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suggestions for visiting kentucky community college prof taking 15 students to dinner?

i'm taking fifteen community college students presenting at a conference and staying at the crystal city marriott out to dinner on saturday night. i'd like to stretch their dining horizons on a budget. suggestions?

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  1. Jaleo for Spanish tapas - not sure they are cheap enough, check their menu.

    1. Cheap exotic cuisine does exist in Crystal City, but the question is 'how good is it?' Harar Mesob is Ethiopian, and ok, but maybe not good enough to convince someone about Ethiopian food for the first time. Kabob Palace is also there, but again could be a major turn off as it is not very good.

      Nerimitra Thai is right in Crystal City, and is a good place, probably your best bet. Around here, Thai is like Italian used to be, two or three in every neighborhood.

      If you don't mind venturing out a bit, then Jerusalem Restaurant for Palestinian food is excellent all around and has some superb dishes (musakhan, makluba, mujadarrah, fukharrah). But it is not right there, so you have to factor in travel - about 10 minutes by car.

      http://www.jerusalem-va.net/

      Jaleo is one of my favorite places in the area, but it is not cheap. The fact that they no longer serve bread coupled with decreasing portion size means it is getting a bit pricey for tapas.

      1. What transportation will you have?

        1. CARMINES ITALIAN NEAR VERIZON CENTER HAS GOOD OLD SCHOOL ITALIAN SERVED FAMILY STYLE IN LARGE PORTIONS. THEY HAVE A WEB SITE THAT HAS THE MENU.

          2 Replies
          1. re: dining with doc

            How wedded to the idea of staying in Crystal City are you? If you are willing to go to the Verizon Center area, that opens up tons of choices, including Carmine's - and gives you a chance to see some of the city, as well.. I assumed that you wanted to stay near the hotel. If you answer this question and KeithW's question, we'll be better prepared to help you with more meaningful options.

            Oh, and you mentioned wanting to broaden their horizons ... Old School Italian doesn't do that as well as lots of other places.

            1. re: dining with doc

              If you can travel to the Verizon Center area you could also consider Grafiato - Top Chef runner up Mike Isabella's homage to his New Jersey Italian American past. Good wood-fired pies and a small plate per diner should keep toe price reasonable. Plus you students can watch DC yuppy scum do their mating dance.

            2. 1 solid option is Nam Viet in Clarendon. Metro friendly from CC, which would be one experience. There are other things nearby if you/they want (not sure the rules you have in place).

              They have at least one large table but you would want to call ahead and make sure they can reserve space for you. I've never had anything bad on the menu (though I wouldn't get pho there - too long of an explanation to give right here).

              Or, look along the blue or orange lines in DC - I am not coming up with good suggestions off the top of my head there.