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DC Food Blitz Starting this Sunday! Am I doing it right?

c
Clairechat Mar 25, 2011 04:43 PM

Ok Chowhounds, I'm visiting DC for the first time since I moved away in 2001! I've heard such great things about the food scene and reading your posts is a GREAT Source. I'm flying in/out of BWI here's what I'm planning.

Sunday:
Eastern Market brunch
Dinner: Founding Farmers

Monday:
Lunch: LobsterRoll Truck
Dinner: Palena Cafe OR Corduroy OR Someplace amazing near Clarendon??

Tuesday:
Lunch: Sonoma
Dinner: CityZen

Wednesday:
Crab at Gunnings in Baltimore near BWI

I know Komi is amazing, but I'm worried it's too long of an event and perhaps too $$ this trip. Ok weigh in, am I doing it right or are there better options?

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CityZen Restaurant
1330 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

Palena
3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Komi
1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

Sonoma Restaurant
223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

Founding Farmers
1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006

  1. d
    dcandohio Mar 26, 2011 07:07 AM

    Just my two cents worth, but there are better choices than Sonoma for lunch. What about any of the Ethiopian places, Brasserie Beck, Acadiana, Jaleo, Zaytinya...unless you need to be in that part of town I just don't think Sonoma is a solid option. I would also substitute Dino. Rasika or Bombay Club for Founding Farmers. Dino's sourcing, etc. is what FF CLAIMS to be, and there are some amazing deals to be had on Sunday. You can't go wrong with Palena or Corduroy.

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    Palena
    3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

    Rasika Restaurant
    633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

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

    Bombay Club
    815 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006

    Sonoma Restaurant
    223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

    Founding Farmers
    1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006

    Acadiana
    901 New York Ave NW Ste 200A, Washington, DC 20001

    3 Replies
    1. re: dcandohio
      c
      Clairechat Mar 26, 2011 12:37 PM

      Thanks for the feedback. Sonoma was suggested by two friends. I'll be playing tourist and will likely be around the Hill at that time of day. Other recs for that area?

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      Sonoma Restaurant
      223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

      1. re: Clairechat
        e
        Elyssa Mar 28, 2011 10:12 AM

        On the Hill I also like Bistro Cacao (on the House/Union Station side of the Hill) or Cava (Near Eastern Market).

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        Bistro Cacao
        320 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002

        1. re: Clairechat
          Bob W Mar 28, 2011 10:51 AM

          What about Bistro Bis? It's been a couple of years since I've been there, but it was very good.

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

      2. Dennis S Mar 26, 2011 08:08 AM

        I need to try the crab at Gunnings myself. Almost did yesterday but I was closer to Andy Nelson's and so did that (which was great and not on your radar - North of B-More).

        I would like to reserve the right to suggest Grace Garden first for your Wednesday meal. Great Sichuan in a slightly altered style. Family operation. Looks like crap on the outside but you can easily find a thread with over 200 favorable posts.

        Otherwise near the airport go to Snyder's Willow Grove to take a time trip back to the 1950's or so. Good solid food. Great overall experience.

        And again, not knocking Gunnings, which I need to get to.

        Where have you been since 2001? For instance if you've been in SF, I wouldn't rec Vietnamese. But if not, maybe I would. Also - what did you like and visit when you were here?

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        Grace Garden
        1690 Annapolis Rd, Odenton, MD

        Snyder's Willow Grove
        841 N Hammonds Ferry Rd, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090

        2 Replies
        1. re: Dennis S
          s
          Steve Mar 26, 2011 08:35 AM

          If you go to Gunnings, don't ignore the codcakes.... as it can take 45 minutes for the crab on a busy day, you might need something to eat in the meantime.

          1. re: Dennis S
            c
            Clairechat Mar 26, 2011 12:33 PM

            Thanks so much for the input. I lived in LA after DC for a few years and Charleston, SC for the past six years. I loved Restaurant Nora, Cafe Milano, Jaleo, Four Seasons burger and many others back in the day.

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            Restaurant Nora
            2132 Florida Ave., N.W, Washington, DC 20008

            Cafe Milano
            3251 Prospect St NW, Washington, DC 20007

            Four Seasons Cafe
            50 S Pickett St Ste 23, Alexandria, VA 22304

          2. s
            Steve Mar 26, 2011 08:32 AM

            Lyon Hall in Clarendon, serving Alsatian food, is one of the best places in the area. However it is very popular and be prepared that it can be loud and dark. Pate de campagne, beet-cured car, trout, choucroute garnie, potato and prune dumplings are among the highlights.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Steve
              c
              chicken kabob Mar 26, 2011 09:11 AM

              Eastern Market does not have their awesome pancakes on Sundays-only Saturdays-and it closes at noon-there are lines, but they go fast, and worth the wait.

            2. k
              katecm Mar 28, 2011 09:59 AM

              Palena's lovely, but I would actually lean toward Corduroy because I love the three-course bar menu, upstairs. The food is wonderful and I think it's the best deal in DC. Everything the chef does is super-high-quality. But, for example, he'll break down a duck and use the breasts downstairs, but confit the legs for upstairs. So, you get his cooking, but at a really good price.

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              Palena
              3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

              1. e
                Elyssa Mar 28, 2011 10:11 AM

                I think everything looks good except Founding Farmers---skip it! The restaurant gets a lot of hype but I think mostly because they apparently have some amazing PR person working for them.

                I've gone a few times (mostly if I have an event at the Kennedy Center) and thought it was fine but nothing great.

                Instead I would go to Central, Masa 14, Rasika, Acadiana or PS7...something new from the last time you were in town.

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                Rasika Restaurant
                633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

                Acadiana
                901 New York Ave NW Ste 200A, Washington, DC 20001

                Kennedy Center
                2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20256

                Masa 14
                1825 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

                7 Replies
                1. re: Elyssa
                  j
                  Jeserf Mar 28, 2011 10:45 AM

                  I don't know, I was just at FF on Sat night and it was fantastic. I hated sitting between tables of people with kids, but the food was great and eventually the kiddie tables emptied. The fried green tomatoes were wonderful. My husband's ravioli was really, really good and my bloody mary was above par for DC. The two of us with drinks, starts, dessert...$77. For a birthday dinner. I don't care about their claims or whatever, I just cared that the food was good and it was. That was my 3rd time there and the only mediocre thing I had there was my brunch egg whites a few weeks ago because egg whites are inherently boring. I wouldn't make a trip of it over, say, Rasika, but given that you can't get a reservation at Rasika for a Sat night AT ALL thru May (I'm trying to get a reservation for before my husband goes to Afghanistan, and at this point...doesn't look like that will happen!!!) FF was a solid pick. Even our server was attentive, which I assumed wouldn't be the case based on all the reviews.

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                  Rasika Restaurant
                  633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

                  1. re: Jeserf
                    k
                    katecm Mar 28, 2011 11:11 AM

                    Are you willing to sit at the bar at Rasika? If you arrive early on a weeknight, around 5:30, and have drinks and nibble on their curry popcorn for a while, you should be fine without a reservation.

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                    Rasika Restaurant
                    633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

                    1. re: katecm
                      j
                      Jeserf Mar 28, 2011 12:09 PM

                      No, I can't make that as I work.
                      Also, we don't eat out during the week (nutritional and financial preference). It's not a huge deal at all - we recently ate at Indique Heights and he said it's ALMOST as good as Rasika without the wait, so I think a few meals there before he deploys will satisfy his Indian food cravings

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                      Rasika Restaurant
                      633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

                      Indique Heights
                      2 Wisconsin Circle, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

                      1. re: Jeserf
                        k
                        katecm Mar 28, 2011 12:37 PM

                        Indique Heights's bhel puri and scallop appetizer are two of my favorite dishes. Makes a perfect light meal!

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                        Indique Heights
                        2 Wisconsin Circle, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

                        1. re: katecm
                          j
                          Jeserf Mar 28, 2011 12:52 PM

                          Passage to India in Bethesda is also good. We're going to try Severana Palace in Fairfax, too.

                          -----
                          Passage to India
                          4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

                        2. re: Jeserf
                          d
                          dcandohio Mar 28, 2011 01:27 PM

                          Have you tried Masala Art? It's an easier reservation and very, very delicious. So convenient to Tenleytown metro, too, if you don't have a car. I think it's my favorite Indian food now.

                          -----
                          Masala Art
                          4441 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, MD 20016

                      2. re: Jeserf
                        ktmoomau Mar 28, 2011 11:13 AM

                        The fried green tomatoes are one of the things that they actually do very well. Not as good as my ones at Trummer's on Main, but still very good.

                    2. ktmoomau Mar 28, 2011 10:36 AM

                      I think you have some great advice above. I am not crazy about Founding Farmers, although have found some things are better than others. Do you need to be in that area or did someone pick it?

                      If I could do Palena or Corduroy, I wouldn't bother coming to Clarendon, we have some good stuff, but not THAT good. I really really love Palena, to me the food is amazing, but doesn't feel overdone.

                      For your meal on the hill, I really liked Sonoma, but haven't been in a while and my Hubby who is in that area more often has said it has gone downhill. Another suggestion for that area is Ba Bay. We also like Cava and Matchbox, although those are a little more down the street than Sonoma.

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                      Palena
                      3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

                      Sonoma Restaurant
                      223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

                      Founding Farmers
                      1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ktmoomau
                        c
                        chicken kabob Mar 28, 2011 11:14 AM

                        I like founding farmers, too. I love their grilled cheese, tomato soup, carrot cake, bacon lollipops.

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