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Comfort food with an old unremodeled interior

My nirvana for restaurants is good old fashioned American food like a hot turkey sandwitch or meatloaf in an very old restaurant with an unremodeled well-worn interior (you know dark woods, red leather semi-circular booths, old neon sign). I'm in the Washington DC-Baltimore area for a few days and would love to find places fitting this description.

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  1. Tune Inn on Capitol Hill? It's more of a bar, but it has a full menu. Also, they recently had a fire and I haven't been since the reopen. I read that they tried to keep things the same though. Very much a divey, neighborhood place.

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    Tune Inn
    331 Penn SE, Washington, DC

    4 Replies
    1. re: woodleyparkhound

      my thought exactly. despite the rebuild the online photos tell me it's much the same. (but as I posted on that other thread the booths did need repair)

      but of greater interest - why is 331 Penn SE shown (mapped) as being on NY Ave. NE?

        1. re: hill food

          There is a "Penn Street" in NE DC, near the wholesale market. So when people enter "Penn" instead of "Pennsylvania Ave", as appears to have happened with the Tune Inn listing, it will get mapped there...

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          Tune Inn
          331 Penn SE, Washington, DC

          1. re: hoosiereph

            ahhh. never knew there was a street as well

        1. re: kukubura

          The Tune Inn and Sip N Bite look like they exactly fit the bill. Thanks! Any others? It amazing with two cities as old as Baltimore and D.C. how few old looking unremodeled places there appears to be. Places that are primarily bars as well are also of interest (I guess Tune Inn fits that bill). A place with a true Baltimore Steak Sub (with the hot pepper relish) would be great about now.

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          Tune Inn
          331 Penn SE, Washington, DC

          1. re: Paliau

            There are a lot of Double T diners around Baltimore but truth be told I think they're gross.

            There's the Bel Loc Diner which is also kind of gross but might get you what you're looking for.

            You might like Jimmy's in Fells Point as well.

            But Sip N Bite has a special place in my heart.

        2. I'm not sure what they've been doing to the Sip & Bite but it's been going through a pretty extensive remodel for the past--well, forever. Personally, I don't think it's been the same since the son took it over more than a few years ago.

          You might want to check out Honey Bee Diner in Glen Burnie. In Catonsville, check out Jennings Cafe.

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          Honey Bee Diner
          7346 Ritchie Hwy, Glen Burnie, MD 21061

          Sip & Bite Restaurant
          2200 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21231

          3 Replies
          1. re: baltoellen

            Ack, sad to hear that. Been maybe three years since I was there... Used to go there at all hours back in the dirty 90s.

            1. re: kukubura

              Yeah, it's been on my "rotation" since the 80s--minus the years when I left the warm confines of Charm City. It's one of those it's just not what it once was. In fact, when driving by yesterday I sighed when seeing the ongoing renovations. The son doesn't seem to realize that what is (was) special about the Sip & Bite was how it fit squarely in that "a place that time forgot" genre.

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              Charm City Cafe
              Baltimore, MD, Baltimore, MD

              Sip & Bite Restaurant
              2200 Boston St, Baltimore, MD 21231

            2. re: baltoellen

              do not go to the Honey Bee, it is gross gross gross... it isn't even "3 AM after the bars have closed and I need greasy food" good.

            3. I would try to grab lunch at CF Folks...especially if their meatloaf is on the menu.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Elyssa

                Second CF Folks - but only their specials, and note that they're only open for weekday lunches.

                Tune Inn also has a special place in my heart (haven't been since the fire).

                Other additions include Vienna Inn on Maple in Vienna and Jimmy's in Herndon (especially the Friday night fish fry).

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                Tune Inn
                331 Penn SE, Washington, DC

                1. re: Dennis S

                  Gladchuck Brothers on W. Patrick in Frederick, is what your looking for, great American comfort food, old but spotless interior, full bar. Good portions, prices and different daily specials.

              2. Royal Restaurant in Alexandria. Preserved in aspic.

                1. Martin's Tavern on Wisconsin Ave in Georgetown may be more upscale than most places mentioned but fits the bill for the OP.

                  1. Jonnny Dee's in Parkville is just off the Beltway. Though I didn't love the turkey sandwich (I hate the sight, but not the taste, of yellow gravy) I think it will fit your bill. I am sure there are tons more in the area I have not yet discovered...

                    1. Is that place in Arlington up Wilson near the VW dealership still open? I think it was called Carriage House or Wagon Wheel or somehing like that?

                      If not, I would recommend you try Tastee Diner in Bethesda. Classic food in a classic setting. Ask for David Your Waiter.

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                      Carriage House
                      4030 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207