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Jan 28, 2012 02:45 PM

Casual Dinner near the Holocaust Museum or Metro Center

I'm taking some of my college students (about 8-10) to the Holocaust Museum. We'll be finished at 5:30pm on a weekday, and will go for a casual dinner after - pizza or diner or anything else they might be able to afford. I know there is very little near the Museum, but if anybody has any ideas, I'd appreciate it. We might also just take the metro or walk up to Metro Center, since I know there will be more options, although I don't know the area that well and would also appreciate inexpensive places where a group could also possibly even hear each other. Thanks.

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  1. I would say head up to Penn Quarter if you don't mind the extra hop.. So many more choices up there. Can you give a price range?

    1. I agree about there being lots more choices one stop further at Gallery Place. One decent low cost option is Nando's Peri-Peri. I think everyone could find something there.

      1. Another suggestion to head to Gallery Place, which has many more options for you. One idea is Matchbox, which has very good pizza and burgers (it's not quiet, however) but it's popular, so I would make sure you have a reservation for a party that size.

        Ella's Wood Fired Pizza is also nearby. I've never been, but it is supposed to be decent.

        I would even suggest you just grab two cabs and head to Dupont Circle [1] Pizza Paradiso in Dupont doesn't take reservations but is big enough to find a spot for you. There's also BGR The Burger Joint which is both cheap and good. Zorbas nearby is also a good choice, as would be Raku (an Asian diner). Downtown just doesn't have enough of a resident population to support much of what you're looking for - it's a lot of cheap lunch places and expense account restaurants.

        [1] You can also metro, but I've witnessed so many stressed out chaperones on the metro trying to not lose anyone it always makes me feel sorry for them - and you'll be traveling at rush hour, which DCers are most likely to be rude to large groups of tourists blocking the escalators and metro platforms. Please forgive us. I've missed more trains than I can count due to school groups blocking the platform at Gallery Place and it's enough to temp even a mild mannered person like me to be rude.

        713 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

        Zorba's Cafe
        1612 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

        Raku-An Asian Diner
        1900 Q St NW, Washington, DC 20009

        Pizza Paradiso
        2003 P St NW, Washington, DC 20036

        BGR The Burger Joint
        1514 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

        9 Replies
        1. re: emcentar

          If you're willing to go the extra Metro stop, Matchbox really is worth the extra travel. And, they're open to making half and half pizzas, so if your group can't agree on a particular kind, you can mix and match!

          1. re: ForFoodsSake

            The OP said, "... places where a group could also possibly even hear each other." In my experience, this excludes Matchbox. It's one of the loudest restaurants I've ever been in.

            1. re: woodleyparkhound

              Weird. I've been a number of times, and never had the feeling that Matchbox was a loud restaurant (unless you are downstairs in the bar area, it is louder). Though without fail, my gf and I are almost always seated next to the awkward couple on their first (or last) date.

              I was going to suggest this place as well.

              1. re: mdpilam

                Thanks for your thoughts on this. The problem is that it isn't just one more metro stop; it's switching lines from the blue/orange to the red, at a crowded rush hour. Also, the students are from GW, so I wanted to keep things as simple for them as possible in terms of getting back to campus. I know the Gallery place area is -much- better; if we were going there, I could find something pretty well. But is there really nothing decent at metro center?

                1. re: Melani99

                  I used to work there, and sadly, almost nothing falls within your parameters.
                  As your students are local, you might want to ask them for some ideas.

                  1. re: Melani99

                    I don't think transferring from blue/orange to red is difficult, especially for GW students, who I would think would know how to use the Metro, but having said that, it's also quite possible for you to walk to Gallery Place from Metro Center if you really are opposed to changing trains.

                    I don't know of anything that meets your needs near MC either.

                    1. re: woodleyparkhound

                      Keep in mind how close Gallery Place (9th-7th and G) and Metro Center (11th-13th and G) are. Honestly I think the walk to Metro Center from the Holocaust museum is probably much farther than the walk from MC to GP.

                  2. re: mdpilam

                    Bwaahaa - that always happens to me there too. Matchbox must be the 'first worst date capital' of DC. There's nothing worse than being seated so close to a terrible date - it's like the scene of a bad accident, you can't look away.

                  3. re: woodleyparkhound

                    I've only eaten in the upstairs part of Matchbox, but I've never had trouble with it being loud or having difficulty hearing a conversation. I'd think that particularly for an early-ish dinner on a weeknight, it wouldn't be an issue?

                    The tables are close together, so if you get stuck next to a loud group I can see that it would be difficult. I've also been stuck next to the awful trainwreck daters (hilarious) and the drunk woman who went on and on about her awful husband who wouldn't let her redo the living room for the third time that year (the horrors!).....but we always take humor in the trainwrecks and frankly they've never really disturbed us, only added to our entertainment for the evening!

              2. I think Matchbox or Nando's are both good suggestions, along with Pizzeria Paradisio.