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Mar 19, 2012 09:25 AM

Outdoor lunch for cherry blossoms downtown DC

Hopefully the title says it all. My parents are coming into town Sunday and we're taking a trolly tour (they're not good walkers but want to see a lot, if there's suggestions other than a trolly too, I'd love them!), and I'm looking for a nice outdoor spot to have a late lunch along the trolly route. Constitution, Pennsylvania, Independence, etc. Thanks so much!

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  1. Cafe du Parc should be right at the right location, with gorgeous outdoor seating and views of the cherry blossoms:

    9 Replies
    1. re: katecm

      I was thinking the same thing too.

        1. re: jackcyn

          Well, unfortunately not perfect. :( They said it looked too fussy and expensive. Any other ideas with something less DC chic? Bummer.

          1. re: jackcyn

            What is your parents' comfort zone (e.g., price, ethnic food, crowds, etc)? Sunday lunch downtown is limited choice-wise (heavy on hotel venues). The prospect of Cherry Blossom Festival crowds and prediction of rainy weather is an added complication. Would you expand your target zone to other Trolley stops? The trolleys go up to the National Geographic [north of Dupont Circle] and there are more options there.

            1. re: jackcyn

              It's a mid-size chain, but Elephant and Castle has outdoor seating on Pennsylvania Ave:

              1. re: jackcyn

                Zaytinya and Poste are both around that same price point. Teaism??? Where else does the trolley stop??

                1. re: ktmoomau

                  KT! Your mention of Teaism reminded me of Paul bakery. You could always grab a few of their delicious ficelle sandwiches, maybe some tarts (YES), and eat by the lovely Navy Memorial out its front door:

                  1. re: katecm

                    Yes! The chocolate eclair is awesome, just tried it last weekend.

                2. re: jackcyn

                  I feel your pain jackcyn. it's tempting say "oh just go to the food court in the Press Club Building and I'll see you later."

                  so chowy ideas are met with suspicion. I know this scenario.

                  the idea of a takeout picnic is very good indeed. pack it up early and take it on the trolley (of course then finding a seat for the slowly-abled is the problem - that and the bathroom issue)

                  Elephant and Castle is good for what it is (decent and non-challenging) but is the cafe in the Sculpture Garden off Constitution open?

                  and then again, once in this situation, I had to say, "I'm treating, it's good and you'll like it" I played it safe and didn't spring Thai on them like I did once (whoa THAT was a mistake) sometimes I get the impression from mine they don't want to seem presumptuous or 'uppity' and so they decline and opt for Applebee's. comfort zone issues. sometimes they can be coaxed out of their shells but sometimes they're overwhelmed and just want a burger and it doesn't have to be the best. they're visiting you and DC, not the restaurants. yeah du Parc, Central, etc. would all be great, but maybe the stress of the new is too much. there will be a lot of visual stimuli,

                  so maybe pack a few nice artisanal treats (the tarts KCM mentioned?) for the ride in case there are low-blood-sugar issues and just suck it up for the meal (besides who's going to kick a nice older couple off for a simple nosh? one of them explaining loudly "s/he has a condition" should make it OK. just hold back on the spray paint and beer, in fact line your knapsack/hand bag/whatever with bubble wrap for insulation and re-fill small plastic ginger ale bottles with a nice chilled white bordeaux) by the end of the ride you'll get them to eat anywhere.

          2. Unfortunately it looks like our run of great weather is about to come to an end, Sunday's forecast is for rain and cold temps, might want to rethink the outdoor dining.

            1. We had a fantastic outdoor lunch at Poste today. It's not near the tidal basin (1.5 miles walking, we did it), but if you are taking a tour bus like the open top buses (not sure if trolley follows that), it will take you there (across the street from the Portrait Gallery).

              1. The patio at Hanks? Great lobster roll, great oysters, great beers, usually, and as unfussy as can be. Then a walk for dessert in Dupont as all you get at Hanks is a few pieces of chocolate. Do not go at peak hours.