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Suggestions for DC/Georgetown/and Baltimore

Hi all!

My husband, 19 yr old daughter, 18 yr old son, will be in DC for 4 nights in August. We are staying at the Embassy Suites on 10th.

My 82 yr old father and 80 yr old mother are meeting us in DC for the weekend (Fri/Sat nts).

Baltimore
the four of us will be in Baltimore for one of those late afternoons. They will be going to an Orioles game, we are going to a concert at 1st Mariner Arena, so not far from each other. What restaurant/bar would any of you suggest that's right around that are? Pickles looks like it would be PACKED, so even though we want the great atmosphere, maybe something a little less packed. Burgers/skins, just something not too expensive.

DC
My parents like nice but my father is a rather loud man! Mom and dad are paying for the drinks yippee!) and their dinner, but i still would rather not go over $25 pp for the four of us. DC or Georgetown. Nice but just good down to earth kind of food.

Thanks so much!!!!

Pat :)

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  1. Are you willing to take Metro in DC? If driving, is accessible parking / valet parking a concern?

    Please define "nice but just good down to earth kind of food". What are some restaurants that serve this kind of food - some examples would help.

    5 Replies
    1. re: woodleyparkhound

      Hi Woodley! Thanks so much for the quick reply.

      We will have our own car, so we will be driving ourselves. Don't mind riding around for a few momentos to find a place. Valet would be great but not necessary.

      Something like good italian fare, and it can even be a place that has good burgers or pasta. Man, we are the worst now that I am thinking about it, about what kind of food we all like. I am a vegetarian, husband is meat and potatoes but no condiments, son will pretty much try anything, daughter is all about chicken fingers and fries, mom and dad will eat most anything, seafood, italian, etc. Does that help?

      Thanks again for the reply. Will await your reply.

      Pat :)

      1. re: laurits72

        For Italian, check out Dino - though they don't serve chicken fingers and fries there. You could manage $25 pp there - before wine.

        http://www.dino-dc.com/

        There is a local chain called Clyde's that might work for you. I must confess, I've never been, but it has a basic American menu - the kind of place that can please a variety of tastes, minus those of inveterate food snobs like me. :-

        )

        http://www.clydes.com/main/index.cfm

        For seafood, I'd recommend Hank's. I think there are 3 really good seafood places in town. Hank's is the cheapest. (Black Salt and Pearl Dive are the other two.

        )

        http://www.hanksoysterbar.com/

        1. re: woodleyparkhound

          thanks so much woodley! i like the menu at dino. so much good info!!!!! thanks again!!!

          1. re: woodleyparkhound

            I really like Dino, but it'd be hard to get out for $25pp IMO. Maybe if you're light eaters.

            I think it will be hard anywhere at that price point though in DC.

            1. re: mdpilam

              thanks md! hey, $25 is not set in stone, but just sort of trying for around that range. :)

      2. I haven't lived in the DC area for a while, but I remembered that there's a J-Paul's restaurant in both Georgetown and in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. I used to go to the Baltimore one occasionally in college. It's decent food, and lots of options. Definitely not a place you need to be quiet at. I'm not sure about $25 pp, but probably not more than $30, $35 pp especially if one of you is eating chicken fingers.

        http://j-pauls.capitalrestaurants.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: Alan72

          hey alan! that may just be the place. looks like a kind of bar/restaurant my father would like. we may head there for happy hour on that friday around 6p and they have a happy hour menu plus happy hour drinks.

          thanks so much!!!! :)

          Pat

        2. Hi, Laurits72 -

          A couple of thoughts to make your stay in DC more pleasant. First - even if you have your own car, take a cab. Driving here is not fun. Tons of traffic and very confusing streets. Second, where you are staying is no where near Georgetown and foodwise, there is no compelling reason to go to Georgetown. Someone recommended Black Salt and it is indeed superb but quite a bit off the beaten track. Plus it tends to have a rather hushed atmosphere - especially the back room - so if you feel uncomfortable about your father's voice, not the place for you. It is also expensive and your daughter and husband won't find anything there.

          Cleveland Park, where Dino is located, is outside the downtown area. However, in addition to Dino, it could be your salvation. There is another restaurant down the street called Palena. It has a dining room that could be perfect because it has seafood, a terrific roasted chicken (sorry no chicken fingers), and, if you call ahead, I would bet they would put together a vegetarian dish for you. There are a couple of non-animal items on the menu now. The food is terrific.

          In the other direction, a block or so south, is Ardeo/Bardeo - again, a varied menu, very good food. Although again, you would need to call ahead for vegetarian. If you are driving, Ardeo/Bardeo has valet.

          If daughter still can't find something to eat, Cleveland Park is a few blocks packed with restaurants including a Mickey D's.

          Finally, if you have no compelling reason to stay at Embassy Suites/in that area, might I suggest you look for a more centrally located hotel? Don't cancel until you find something else as hotel space in August can be scarce, but that location is not near much except the Convention Center so if you want to walk around town in the August heat and humidity, it is going to be a bit of hike to most area attractions.

          12 Replies
          1. re: Just Visiting

            awesome advice Just Visiting! Thanks so much! we stayed at that Embassy Stes a few years back and believe it or not, we liked the location. Mom and dad will be right by us at the Grand Hyatt. Most of our driving will be that Friday night and on Saturday and it is August 10th and 11th. We stayed there last time at the beginning of July and didn't seem to have a problem. So, hopefully, we will think that again. :)

            The kids LOVED Georgetown last time we were there and mom suggested we eat there Friday night, but I am thinking that we may just do a Saturday lunch there now.

            Liked what I saw at Ardeo/Bardeo! Thanks fo all of the details!!! This Chowhound sight is FAB!

            Pat :)

            1. re: laurits72

              FYI - Driving in DC is not confusing it is super easy. It is a basic alpha-numeric grid witht he East/West running "lettered" streets crossing the North/South running "numbered" streets.

              The grid is divided into "mirrored" image quadrants based on the four quadrants of a compass with the Capitol at the epicenter.

              You can forget about the "State" streets for now, but they essentially run diagonally across the grid, as they are shortcuts for those of us who know where they run.

              After the alphabet expires the East/West streets get names that roughly run in an alphabetical order, first two syllable names then at the very reaches of the city - three syllable names. HOWEVER, you really do not need to worry about these streets as 80% of the places you will possibly be traveling to are in Northwest (NW).

              I would consider one of the Jose Andres joints for your DC meal, Jaleo, Oyamel, Zetinya, ect. his small plates can both provide variety and a price point that can fit your budget. Or you may want to check out either Graffiato or Bandolero which are two restaurants run by an Adres alum and Top Chef contestant, Mike Issabella.

              1. re: drewpbalzac

                drew, thank you so much for the suggestions! i didnt recall driving indc to be confusing. it as easier than i thought when we were there before. thanks!

                like what i see at graffiato. lke the menu and prices. thanks again!

                Pat :)

                1. re: laurits72

                  I've only been to Graffiato once. We paid $40 pp and left hungry. I wouldn't think it would be in your price range.

                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                    hilarious! maybe i wll rethink that one! :)

                    1. re: woodleyparkhound

                      Wow - When I go. We grab a couple of pies and a couple of small plate to nibble on and we don't go over $25-$30 usually including a beer or glass of wine.

                      If we are drinking, the cost goes up but that is true everywhere in DC.

                      1. re: drewpbalzac

                        thanks drew! :) what do you mean, a couple of pies? where?

                        1. re: laurits72

                          Pizza pies . . . Grafiatto's Isabella is from New Jersey . . .

                          The Country Man and the White House rock!

                          1. re: drewpbalzac

                            i am dying laughing! will check those out!!! :)

                  2. re: drewpbalzac

                    Except that streets suddenly become one-way against the way you want to go, names change, traffic is horrendous and if you find yourself in the wrong lane and end up going under the circle instead of the side lane where you need to make your turn....trying to go around the block to reverse course is always going to get you in trouble.

                    Everything you say is true but it is good for walking, not for driving, because when you are driving, it just gives you a direction where you want to go. It doesn't help you at the confusing intersections or the many places where signs or lacking or might as well be. When you are driving, you don't have the luxury of stopping to think it through, especially if the light is green.

                    I've lived here 25 years and there are still times when I get turned around. To give someone directions on how to drive from DCA to Annapolis entailed actually getting in the car and driving it - three times before we figured out that there are two different 295s - the interstate and the DC route, which is marked only with a tiny black and white sign mounted on the stanchion of an overhead sign.

                    But if Pat is OK with it, as she says it is, then good on her! Most tourists do not feel that way.

                    1. re: Just Visiting

                      thanks just visiting! like i said, and it most definitely could be different this time, we didnt have a problem a few years ago. BUT, even with that said, im thinking that we will walk or take the underground transportation to MOST of what we will be doing. thanks again for the warning! :)

                      i appreciate all comments and suggestions. you all are so kind!

                2. DC. Busboys and Poets will have stuff to please all of you, including drinks and is in your price range

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dining with doc

                    love B and P's website! that looks like the PERFECT place actually! thanks so much dining with doc.

                    :)

                  2. For the O's Game--Pratt Street Ale house is a couple blocks away, has quality pub grub and great beers. Just get there a bit early and beat the crowds and get a seat. Pickles might be good for people watching, but not much else.

                    Rick Dempsey just opened a bar inside the stadium. We ate/drank there for the last game. The food wasn't stellar, but pretty good bar food. It was much more affordable than we thought, not hard to get a table, and we went straight to our seats afterwards.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Dithyramb

                      i saw pratt street. perfect location to what we are all doing there, so that sounds good. yes, pickels looked massively packed. dont know if i want to handle that mob on a hot august day! :) we plan to leave DC around 1p on the 9th (thurs) to go over to camden. hey, can we park somewhere by the bar or is there absolutely no parking anywhere around that area but decks? my daughter and i will be at 1st mariner, my son and husband will be at the orioles game. where would you suggest parking? i think on this one, we will just stick to your suggestion for Pratt Street Ale. we've never been to baltimore before so thats why we are going over there so early.

                      1. re: laurits72

                        Parking shouldn't be an issue, especially in the middle of the week and so early. There is a parking lot right next to Pratt Street that (because it extends the block) is also across the street from 1st Mariner. The cost is slightly more than some others, but you won't beat the convenience. There are literally a dozen other spots within a 6 block radius, some have parking specials if you come in after 5 and such.

                        1. re: Dithyramb

                          AWESOME! where would you suggest for the four of us to meet up after the game/concert? should we go back to pratt? safe for daughter and i to walk back to after a concert and a game?

                        2. re: laurits72

                          if you are going to baltimore early then I highly recommend a visit to Samos which is the greektown section of baltimore and a real locals place with inexpensive off the charts food including the best crab cake I have had in 25 years (get it fried) . Cash only, no reservations, BYOB. Great greek salads, spinach pies, stuffed grapeleaves and trio of veggie dips with warm pita for the veggie. Fantastic grilled calamari, crab cakes, whole grilled bronzino, lamb chops for everyone else. if you pig out soup to nuts you should still be under $35/pp. Easy to get to from I95 and about a 20 minute ride to Camden Yards. well worth it and you will love it as well as you will love Busboys and Poets. Still plenty of time to grab a couple of drinks prior to the game at any of the surrounding bars and plenty of parking lots near the stadium

                          1. re: dining with doc

                            thanks so much dining with doc!!!! lots and lots of great info! as a newbie to chowhound, i am surprised at all of the great and thoughtful suggestions! y'all are the best! :)