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Mar 1, 2012 09:49 AM

Birthday in DC

My birthday is in a few weeks and it falls on a Saturday. I'll be in DC for the first time and am looking for something unique to do on my birthday. We'll have a car, so anything in the area is fine. I'll be visiting my sister and be with a friend who grew up in Baltimore.


Poor grad students. No $100 meals please.

I'd be happier eating a pupusa from a truck served to me by a grandma who doesn't know any english than I would eating at a fancy place with your own personal waiter. Likewise, soul food from a garage, ect. I know DC isn't the strong hold of that sort of thing, but I'd like some ideas in the area.
This is what I already have planned for the week, but I really want to do something cool for my birthday. Most meals I'll be cooking for my sister.

Thai-xing, DC- 3 (really want a white hot), the open air fish market.

Also, if any restaurants offer anything really unique, please chime in as well. We're already planning on eating chapulines at the mexican place. I grew up home butchering and being a minority because I wasn't an immigrant, so the "weirder" the better.


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  1. You really ought to try Ethiopian when you're here. I prefer Etete. The food is great and it's fun to try with a few other people so that you can share. I highly recommend at least one of you getting the vegetable platter, because it really offers you the chance to try six different dishes. Then, you'll be near a great bar scene for some birthday drinks, if you want!

    2 Replies
    1. re: katecm

      I second this idea. Etete would be a fun birthday celebration. Definitely get the veggie dish.

      This also puts you in a cool area time where you can go grab a drink afterward. I recommend Bar Pilar, Marvin or Cafe St. Ex for a drink afterward.

      1. re: Elyssa

        I've had great Ethiopian a bunch of times so it wasn't on the menu short list. I make gored gored at home with beef from my parents, so that cuisine is not too novel to me. I've been reading about the western African places and they are a possibility. Any other suggestions? I'm not so concerned about bar possibilities or nice neighborhoods as a kick butt meal.


    2. consider Nando's Peri Peri which is on 7th street between H and I. They have delicious african herbed roasted chicken, good sides and sell beer and wine. You order at a counter and they bring the food to you at the table. Not expensive and the food quality is very good.
      also consider Eat First on H street in Chinatown. Hong Kong style with interesting specialties. I enjoy the Aberdeen Shrimp, Chicken with mushrooms in Clay pot, clams in Black been sauce, noodle soups Hong Kong style with shrimp wontons, roasted duck and roasted pork and very good lo mein dishes. large menu---try the authentic as opposed to the american chinese food

      1. I would suggest driving to Wheaton for a bowl of ramen at Ren's or a great Thai meal at Ruan Thai. They are right next door to each other so you could have the ramen and then get take-away Thai for your next meal.