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Feb 27, 2012 02:12 PM

Need varied place within walking distance of the Smithsonian, 1-2 April. Early Dinner.

As stated above, I'm looking for a place with varied cuisine within walking distance of the Smithsonian on either 1 or 2 April.

Group --
5 year old that will rule her parents.
Adult Very Adventurous Eater
Adult Adventurous eater 2 [but parent of the 5 yr old]
Adult Mild/nothing odd/nothing spicy eater 1 [parent]
Teen Experimental Eater 1, easily convinced to try
Teen Experimental Eater 2, easily dissuaded from trying
Teen White-foods Eater
Teen No opinion, it's food Eater

Now -- I'd like to find a place where we can order some "odd stuff" and also get something simple.
Parent who is the Mild/nothing odd/nothing spicy eater claims to love Italian -- Carrabas and Olive Garden are fave's.

Obviously, a family-oriented place. There are also some budget considerations, but not super-limiting.

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  1. Which Smithsonian? There are many in different places.

    3 Replies
    1. re: piafoodie

      All the Smithsonian's that are surrounding the Castle:
      From NW American History to SE American Indian; including Natural History, Freer, Sackler, African Art, Hirshhorn, Air & Space, and all the little sculptures and butterfly gardens.
      I consider all of those withing walking distance of each other.

      (Not the Zoo.)

      There will be 2 or 3 vehicles involved, and once parked, no one will want to relocate them until it's time to leave DC. Additionally, taking the M ~TO~ somewhere will be out of consideration due to the time of day.

      Thanks for the query. Since this is a "vacation" for most of the group, we can begin or end at either end of the Museums or somewhere in between.

      1. re: Kris in Beijing

        Are oyamel or jaleo in your walking area?

        1. re: Kris in Beijing

          Sounds very ambitious- not sure what you price range is that area can be a little pricey for dinner
          you can try Carmines -its a family style Italian Restaurant or Mike Isabellas-Graffiato

      2. Carmine's is a good suggestion. Also Matchbox, Ella's Pizza, or Hill Country. These are all near the northern edge of the Mall/Smithsonian.

        1. You might want to try Central on Pennsylvania Avenue for solid bistro fare. The food is excellent and the menu is varied enough to please most, including teens and kids. Great burgers, fried chicken, salads and foodie fare as well. Its not cheap but if you go at lunch you won't break the bank. Check out the website and decide for yourself. I don't think they're open for lunch on Sunday but are on Monday.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Ellen

            I was going to suggest Central so I will just second this suggestion!

            1. re: Ellen

              They are not open at all on Sunday.

            2. Depending on which Smithsonian you are going to you will be walking distance to Central or Clydes...both should work for this situation. They both serve American cuisine. At Central it's a Michel Richard restaurant so you'll get a more gourmet/whimsical take of the food but can still get a solid burger, fried or roasted chicken for those who are into the plain thing or mussels, duck rillettes (my favorite) or short ribs for the more adventurous.

              Clydes is more classic American in a nice setting. Nothing that is too thrilling but solid food nonetheless.

              3 Replies
                1. re: alkapal

                  There is one on 7th St NW next to the Verizon Center

                  1. re: agarnett100

                    oh --ok! a bit of a hike from the mall, though….
                    in the OP, what a "varied group" indeed!

              1. definitely 2nd both Carmines and Central for your varied group
                Carmines serves family style Italian food where an entry serves 2-3 people. quality is good. neat ambiance. We had Chicken Parmesean, Carmines Salad and Linguine with white clam sauce and all were great and we had leftovers for lunch (we were 4 including 2 teen boys)
                Central is Michelle Richard bistro with great food and varied menu. quality is very good including a great burger and you still get some of a world class chef's whimsical nature in the cooking in a more casual bistro setting.