have no real memory of it other than that I think they had several shelves of books out on the sidewalk.

                Thanks again, everyone.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Garlic Guy

                  That is probably Bridge Street Books (a bit west of the Four Seasons in G'town - usually has several tables of books outside