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Doing the DC tourist thing; need VALUE eats!


skoolpsyk
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When we travel we are always interested in cheap but tasty food and want to experience the regional favorites. So in Chicago it was hot dogs and deep dish pizza, in Philly it will be Cheesesteaks, you get the idea. But also interested in any other cuisines that may be a good value that you can recommend.

We will be staying in Arlington and going back and forth to DC to do the tourist stuff.

Would like to have virginia ham somewhere, raw oysters (if we can find a deal--we were spoiled getting them so cheap when we were in New Orleans last year), but looks like crabs are not in season and are usually not local anymore (correct?).

Also, are there any regional snacks or sodas we should look for?

Thanks!!!

(we will be leaving for there on March 17th from Southern California)

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For oysters I'd suggest taking advantage of your West Coast body clock to hit the Old Ebbitt Grill's weeknight Oyster Happy Hour -- come early or late (I don't know the time off the top of my head) and get half-priced bivalves.

It's an odd definition of "local" but we do have the best selection of Ethiopian restaurants in the country. And some say half-smokes are a local delicacy, try Ben's Chili Bowl on the hip, historic U Street corridor.

If you nose around, you may find some local soft-shell crabs in restaurants, the oyster guy at our market had them on Sunday. They are not cheap. Try ringing Pesce, Johnny's Half Shell or Hank's oyster bar. Another spring delicacy: shad roe, possibly available at those same places.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I highly recommend El Pollo Rico, a Peruvian chicken place, for cheap eats in Arlington:

2917 N. Washington Blvd.

Arlington, VA

703-522-3220

Open daily 11 am to 10 pm

When I was last there (I moved two years ago to the West Coast), you could get a quarter of a spit-roasted chicken with (frozen) steak fries, cole slaw, and two dipping sauces (including a yummy green chili one) for about $3.75. Well worth a visit, in my opinion, though not necessarily a DC-specific specialty.

Kartoffel

A Food-Obsessed Linguist

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The thing about DC is that there isn't really a DC regional food, unless it is half-smokes. What does make DC interesting is that it is a mecca for ethnic food, you name it we got it.

As Busboy said, Ethiopian food is ubiquitious to DC. Also Thai food in the suburbs, Vietnamese food (try Eden Center), Korean food in Arlington, Salvadorian food in the MD suburbs around Wheaton and Takoma Park, etc. We have good Indian food, Jamacian food, Greek food, etc.

In Arlington, restaurant row is South 23rd Street just west of Crystal City. Lots of choices.

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What ethiopian restaurants to do recommend? We don't know anything about Ethiopian food. We usually go to a lunch buffet to be able to sample a variety of things, but those always aren't the greatest either!

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The critcs love Dukem (12th and U) and Etete (9th, between T and U), and I like them, too. My daughter and I like Abiti (9th). And the slightly upscale Ethiopian-of-choice is Meskerem, on 18th St. in Adams-Morgan.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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