kid-friendly


3 days with a car and at least 5 bowls of pho.  Obsessed I tell you!  Anyway, I continued to work my way through to the pho places throughout Eden Center in Falls Church.  Today’s pho bowl is from Viet Royale.

viet-royale-page-1  viet-royale-page-2

  • Food: Well, I think their broth is truly outstanding…and it might even be better than Pho Xe Lua.  But, you’ll see the beef is cooked…even though I asked and the waitress promised that the beef would be raw.  Despite the delicious broth, I thought their pho was OK.   The beef was a bit tough, onions were cut too thick, etc. 

Viet Royale - Falls Church VA  Viet Royale Pho Tai  Viet Royale Pho Tai

  • Service: I ordered to-go so it was fine.
  • Atmosphere:Interior has more character than a lot of pho places.  It’s one big room with probably 25-30 tables.  In the back, they have a small bar which is where you order your food-to-go.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price:  $
  • Overall:I’d skip the pho and order some of the other Vietnamese dishes they offer. 

Details:

  • Hours: 10 AM-11 PM Daily
  • Address: 6767 Wilson Blvd; Falls Church, VA 22044
  • Ph: (703) 533-8388

I used to go to the Safeway across the street from Pollo Granjero on a weekly basis — then the Harris Teeter opened up and well, I rarely go anymore.  But, during one of the warmer “winter” days we were having, I decided to make the hike — twice.  And, I even took a photo of their menus!

Pollo Granjero - Adams Morgan  Pollo Granjero Menu  Pollo Granjero Menu

  • Food:  The first time I ordered the 5 piece grilled chicken with fried yuca and salad (you get a choice of two sides).  The chicken was greasy with a subtle, mild flavor.  And when I opened my container, I didn’t see 5 pieces of chicken (do you?).  The five pieces cost $7.99.  In my opinion, the best rotisserie chicken is still at La Granja De Oro

Pollo Granjero Grilled Chicken

I went back a second time because I heard they had the best fried chicken.  This time, I only went for two pieces.  Their mixture is not a heavy coating, but it isn’t light either.  You can detect a slight taste of cornmeal in their batter.  The best?  I wasn’t convinced, but it was good.

Pollo Granjero Fried Chicken

  • Service: It’s fine.
  • Atmosphere: It’s a fast food-type establishment so ambiance isn’t their thing.  They do have a decent number of tables and chairs though. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: I think it’s a decent place for inexpensive food.  But since it’s a bit inconvient for me to go and La Granja De Oro (and my own rotisserie) is closer, well, you know. 

Details:

  • Hours: Not sure, but I think it’s probably 10:30 AM-9/10 PM Daily
  • Address: 1742 Columbia Rd (between N Champlain St & N Ontario Rd); Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 464-4444

Nando’s Peri Peri has certainly made a tremendous mark on the city.  I feel like it was the “It” restaurant for a few months.  Anyway, I finally went to try their chicken and to see what those of us in Golden Triangle have to look forward to when it opens.  Here’s their main menu and their take-out menu is here.

  • Food:I felt it was wrong if I didn’t order their chicken so I ordered the 1/4 chicken with medium spice (always feel like medium spice is safe) with a side of their butternut squash and grilled corn.  First, the chicken.  It wasn’t super spicy so then I got a couple of containers (when you pay, ask the cashier for it, not the person who hands you the bag).  Anyway, in the 4th photo, you’ll see I put in the hot sauce (left) and lemon & herb (right) sauce.  The hot sauce definitely had a good kick, but not crazy hot.  The herb sauce had a pungent vinegar smell and a bit of an overwhelming vinegar taste, but it’s OK.  The chicken is moist, but not as moist as La Granja De Oro.  The butternut squash side was good, but not a ton of flavor.  Next time, I’ll try some of their other sides. 

Nando's Peri Peri 1/4 Chicken with Butternut Squash & Grilled Corn  Nando's Peri Peri 1/4 Chicken  Nando's Peri Peri Butternut Squash & Grilled Corn  Nando's Peri Peri Sauce  Nando's Peri Peri

  • Service: I phoned my order in so I wouldn’t have to wait since I had limited time.  So I was pleased when I placed my order they asked if they wanted the chicken to be done before I got there or if they should wait until I arrive.  I asked to have it done before.  Unfortunately, something was lost in translation because I ended up having to wait.  But all their staff were nice and friendly.
  • Atmosphere: Their Interior is comfortable and inviting and makes one think your meal will cost way more than it actually will.  There’s a lot of seating — booths in the back and tables in the front.  The way they work reminds me of Noodles & Company except when you walk in, you are greeted with a number.  Then you put down your things and order at the register/counter.  They then will bring your food at your table and clear your dishes when you’re done. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: Would I go back? Since my meal cost under $9, it’s a tasty bargain.  Does it beat La La Granja De Oro’s 1/4 chicken for under $7?  Definitely not…but it’s still good. 

Details:

  • Hours: 11:30 AM -10 PM Sun-Thurs; 11:30 AM-10:30 PM Fri & Sat
  • Address: 819 7th St NW; Washington, DC 20001
  • Ph: (202) 898-1225

I love what has happened with Columbia Heights.  There’s a great energy to the area.  I love visiting and checking out the new places.  So while I know Logan @ The Heights isn’t new, it was to me!

  • Food: I ordered the mixed greens with jicama and orange vinaigrette.  The salad was good and refreshing, but I think it’s because I love jicama.  I also ordered ginger fried calamari.  The sauce was too sweet and the calamari wasn’t crunchy at all.  Quite disappointing.
  • Service: We ordered at the bar so our service was lacking.  While it wasn’t that busy, he kept disappearing. 
  • Atmosphere: I love the interior.  It’s simple and comfortable.  There’s dark wood and tons of seating. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: While the ginger fried calamari was disappointing, I really liked this restaurant.  It has a great neighborhood feel.  I’ll definitely go back to try out some other food.  It seems like simple cuisine is going to be the best bet.  Oh, and if you’re looking for a place with the most Bloody Mary options, you’ve found it.

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 4-7 PM at the bar with cheaper food; Sam Adams $3.50 and Brooklyn Lager $3.75; wine for $3.25.  To see the full menu, click here.

Details:

  • Reservations are taken Sun-Thurs Dinner & Weekday Lunch: Any size, any time; Fri & Sat Dinner: 7 – 10 pm, Parties of 5 or more only; Weekend Brunch: Parties of 5 or more only
  • Address: 3115 14th St. NW, Washington DC, 20010
  • Hours: Dinner: Mon-Fri, 5 pm; Sat & Sun, 4 pm; Lunch: Mon-Fri, Noon – 5 pm; Brunch: Sat & Sun, 11 am – 4 pm
  • Ph: 202-797-7227

I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve been to The Diner.  I usually go for breakfast, but have been a couple of times for lunch/dinner. 

  • Food:I usually order some variation of the eggs, home fries, and toast with a side of coffee and hot sauce.  They have always cooked the eggs perfectly, but if I get the poached eggs, sometimes there’s a bit too much vinegar in their water.  If they serve you the hot and crispy home fries — delicious!  I’ve also had their pancakes, Croque Madame, and multiple omelets.  All good, diner-esque food. 
  • Service: The service can definitely be spotty.  Some of the waitstaff are really good and others, not so much.  I am judging this on how often they come by for refills on coffee. 
  • Atmosphere:It’s a pretty big restaurant, but it’s almost always busy.  You usually see a mixture of the neighborhood eating here — cops, recent college grads, families — everyone is here.  It is also really loud so be prepared to say “What” or to talk louder.  Bad acoustics. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:The Diner is open 24/7 and it’s clear that they definitely fulfill a niche in the Adams Morgan neighborhood.  They serve solid diner food at a good price.  They also have a liquor license. If you want to avoid the lines on Saturdays and Sundays, go before 10!  Otherwise, be prepared to wait!

Details:

  • Hours: Daily 24/7
  • Address: 2453 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-232-8800

I have always talked about wanting to go to Bar Louie (menu here) and just went after seeing the Sex and the City movie.  I didn’t realize, until just now, that it’s a bit of a chain!

  • Food:I ordered the Baja fish tacos which were pretty good.  The fish was seasoned very well (and not fried, yay!).  The only reason it got a “pretty good” is because the flour tortillas were soggy from the mango salad so it made eating the tacos quite difficult.  However, the mango salsa (with tomato and cilantro) was excellent.  The guacamole was decent.  We also ordered their tater tots after the bartender said that Bar Louie is famous for ’em.  The same friend who went with me to Bar Louie was with me at Tonic and we concurred that the tots weren’t as good as Tonic because they were cold and not as crispy.  My friend ordered the buffalo chicken and apparently, her food was also cold. 
  • Service: Our bartender was a little slow on the service and obviously the kitchen wasn’t exactly on it’s A game.  
  • Atmosphere:It’s very spacious and has nice outdoor seating.  It’d be a great place to go with a bunch of friends for a casual night or to watch a game.  Wow, I almost forgot to share.  Their bathroom, when we were there, clearly had a MAJOR problem.  It smelled so badly — I’m sure a back-up happened, but they should really put up a sign or something.  It was foul. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: If you want to meet up with a bunch of friends in Chinatown/Penn Quarter area, I think this is a great alternative to Clyde’s for a few beers and watch a game.  Their food is a bit of a “hit and miss,” but definitely try those fish tacos (but ask for the flour tortillas on the side or something).  I’ll go back and might try those sliders…I do love mini-burgers!

Details:

  • Hours: Daily 11 AM-2 AM
  • Address: 701 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
  • Ph: 202-638-2460

Peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch — what else do you want in a dessert?  What a delicious combination and top it off with the fact that you don’t have to bake it means it’s a perfect summer treat!

Here’s the recipe for no bake chocolate scotcheroos.  I can also imagine this would be a great recipe to do with your kids (or nieces, nephews, cousins, younger children, whatever). 

No Bake Chocolate Scotcheroos  No Bake Chocolate Scotcheroos

In the five years that I’ve lived in DC, it seems Pot Belly has taken over the town.  Yes, I know, it’s a bit like a chain…but it’s sometimes incredibly convenient/easy for me to go sometimes when it’s late at the office and grab dinner. 

 

  • Food: I’ve ordered a lot of food at Pot Belly, but my standard is their turkey on wheat (photo on the left).  It’s toasted (like Quizno’s) and they have some good topping options.  Their hot peppers are soaked in oil which makes the sandwich greasy (boo).  They’ve recently added salads to their menu and I tried their Italian salad with non-fat vinaigrette dressing (photo on the right).  It has this great sweet tang to it and didn’t taste non-fat.  The croutons, which I am betting were homemade (what else are they going to do with all that stale bread?), were a little soggy, but well seasoned.  

Pot Belly Turkey Sandwich  Pot Belly Italian Salad

  • Service: They’re definitely efficient.  Whenever you see the line snake outside the door, it’s a little shocking.  But they are quick and even with that kind of a line, you can usually get your sandwich in under 20 minutes.
  • Atmosphere: They have live music during the lunch hour which can be fun. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Overall: It’s good food at a good price.  While they no longer offer their $3.29 sandwiches (they’re now $4.19), it’s still a good deal.  The salads are a bit more (like $5.29), but they are yummy and quite filling.  Also, when I feel the need to splurge, there’s nothing like their Oreo shake. 

Details:

  • Hours/Address/Ph: To find the local one near you, click here.

I had gone to Tonic for a drink before when a friend and I were waiting for a couple of seats to open at Adam Express.  We decided to go back when Thai Fest Day was cancelled due to the rain.  Although we didn’t know that and so we drove up there.  Then when we realized there was no one else and no tents, we drove back and remembered Tonic was on our way home.

  • Food: I ordered the BBQ chicken sandwich with the BBQ sauce on the side.  The chicken sandwich was good, but a little on the dry side.  Thankfully, the BBQ sauce and the beer helped it all go down easily.  But the key was the tater tots.  Yes, the same little golden potato nuggets the school lunch lady served you.  First of all, I don’t know a lot of restaurants that serve “tots” in DC.  But whatever because Tonic serves ’em right — meaning they’re crispy and hot! 
  • Service: I love these bartenders.  They crack me up with their dry wit.  If you can’t take sarcasm, then don’t sit at the bar. 
  • Atmosphere: I’ve never been to the main dining room floor because we always (that’s the two times I’ve been) go to the bar in the basement.  It’s a comfortable bar with three flat screen TVs (sometimes they’re on various sports games or sometimes, it’s on random movies/TV shows like Charlie’s Angels).  It’s also dark so it’d be a perfect place to spend a rainy, crappy day. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: The “tots” are reason enough to come back for more.  But add the fact they’ve got a nice selection of beer and fun bartenders and you’ve got a perfect neighborhood bar and restaurant.   

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 5-7 PM: half price draft beer, drinks and burgers.  Tuesdays: get a free bottle of select wines with a purchase of two entrees.  Wednesdays: kids under 12 eat free from the kid’s menu 5-8 PM with the purchase of one entree.

Details:

  • Hours:Restaurant Sun-Thurs 5-10:30 PM, Fri & Sat 5-11 PM; Brunch Sat & Sun 10 AM-3 PM; Bar Sun-Thurs 5-2 AM; Fri & Sat 5-3 AM; Pick-up available 5-11 daily
  • Address: 3155 Mt. Pleasant Street; Washington, DC 20010
  • Ph: 202-986-7661

It was a little chilly a few weeks ago and so I decided to grab some Pho soup.  To me, Pho is like a bowl of chicken noodle soup, only better.  It feels like a little bit of home (even though when I grew up, Pho wasn’t ever made nor consumed).  Anyway, I’m trying to find the best Pho in DC (among my many other goals) and decided to try Nam-Viet/Pho 79.

 

  • Food: No surprise here, but I ordered Pho soup.  While some places let you pick what cut of beef you want in your soup, there was no option.  Also, thanks to a tip from a commentator, I now always ask for the beef to be raw.  That’s when my server told me that large bowls of Pho always come with raw beef (yay!).  As soon as I got home and had a chance to dig in, I briefly heated the broth for about 2 minutes just in case (though I don’t think I had to since it was still pretty hot).  Anyway, as soon as I opened the lid, there was an intense aroma of star anise.  The styrofoam container held the raw beef; underneath that was the rice noodles; then on the left was bean sprouts; lime slice; and on the right side was cilantro and onions (white and green).  I was bummed there were no jalapeno slices, but I’m sure if I would have asked for them, they would have put some in.  Thankfully, I had some in the fridge!  They did include a little side mixture of hoisin and sricachi sauce.  The Pho was good because of the broth. 

 Nam-Viet/Pho 79  Nam-Viet/Pho 79 

So I went back again and this time, ordered the vegetable garden roll with tofu.  While it was a bit bland (yet chalked full of healthy veggies), the sauce made the rolls yummy.  And yes, I ordered the large bowl of pho again which was good!

Nam-Viet/Pho 79 Vegetable Garden Roll  Nam-Viet/Pho 79 Vegetable Garden Roll  Nam-Viet/Pho 79 Large Pho Bowl  Nam-Viet/Pho 79 Large Pho Bowl

  • Service: I ordered to go and that means when you walk in, you go straight to the back of the restaurant to the bar.  There a server will take your order. 
  • Atmosphere: While it has more atmosphere than some places, it’s not going to impress anyone. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: If you’ve never been and car-less like me, add this to your list of places to go for Pho.  It’s good and it’s incredibly convenient to the Cleveland Park metro stop. 

Details:

  • Hours: Daily 10 AM-10 PM
  • Address: 3419 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.; Washington D.C. 20008
  • Ph: 202-237-1015

Right across from City Place Cafe is Sunrise Cafe.  While they don’t have a menu available (just a big board when you walk in), they do offer a wide variety of options.  One day, maybe I’ll feel adventurous enough to take a photo.

  • Food: One of my favorite sandwiches is their chicken gyros ($6 includes tax) because the chicken is always moist, the pita bread is good, and they put enough feta to taste but not too much.  The sandwich while it seems it might be “drippy,” it never is!  And it’s really filling.

Sunrise Cafe Chicken Gyro

  • Service: They’re polite and pretty quick.  I can usually leave my office, get a sandwich and be back in my office in 15 minutes (or less).
  • Atmosphere: With a couple of outdoor tables and chairs and only 5 or 6 stools, this is definitely more of a “grab-and-go” kind of place.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: As an alternative to some of the other places, I’ve started to add this my list of rotating lunch places.  They offer frozen yogurt (hard yogurt, not soft serve) and ice cream; pizza pitas; gyros; burgers; deli sandwiches; etc.  Their prices are very reasonable and good portions.

Details:

  • Hours: 7:30 AM-maybe 2 or 4 PM (?) Monday-Friday
  • Address: 17th and L Street NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: Not known

Yet another free snack was given when I was walking down the street (story here). 

The Nutter Butter Granola Bar is the same size as the Oreo Bar which is about 3″ long (but smaller in length than the Krzr phone… maybe more the Razr). 

I thought it had a very peanut buttery flavor, again — like a cereal bar with oats and chewy bits.  It was good, but a little too sweet for me.  And there were an awful lot of ingredients for such a small snack.  And it also has palm oil.

While it only has 1.5 g of fat and 100 calories, I think I’ll pass.  I’m still trying to stick to my healthy foods that aren’t overly processed.

Blah blah blah, free snacks when I was walking down the street (story here).  So I got a free package of these 100 calorie Chips Ahoy Candy Bites.

I thought these were really good and I liked them.  They were kinda like a malted milk ball with a Chips Ahoy cookie crunch.  

Chips Ahoy Candy Bites  Chips Ahoy Candy Bites 

While only 100 calories (duh), there were 4 g of fat in the cookie bites.  A little too much fat in too few pieces.

But I really thought you’d get a kick out of this.  There was a sticker on the back of the package and if you can’t see it, it says, “Choking/Warning: Eat one at a time and chew thoroughly.  May not be appropriate for children under 6.  http://www.kraftkidssafe.com” 

Choking Warning on Chips Ahoy Candy Bites

Seriously?  Now is it just me or does that seem a little extreme?  I mean, do they put them on the back of Raisinets?  Or Skittles?  Or Milk Duds? 

And do I need to remind you about Bush and the pretzel?  Watch this 35 second video to see his response.

Or for those of you who want to see a re-enactment, watch this video (until 2:54).

I finally went to Georgia Brown’s the other day and ordered their fried chicken.  I really liked that the meat was all white and there was only the leg bone.  The mashed potatoes were pretty good but overall, it was too salty.  Was it worth $22? 

You’ll see I listed under “Places I’ve been” but I thought I’d share this photo of my meal.

Georgia Brown's Fried Chicken

I have heard great things about their Sunday brunch though!

Details:

  • Reservations recommended.
  • Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m.; Sat 5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.; Sun 10:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sun 5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Address: 950 15th Street NW; Washington, DC 20005  
  • Ph: (202) 393-4499

I had a lot of peanut butter and honey in my cupboard and so I went on a rampage to use it all up.  Thankfully, I used a lot of my honey and all of the peanut butter.  Phew!  You’ll start to see all those recipes soon!

Anyway, I found this recipe for these peanut butter snack balls.  With only 4 ingredients and being no-bake, they are of course, very easy to make.  

No Bake Simple Peanut Butter Snack Ball

They kind of reminded me of my puppy chow mix but without the chocolate (the best part!). 

Next time, I’d add a little more cereal so they’re a bit more crunchy and also make them smaller.  I rolled them into the size of golf balls.  And it might be fun to drizzle some chocolate over them too. 

They were really sweet (a little too sweet for me), but can see how kids would like to make and eat them.

I don’t know why, but the Beacon is always viewed as a good place for HH (happy hour) and food.  Personally, I disagree.  Instead, I prefer to tell people about Nage.

  • Food:While their menu can seem somewhat limited (it’s seasonal), their chalkboard offers another 10 various options — and from that menu, you can have a pre-fixe meal (3 courses for $35).  I’ve been a few times and have had some good meals.  The mac and cheese is more creamy than cheesy, so it’s definitely not 15ria.  Their Chesapeake oysters with spinach, fennel, mushrooms, and Asiago cheese are good.  Most recently, I ordered the Prime Rib burger which was cooked perfectly, though I didn’t care for their fries (they were a mixture of potatoes — including a few sweet potatoes, but not worth the calories since they weren’t crispy…you know how I love my fries crispy!).  As far as dessert, their best offering is the Bananas Foster Bread Pudding.  I’m not a huge bread pudding fan, but this was insanely good! 
  • Service: They’ve always been courteous and efficient without being annoying.  In other words, good service.
  • Atmosphere: Strange as it might sound, this restaurant is in the Marriott Courtyard, down the block from Beacon.  But don’t let that scare you away!  They offer way better options for wine and beer and much better food.  Their restaurant is small and only has about 20 tables with a few bar tables and seats.  They also have a flat screen TV which always runs various sports games.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$ if you order off their bistro menu; $$$ if you order an app and main entree
  • Overall:  Next time you want to go to Beacon, try out Nage instead.  As a friend said when she went, “It’s not the best meal ever, but it’s pretty good.  I mean, it’s better than Beacon.”  Although the $$$ may make you pause from making it your new weekly hangout.   But their apps are reasonably priced so you could definitely go after work without spending an arm and a leg.

Happy Hour: I’ll have to let you know — I forgot to take a look but I know they have 1/2 priced wine (I think it’s on Mondays).

Details:

  • Reservations are suggested, but to be honest, I’ve never needed them.
  • Hours: Breakfast Daily 7-10:30 am; Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30 pm; Daily Dinner 5 pm – 9:30 pm
  • Address:1600 Rhodes Island Avenue, NW; Washington, D.C. 20036
  • Ph:  (202) 448-8005

Feeling like taking a bit more of a hike for lunch than normal, I thought I’d try Aioli Mediterranean.  Thankfully, I was able to convince a friend of mine to join me. 

  • Food:We looked at their menu online and I decided to order the Roma (right sandwich), with dry cured Prosciutto Ham, lightly smoked Mortadella, Genoa Salami, and Provolone cheese.  My friend decided to order the Capri which had Prosciutto blended with Geonoa Salami, Spice Capacola Ham and Provolone cheese (left sandwich).  And, since both sandwiches sounded good, we agreed to split our orders.  We were asked whether we wanted them hot or cold and we both said yes.  While we were waiting for our sandwiches to be made, we also looked at their sides.  I got a side of lentils as an impulse purchase — and am I’m really glad I did.  I thought it had a really good flavor and I felt pretty healthy eating it (I did have to add a little salt though).    The sandwiches had a little lettuce and a unique vinegar sauce.  This meant the bread ended up being soggy.  😦 And while we both ordered hot sandwiches, they were cold and the cheese was not melted.  The highlight of the meal was definitely the lentils.  Oh, and they give you a small little container of salad with carrots, cardamon, celery, onions, olive oil, vinegar, and maybe a couple of other ingredients.  I don’t like cardamon seeds, but the salad was pretty good! 

Aioli Mediterranean Lentil Salad  Aioli Mediterranean Sandwich

  • Service: There was a really nice guy behind the counter and we got the sandwiches in under 15 minutes.
  • Atmosphere:With sparse artwork on the walls, it’s a bit of a sterile environment.  There are about 10 tables and chair inside and there’s also a small outside seating location.  There are also a few refrigerators with various sides, beverages, etc.  They have a small deli counter too.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: I really liked the lentils and the little side salad they gave us.  Their Web site is really impressive and it seems like if you’re big on the sides, you’d love this place.  Their sides are pretty reasonablely priced.  I would skip the $8 sandwich though.

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Sat 11 am-9 pm, Sun 11 am-6 pm
  • Address: 2153 P St. NW, Washington, DC 20037
  • Ph: 202-558-6188

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m starting to go to places that are a bit more “off-the-beaten-road” in DC.  Perhaps they aren’t too well-known.  I don’t think El Tamarindo falls into the unknown category, but I had never been.  And luckily, neither had one of my friends. 

  • Food: As soon as we sat down, we received a free order of chips and salsa.  The salsa was a bit runny for my taste, but it was spicy.  We ordered a half pitcher of mango margaritas which were pretty good — and almost tasted like summer.  I ordered the steak fajitas and they were really dry and overcooked.  But the chips were pretty good and the mango margaritas would make me go back.  For the fajitas though, I’d hit up Mixtec
  • Service:Nice and attentive servers.
  • Atmosphere: It’s actually much bigger than you would think and with 3-4 TVs throughout the two dining areas, you can even catch a game or two. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I would come here for free chips and salsa and margaritas, but for the main course, I’d rather spend my money at Mixtec

Happy Hour:  Monday-Friday 4-7 PM there’s 2 for 1 lime margaritas and beer. 

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 AM-3 AM; Fri 11 AM-5 AM; Sat & Sun 10 AM-5 AM 
  • Address: 1785 Florida Ave NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 328-3660

When my best friend from college came into town, she mentioned there was a kosher deli in Dupont.  I, of course, was intrigued and was looking forward to trying it out.  Unfortunately, we had just eaten breakfast so I wasn’t ready to order anything else.  Instead, I went with a friend for lunch a few weeks later.

  • Food: I don’t know about you, but to me — pastrami or corned beef were the two sandwiches I was looking forward to trying.  I kept waffling and finally ordered the pastrami which was a great sandwich.  It came with chips and a pickle.  I think it might have been a homemade pickle because it had a distinct, yet salty and sweet yummy flavor.  While the sandwich wasn’t as big as I thought it was going to be (like you get in NY), there was still enough for 4 sandwiches! 

Eli's Pastrami on Rye 

I’ve since gone back and gotten their Reuben.  Pretty good stuff and there was “cheese” (it’s a Kosher restaurant so it wasn’t real).  Still though, nothing like So’s Your Mom Reuben.  I think I’m no longer ordering Reubens unless I’m at SYM. 

Eli's Reuben

  • Service: We ordered to go, but they were nice. 
  • Atmosphere: The interior reminds me a bit of Cheers, but with more sunlight.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: I think it’s a great sandwich place and would absolutely go again.

Details:

  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 AM-9 PM; Friday 11 AM-2:30 PM
  • Address: 1253 20th Street NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-785-4314

Feeling like something different for lunch, I convinced a friend of mine to go with me to Rumi Restaurant

  • Food:I went twice — once I went to their restaurant and the second time I ordered delivery.  The first time, I ordered their chicken doner (first photo).  It was really good, but there was no “Special Rumi sauce” as the description promised.  Then the second time, I ordered the doner sandwich (mixture of beef and lamb).  The pita bread was pretty good and a generous size.  Unfortunately, again, there was no yogurt sauce (as they had promised).  So both of these sandwiches, while they were good, were dry.  If there was sauce on them, I bet they would have been good!

Rumi Chicken Doner Sandwich  Rumi Doner Sandwich

  • Service: They’re pretty quick and polite.  My delivery order didn’t come with the soda though that I had ordered (and paid for). 
  • Atmosphere: The interior completely lacks any character.  It’s fake wood tables and cheap chairs, but they offer good deals and big helpings.  For example, they have a $8 pizza special where they give you two slices and a can of soda (and the slices are pretty big).
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall:Next time I order from here, I’ll make it very clear I want the sauce to be included on the sandwich.  I like the fact they’re open late and have an $8 minimum needed for free delivery. 

Here’s the menu to their pizza (Pizza Milano Menu Side A and Pizza Milano Menu Side B) and here’s Rumi’s menu (Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4).  Just click on the menu and then click on the photo icon to make the menu bigger.

Details:

  • Hours: Sun-Thurs 10 AM-2 AM; Fri & Sat 11 AM-5 AM
  • Address: 2001 L St NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-331-1922

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