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lunch near the NGA.

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We'll be taking our relatives from Paris to the Smithsonian and need some suggestions for a light lunch. We will have a car so it need not be downtown. Obviously not French food,but rather something American like crab cakes or BBQ.

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  1. I brought some friends to Hill Country BBQ after a day of museum-ing. It's solid (good by DC standards), but the only thing I find worth while (in terms of meat) is the brisket (moist, but lately it's been half fat, so look at it before ordering it). Also, it's fairly salty. And I generally don't think of it as light, but I'm not a light eater.

    Teaism might be a good choice, but I haven't been.

    America Eats is also open for lunch, but I don't know if it's really busy/requires reservations.

    Also, Graffiato's is open for lunch too.

    2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

    1 Reply
    1. re: mdpilam

      I brought my (visiting) parents to Teaism after going to the museums on the mall, and we all enjoyed it. Decent prices, good food and relatively healthy.

      2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

    2. If you can consider American to reflect the melting pot that our food culture has become, I think Zaytinya would be love. It's such a gorgeous, bright spot, and the menu allows you to order as light or heavy as you wish. 701 is closer to the museum, quite close actually, and has a very nice lunch, too.

      701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      1. Hill Country is the obvious choice for BBQ, and it's close by. The moist brisket is the only meat worth getting, though. You pay by the pound, so how much you eat is up to you. Just make sure to tell them it's Central Texas BBQ. Most BBQ is not like this.

        If you are on the weekend, go to CoCo Sala. They have a light brunch menu that includes crabcake. They specialize in cacao-inspired food, and make their own chocolates. Not open for weekday lunch.

        Also for crabcakes, go to Market Lunch at Eastern Market. This is a lunch counter inside an historic food market, so ultra casual. Not open Mondays. Gets horribly crowded on weekends.

        If you don't mind driving out of the immediate area, then go to the Quarterdeck in Arlington, VA. A pretty quick drive once you're in your car. Down home crabcakes, nothing fancy. Must order the mesquite shrimp. You cannot get that in Paris, I assure you.




        Market Lunch
        225 7th St SE Ste 12, Washington, DC 20003

        1. Mitsitam.... The cafe in the American Indian museum is fantastic!

          3 Replies
          1. re: jodik

            I can't say I've ever enjoyed my food at Mitsitam, as well as I think its overpriced.

            I suppose 'different strokes for different folks,' but at the same time there are certain items there that are completely awful. No taco truck in the DC area would be able to sell a single one of those dry, steamed piles of whatever meat they are serving. Those tacos rank at the very bottom of a list that's not too impressive to begin with.

            1. re: Steve

              Oh thats too bad about mitsitam. I've only been once but had a great pumpkin soup, some sort of Mexican dish that had a fried tortilla on the bottom with beans and roasted veggies on top and some really good tres leeches cake. I guess I will have to try it again though! It was pricey.

              1. re: Steve

                I personally love Mitsitam. I think there are a lot of fun options and the food I've had has been quite good---in particular the cedar planked salmon, the wild rice salad, and the tamale.

                It's certainly pricey but I think it's a fun place to take people from out of town. My bf and I go for lunch every once in awhile as well.

            2. I like the idea of America Eats, and I thought the food was good, although a little pricey, it is a good representation of American food.

              I would also consider Proof and second Zaytinya. I would also consider Sou'Wester for Southern food, we had dinner there last night and it was excellent and the service sublime.

              701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

              1. Head down to the Maine Avenue Fish Market. The crab cakes at Jimmy's Grill are excellent.


                Jimmy's Grill
                1100 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024