late night menu


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
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After dog sitting for P3, she was quite generous with her “thank you” gift and gave me a gift certificate for Cashion’s.  I was excited because I’d never been before — and so I finally had the opportunity the other week.

  • Food:To put it mildly, some of the best appetizers ever!  I ordered the grilled octupus which had a great, simple grilled flavor.  My friend ordered the fried oysters in grits.  I’m not a grits fan (I don’t get why people like it, I really don’t.  It’s just about putting a lot of butter on it and if I put that much butter on anything I ate, I’d love it too).  But these were really good (probably a lot of butter).  And the oysters were super crispy with a bit of corn meal.  For the main, I ordered the seared tuna with black beans, mango, and cilantro.  While the tuna was perfectly cooked, I thought it lacked uniqueness.  And I think they forgot the cilantro because I didn’t taste it in my dish.  My friend ordered the shad roe.  Now I don’t know why she did, but she did.  If you don’t know shad roe, here’s a photo and an explanation.  And because she didn’t like it, I only got half of my seared tuna.  Oh well.  I ended up eating a lot of the bread since I was still hungry. 
  • Service: Our server was a bit too eager throughout the meal.  She kept asking if we understood the menu, which is nice the first time and annoying the second and third.  Perhaps we looked confused?
  • Atmosphere:From the exterior, it seems like it’ll be a small restaurant.  But the looks are deceiving because it’s long.  Straight back on the left is a bit of an elevated bar.  Then there are tables throughout.  We were fortunate to get a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows so it didn’t feel claustophobic, but I could see how that could happen when those windows are closed!
  • Attire: Business casual/casual
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall: I’ll definitely go back to try out other main courses and I hope they’ll offer those fried oysters again!  That’s the trouble with changing menus — you never know if your favorite is going to be available.  At the same time, you get to have new favorites!  So P3, thanks for the gift certificate!  Another good recommendation!

Details:

  • Reservations strongly recommended.
  • Hours: Mondays closed; Tues 5:30-10 PM; Wed-Sat 5:30-11 PM; Sun 5:30-10 PM; Sunday Brunch 11:30 AM-2:30 PM; Late Night Menu 12 AM-2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays
  • Address: 1819 Columbia Road NW, Washington DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-797-1819

I’m one of those.  I like to read reviews about places before I go so I know what to expect.  And the review I read about Vinoteca and their food was, to put it nicely, dismal.  So what do I do when my friend, who was going with me, asked about this place?  I say,  “Yeah, the wine list is supposed to be pretty good but the food supposedly sucks.”  Ha ha, nothing like setting everyone’s expectations!  

  • Food:After reading the horrible reviews about this place, my expectations were incredibly low.  While our server provided water right away, we didn’t get any bread until we ordered our food.  So we started off with a trio of charcuterie.  The bread was interesting that they provided — it was dark with black olives perhaps?  Not quite sure what kind of bread it was, but it was a bit dry.  I preferred the second type of bread that they gave us (after we asked for more) which was softer than a baguette, but had a good flavor.  Then we ordered their $12 mussels.  When you compare their mussels with the $8.25 from Les Halles, there’s no comparison.  Les Halles rules.  
  • Service: Our server didn’t seem happy about working when we were there.  She never smiled and seemed annoyed when we needed a couple of minutes to review the menu.
  • Atmosphere: They offer some great photos on their Web site here.  Inside it’s a comfortable (yet very loud) bar.  The dining area is small, but seems like a good spot for large groups. 
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I’d go again for their happy hour to try their sliders, but to go pay full-priced considering the service and their mussels, I’d skip it. 

Happy Hour— Sunday-Thursday from 5-7 PM, they offer 10 wines by the glass; 3 sliders for $6; and 1/2 panini and fall squash soup for $5.55.

Details:

  • Hours: Sun 4:30 PM-2 AM; Mon closed; Tues-Thurs 4:30 PM-2 AM; Fri & Sat 4:30 PM-3 AM; Brunch Sat & Sun 10 AM-3 PM
  • Address: 1940 11th Street NW; Washington, DC 20001
  • Ph: 202-332-WINE

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

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

**Update 7/1/08 – I went again and it will seriously be the last time.  My friend, who doesn’t live here anymore, wanted to go.  So I relented.  I ordered the Cheesesteak Sliders and they were underseasoned and underinspired.  The beef was dry and overcooked.  Did they lose their chef?  Too bad.  I really liked them.** 

Hudson Cheesesteak Sliders

From left to right, it’s pepper and onion, Italian, and Philly style cheesesteaks. 

**Update 6/25/08 – I went back to Hudson’s.  Check out my experience.**

I don’t know why, but I seem to be starved a lot.  I think I need to fix that.  Thankfully, a friend of mine was also starving and so we decided to try Hudson’s (which used to be David Greggory’s) for lunch. 

Oddly enough, my friend and I had gone to David Greggory’s before for lunch so it was full circle.  We didn’t think DG was great — it was just fine. 

  • Food: As soon as we sat down, we ordered two sides.  An order of their Truffle mac ‘n cheese and hand cut french fries.  Both were fine, but nothing really special.  The 15ria mac ‘n cheese is still the best.  They also gave us a couple of rolls with a little bit of jalapeno spice (but it wasn’t spicy).  They were warm and good.  I ordered the Cheesesteak Sliders — a trio of Philly style, Italian, and pepper and onions.   First of all, calling them “sliders” is wrong — each sandwich is like 5″ long.  To me, sliders mean 2-3 bites; these were huge!  Oh but were they good.  My favorite was the pepper and onions because the flavors were fantastic.  The Italian had fresh tomato sauce and a slice of provolone cheese which made it tasty.  The Philly was also a perfect ratio of cheese and meat.  My friend ordered the ‘Shrooms brick oven pizza with Portobello, Shitake, white mushrooms, garlic confit, Brie, and white truffle oil.  When I picked up a slice of the very thin pizza, there was a bit of water so I thought it was going to be soggy (because of the mushrooms).  In reality, it was still crispy and tasted so fresh.  There was a perfect ratio of cheese, mushrooms, and tomato sauce. 
  • Service: Our server started off strong and then seemed to be completely overwhelmed by the volume of people who were in the restaurant (even though the restaurant wasn’t anywhere near capacity).   
  • Atmosphere: With almost floor to ceiling windows, it’s a great place to dine with all the natural lighting.  The restaurant has a modern flair but comfortable. 
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:I can’t wait to go back!  Their menu have so many other yummy looking things such as their Santa Fe Hot pizza; Jumbo Crabcakes; etc. 

Happy Hour: Check out their calendar to see what their Mon-Fri liquor features are — specials have included discounts on wine, beer, and special drinks.  They do have an long wine list.  In addition, they offer 1/2 glasses anytime for around $4-$6 and have a generous pour, allowing you and your friends an opportunity to sample. 

Details:

  • Reservations needed.
  • Hours: Lunch: Monday through Friday 11:00am – 3:00pm; Afternoon: 3:00pm – 5:00pm; Dinner: Sunday through Thursday 5pm – 10:30pm and Friday and Saturday 5pm – 11pm; Brunch: Sunday 10am until 4pm; Late Night Menu: Sunday through Thursday 10:30pm – 1am and Friday and Saturday 11pm – 2am
  • Address: 2030 M Street NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-872-8700

You could easily walk past it and not even realize, but nestled in between a rib joint and a former Chinese restaurant, here’s another great find in the area.   

  • Food:  Their menu offers something for everyone.  While I’ve had their pizza, their 3.6.9 mini burgers and onion straws are my favorite.  Today though, I felt like expanding my horizons and instead, ordered their 3 mini tuna burger special.  As it was described, it was seared tuna on the toasted brioche bread.  While I know some restaurants claim their bread is toasted, Matchbox does a great job of actually doing it.  The bread was perfectly done, which means it was crunchy and soft.  Yum!  The mini-tuna burger offered a little bit of a kick and good seasonings.  They did go overboard with putting too much sauce (can’t remember what it was) on the mini-tuna burgers though.  The onion strings are my favorite, so thanks to my friend who ordered them — I was able to steal a few.  My other friend ordered the blackened chicken sandwich and said it was tasty.
  • Service: Our server was nice and gracious. 
  • Atmosphere: With 3 stories, there’s a good decent number of seats available.  However, I think there could be 6 stories and on the weekends, it’d still be packed.     
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:  They offer something that will appease everyone at a pretty good price.  They’ve also recently added brunch, beer, wine, and a late night menu.  I think it’s a fun place to go with good food.

Details:

  • Reservations not accepted.
  • Hours: Daily 11 AM-close; Fri & Sat serving late night menu until 1 AM
  • Address: 713 H Street NW; Washington, DC 20001
  • Ph: 202-289-4441