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Great restaurants that don't break the bank


gear02
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Does anyone know of any great restaurants in the DC/NOVA area that don't break the bank? I"m talking about meals that are less than $15 a person, excluding alcohol.

One of my favorites is Mark's Duck House. All I really need is rice, deep fried squid, and BBQ pork. (I'm cantonese btw) :)

I'm just tired of paying $30-40 a person in DC and get decent food.

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Bangkok 54

Yes. Especially for deep-fried squid. The appetizer calamari is better than the entree squid with basil, though. Get two orders and be very happy.

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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i just had a nice little meal from el charrito caminante in arlington.

3 tacos for me (pork, goat and chorizo)

1 burrito supreme for my wife

$10 total. it isnt dine-in though.

Nothing quite like a meal with my beautiful wife.

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I sound like a broken record with this recommendation but I'm gonna stick to my guns (chopsticks):

Maria's Bakery and Cafe in Rockville

I know, I know, I know. I swear, I'm going to start a thread on Maria's as I only know that bilrus has heard of it!!!

Oh, Crisp and Juicy (Silver Spring, Rockville, Falls Church) and El Pollo Rico in Wheaton. Nothing like a fresh raosted chicken to satisfy the tummy.

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-Vietnamese sandwich and Iced Coffee at Song Que $5

-Lebanese food at Aladdin's Eatery in Shirlington, where most apps are $5 and most entrees are under $8

-second the recs for Huong Viet. Two coworkers took me there for my birthday lunch, we shared three dishes, and the total was $30 including tax and tip.

-Full Kee

-a caesar salad and a bowl of lobster bisque at Carlyle for $10.

I could go on but I'm making myself hungry now

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For Vietnamese sandwiches go to Banh Mi No. 1 in Eden Center - they there are better than Song Que as they bake their bread fresh on the premise.

Granted Song Que could be using their bread as they're just across the street from them but I have no idea.

Kam Phung for the cafe su da. Best in Eden, hands down!!!!

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A&J in Rockville. Pork dumplings, the pork and mustard green soup, the garlic cucumbers. I think the dumplings are the most expensive thing on the menu at $6.50 or so. I've not been to the Annandale location, but hear it has better ambiance.

Gastro888, I tried Maria's a couple of months ago on your recommendation. I think I didn't order well--the only thing I remembered you mentioning was the toast with milk jam, which was awesome. I had an uninspired lo mein-type dish, "milk tea" (plain black tea with milk), and a vegetable soup. But I am open to the idea of Maria's.

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Have you tried Full Kee Restaurant in Chinatown? I can honestly say that I have really liked or loved almost everything I've eaten there. They have a very extensive menu with a ton of dishes at $15.00 or under. The shrimp dumpling soup is huge (more than enough for two as an appetizer) and reasonably priced. They have menus in both English and Chinese (probably where the really interesting stuff is).

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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This cheap eats thread on Don Rockwell's message board might help.

Doesn't that sound nice?

I wanna say something. I'm gonna put it out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don't, send it right back. I want to be on you.

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Gastro888, I tried Maria's a couple of months ago on your recommendation. I think I didn't order well--the only thing I remembered you mentioning was the toast with milk jam, which was awesome. I had an uninspired lo mein-type dish, "milk tea" (plain black tea with milk), and a vegetable soup. But I am open to the idea of Maria's.

Hiya Malawry! Oh, cool, you went to Maria's! Hmm, what lo-mein dish did you order? Was it the beef brisket lo mein? Their lo-mein dishes aren't your typical lo-mein; it's like a dry noodle soup instead of a "chowed" (wok cooked) dish. Try the wonton lo-mein next time and ask for a side of Maggie sauce and chili oil to put on top. Their vegetable soup isn't all that - "lo soun tong" - it's just watery veggies to me. I don't quite understand what's going on in the bowl.

When they first opened their milk tea was FANTASTIC! Then 6 months into it, they changed chefs. The current crop of chefs had a rather painful learning curve and are better now than before. They still haven't gotten the milk tea right. Every time I order it, I ask for extra milk (it's evaporated milk) on the side. Add that into the tea and there's the right balance of milk and tea. Otherwise it's awfully strong and a bit bitter.

And the condensed milk-jam toast is, as always, a bit of comfort on a plate. If you get to stop by there next time you're shopping at the local markets (I 2nd all your recommendations and add Maxim and Kam Sam to your list as well) do try their fruit cake, curry chicken/shrimp, wonton soup w/ or w/o noodles and the cutlet pork chop dish.

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It was called something like fried chicken and scallions with spaghetti, I think. It was a lunch special, and the soup and tea came with it for only about $9 or so. The noodle dish was okay but not what I was expecting and not anything special tasting IMO--sort of indifferent sauteed chicken, scallions and noodles. "Lo mein" may not be the right description, and I acknowledge I have little knowledge of this sort of food. I only know what I like, and the spaghetti was not high on the list. It was higher than the soup, but I admit I detest brothy mixed-vegetable soups with tomato as part of the base, and if I'd know that's what I was being offered I would have declined.

Next time, I'll take your list along. :rolleyes:

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Hmmm. Interesting. I haven't had an opportunity to eat their lunch specials as I'm nowhere near there when I'm working. Their spaghetti is rice flour based (I believe - it's definitely not semolina) so it's more mein than pasta!

Their breakfast specials are decent and I'd just go a la carte when dealing with their menu. I had the Baked Portguese chicken over rice the other weekend with my mother. Twas good - roasted chicken meat & onions with rice in a light Chinese style curry sauce with a bit of cheese on top finished in the broiler. Weird, odd and definitely not authenthically Chinese but it's true HK diner food!

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Tonic in Mount Pleasant is a great place with a cool atmosphere that has pretty cheap food. I love the wings and they have a wonderful grilled portabella with pesto that I order a lot. They get pretty crowded on the weekends and when there is a game on the flat screen tv's, but it is worth checking out.

My man and I went to Radius a couple of nights ago. This is also in Mt. P and took over the old Red Bean space. It is italian and they have a wood fired pizza among other things. You can get out of there spending 20 clams a person I am sure.

Jennifer
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Not in DC or NOVA, but next time you get up to Columbia go to An Loi--if you don't get the Pho, go for the "lunch special" It's a little more on weekends, or at dinner (like $7.95 vs. $6.95) but what a bargain. You get to choose 3 items on a plate with rice --(for example: grilled pork, grilled beef, beef wrapped in grape leaves, lemon grass chicken, carmel tofu, to name a few) It's quite delish!

Top off the meal with a Vietnamese coffe, Thai Iced Tea, or a Mango Bubble Tea with fresh pureed Mango! HMMMM...can I find a reason to drive up to Columbia today? :raz:

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Had to add this one after a drop-by the other day: Zorba's, on Connecticut Avenue and Q.

OK, not a great restaurant. But on a wonderful spring day when the young and the monied are lined up half-way around the block, waiting for $9 appetizers and $10 glasses of wine on Satte's patio, you can pull up to an outdoor table, get a heaping half-liter of drinkable Greek white wine for $7.65 and a credible gyro platter for about the same, and have a very happy hour watching the world go by. There's even a glowing review from Tom Sietsema on the wall, so you won't feel you haven't been to a swell place (of course, it's from 1986).

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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