Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

D.C. dining on a dime: 10 capital restaurants


Gifted Gourmet
 Share

Recommended Posts

Nam Viet has a DC location, and it is good. Malaysia Kopittiam in Dupont is good.

Mentally -- if not officially -- "sushi" is a distinct category for me, as opposed to "Asian" generally but I'll grant you that. On the other hand, if you couldn't find good Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese or Malaysian food you weren't looking -- just as they weren't.

I will agree that Ethiopian should be on the list, but

1. I was looking for good Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Malaysian IN the district.

2. It was nearly impossible to find. For Vietnamese Falls Church is where it's at. All the good Thai places seem to be in Arlington. Okay, I have heard of some underground place run by a guy named Toth, but I haven't tried it yet. If lives up to the hype, then maybe they should have mentioned that. Chinese is DC flat out sucks. We have one of the worst Chinatown's ever. Tai Shan is reasonable but only if you know the owner. Eat First can be good, but is highly inconsistent. Full Kee is alright, but mainly because it's open so late. Some of the more expensive places are better, but don't fit the requirements of the article. China Garden in Rosslyn is good, but again, not in DC. I blame it on Tony Chang thinking he is the godfather of chinatown. I haven't really looked for Malaysian food, so you've got me there.

-Jason

Link to comment
Share on other sites

nope. I do not like Breadline, Ben's, Lauriol, or Moby Dick.

article from Southern Living (on CNN Travel)
the ultimate value meal: great tasting, excellent service, unique atmosphere, and -- hardest of all -- close to the sites and attractions you want to see. Near the White House and want a bargain lunch? No problem. Spent a bundle on tickets to the Kennedy Center but don't have any money left for a pre-show dinner? Read on. All of the following restaurants are centrally located, and you won't need a wad of Benjamins to eat at them. A couple of Abes should do you just fine.

Cheap eat No. 1: The Breadline

Cheap eat No. 2: Ben's Chili Bowl

Cheap eat No. 3: Lauriol Plaza Restaurant

and the list goes on ... if you live in or have visited D.C. have you eaten at some of these places? Agree with the author of the article?

-Jason

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nam Viet has a DC location, and it is good. Malaysia Kopittiam in Dupont is good.
Mentally -- if not officially -- "sushi" is a distinct category for me, as opposed to "Asian" generally but I'll grant you that. On the other hand, if you couldn't find good Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese or Malaysian food you weren't looking -- just as they weren't.

I will agree that Ethiopian should be on the list, but

1. I was looking for good Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Malaysian IN the district.

2. It was nearly impossible to find. For Vietnamese Falls Church is where it's at. All the good Thai places seem to be in Arlington. Okay, I have heard of some underground place run by a guy named Toth, but I haven't tried it yet. If lives up to the hype, then maybe they should have mentioned that. Chinese is DC flat out sucks. We have one of the worst Chinatown's ever. Tai Shan is reasonable but only if you know the owner. Eat First can be good, but is highly inconsistent. Full Kee is alright, but mainly because it's open so late. Some of the more expensive places are better, but don't fit the requirements of the article. China Garden in Rosslyn is good, but again, not in DC. I blame it on Tony Chang thinking he is the godfather of chinatown. I haven't really looked for Malaysian food, so you've got me there.

No one's going to dispute that the best Asian in the area, on the whole, is in the 'burbs. On the other hand, will you get better Chinese at Meiwah, which is full of "insiders" eating at a reasonable price, or Full Key, than you will get Latin at Lauriol? Absolutely. Better Thai at Sala Thai, Thaiphoon or Rice than bacon and eggs at The Diner. Yes.

And, to Foodgeek's observations, I add that Straights of Malaysia -- opposite Lauriol Plaza -- is well regarded, and that Pho 75 (on Connecticut Avenue, near the Uptown Theater) can run with some of the better places out in Fairfax (though Viet Royale, in Eden Center, is my favorite).

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Busboy, I have never managed to find a good dish at Meiwah. What are all those insiders eating there?

robin

(SNIP) On the other hand, will you get better Chinese at Meiwah, which is full of "insiders" eating at a reasonable price, or Full Key, than you will get Latin at Lauriol? Absolutely. Better Thai at Sala Thai, Thaiphoon or Rice than bacon and eggs at The Diner. Yes.

And, to Foodgeek's observations, I add that Straights of Malaysia -- opposite Lauriol Plaza -- is well regarded, and that Pho 75 (on Connecticut Avenue, near the Uptown Theater) can run with some of the better places out in Fairfax (though Viet Royale, in Eden Center, is my favorite).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always found the whole menu quite passable if you stick to standards -- a pretty goo mu shoo for example -- and find the crispy whole fish quite tasty.

You're not from New York, are you? :laugh:

Busboy, I have never managed to find a good dish at Meiwah. What are all those insiders eating there?

robin

(SNIP) On the other hand, will you get better Chinese at Meiwah, which is full of "insiders" eating at a reasonable price, or Full Key, than you will get Latin at Lauriol? Absolutely. Better Thai at Sala Thai, Thaiphoon or Rice than bacon and eggs at The Diner. Yes.

And, to Foodgeek's observations, I add that Straights of Malaysia -- opposite Lauriol Plaza -- is well regarded, and that Pho 75 (on Connecticut Avenue, near the Uptown Theater) can run with some of the better places out in Fairfax (though Viet Royale, in Eden Center, is my favorite).

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Three proud generations of New York! I am temporarily living just one block away while our house is being renovated... so I will have to try it again.

I've always found the whole menu quite passable if you stick to standards -- a pretty goo mu shoo for example -- and find the crispy whole fish quite tasty.

You're not from New York, are you? :laugh:

Busboy, I have never managed to find a good dish at Meiwah. What are all those insiders eating there?

robin

(SNIP) On the other hand, will you get better Chinese at Meiwah, which is full of "insiders" eating at a reasonable price, or Full Key, than you will get Latin at Lauriol? Absolutely. Better Thai at Sala Thai, Thaiphoon or Rice than bacon and eggs at The Diner. Yes.

And, to Foodgeek's observations, I add that Straights of Malaysia -- opposite Lauriol Plaza -- is well regarded, and that Pho 75 (on Connecticut Avenue, near the Uptown Theater) can run with some of the better places out in Fairfax (though Viet Royale, in Eden Center, is my favorite).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[Robin Shuster,Dec 15 2005, 07:00 PM]

Three proud generations of New York! 

I suspected as much. All New Yorkers consider it their birthright to trash DC's bagels, pizza and Chinese. :biggrin:

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am very fond of Two Amy's Pizzas. Bagels. It is hard to find good bagels anywhere here or NYC. There are good Chinese restos here -- and over the years I have had good Chinese meals in DC, but not at Meiwah.

[Robin Shuster,Dec 15 2005, 07:00 PM]

Three proud generations of New York! 

I suspected as much. All New Yorkers consider it their birthright to trash DC's bagels, pizza and Chinese. :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Georgetown Bagle Bakery can play in the big leagues; I prefer New York-style pizza to "authentic" pizza, as served by 2Amy's (though I love them for other reasons) and I am eager to hear your Chinese reccomendations.

I am very fond of Two Amy's Pizzas.    Bagels.  It is hard to find good bagels anywhere here or NYC.  There are good Chinese restos here -- and over the years I have had good Chinese meals in DC, but not at Meiwah. 
[Robin Shuster,Dec 15 2005, 07:00 PM]

Three proud generations of New York! 

I suspected as much. All New Yorkers consider it their birthright to trash DC's bagels, pizza and Chinese. :biggrin:

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone want to weigh in on Tom Sietsema's best 10 cheap eats in the Sunday (12/25) edition of the Post?

Tom's Sietsema's Top Ten under $10 Choices

While they're not all in DC, six are and of those, several are Metro, a good walk or a short cab ride away from our "main attractions."

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I definitely thought it was a good idea for a piece. I have almost no firsthand experience with the places he picked, though. I can definitely say that you would need at least two tapas at Mantis to make a real meal. But he's right about that delicious pumpkin stuff at Afghan Grill, it's really tasty. Other than that, dunno.

I would steer tourists low on dough to Julia's Empanadas, first and foremost. What do those things cost, $3?

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Boring.  Obvious. Wrong.

Nothing on Capitol Hill.  No Asian, only the most well-scrubbed Latin, nothing in any area that hasn't been cleansed of the poor and the threatening.  It should be called the "cautious Tourist's Guide to Safe Dining."

Of the places I've been: 

Bread Line:  Love their bread. Bought five loaves this morning at the market.  The Sandwiches are very good.  A fine call.

Ben's:  Holly Moore and I disagree vehemently on this, (never say I'm not "fair and balanced" :wink:,) but I find the place vastly overrated and their chili nasty.  Props to Ben Ali and his family for keeping the place going after the riots and (even more devastating) during subway construction, when every other storefront for blocks was shut down.  Now that the neighborhood is "revitalized" I expect they do more business between 11PM and 4AM on a Friday night than they used to do in a week back when I lived nearby.  An obvious, almost obligatory, choice, but a bad one.

Lauriol Plaza: A perfectly mediocre place, much beloved of unadventurous 30-somethings. Another obvious choice.

Matchbox: Not bad but, again, something of a no-brainer. Their pizza is not my favorite, but is a quality pie and deserves respect.  Many nights, you'll feel less like a Beltway insider than a suburbanite on the way to a basketball game there, as it is just around the corner from the MCI Center.  I like to go there early or late, to avoid the crowds.

The Diner: Maybe they've inproved, but the one meal I had there (breakfast, which should be a no-brainer) was wretched.

Moby Dick: Best pick on the list.  Cheap, good, a bit obscure.

Busboy I think you're assessment of what the magazine reviewers were trying to achieve for their readers/potential tourists was dead on as in: Please dear God, make sure I don't have to visit any "strange" neighborhoods with restaurants serving "weird" food and be surrounded by people that don't look "normal" or "talk funny" LOL. :blink:

The only two places I've been that you've named above are Lauriol and Ben's Chili Bowl:

Lauriol's -- I went recently with a bunch of co-workers; had a great time because of the company. It's pretty daunting to think that this place was ever voted best Mexican food in Washington, DC, especially after sampling Mexican food in California and Texas cooked by ACTUAL MEXICANS, something I've never come across in this area. Loved the rainbow margueritas, but I cannot wrap my brain around underseasoned Mexican food--bland guacamole and beans, so-so ceviche, truly dreadful flavorless fried plaintains (had to put my foot down and send those back), pretty good salsa though.

Ben's Chili Bowl - I think I'm somewhere in the middle of you and HollyMoore. I really like their half smokes and what can be wrong with grits, eggs, and fried pork products for breakfast? And while I think their chili is decent I think a lot of cooks on this forum could give their chili a run for its money and in that aspect I have to agree that it's somewhat overrated and not as cheap as it should be. Pardon me, but I still think of its location as being in the "hood" in spite of the million dollar condos. But dear Busboy, Ben's chili is "nasty"? :shock: Say it ain't so. :rolleyes:

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I definitely thought it was a good idea for a piece. I have almost no firsthand experience with the places he picked, though. I can definitely say that you would need at least two tapas at Mantis to make a real meal. But he's right about that delicious pumpkin stuff at Afghan Grill, it's really tasty. Other than that, dunno.

I would steer tourists low on dough to Julia's Empanadas, first and foremost. What do those things cost, $3?

Here's Julia's Empanadas' online menu jm chen and you're right they're $3.00:

Julia's Empanadas Menu

I must say though that they are definitely affordable and my coworkers really like them, I'm not too fond of their empanadas, at least the chicken one and the dessert one. The crust and filling were too sweet for the chicken empanada, the dessert empanada seemed to be filled with some tinny tasting fruity glop (mango/guava/peach/who knows?), and they were baked--I like mine fried. But like I said, my coworkers like them and they pretty much think I'm a food snob, so go figure. :hmmm:

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...