Adams Morgan/Woodley Park


I know how many feel about Lauriol Plaza.  And I am one of those who groans and rolls her eyes when the restaurant comes up as a dinner choice.  But when it was clear I wasn’t going to get out of going this time, I decided to suck it up and go.  Besides, maybe it would be better than the last time I went…

  • Food:  I can’t lie.  Lauriol Plaza is a good place to go when you have a large group of people.  Their chips are always hot, thin, and fresh out of the fryer.  Plus, when you add the fact they’re free — who doesn’t appreciate it?  They offer two sides of salsa — one pico de gallo and the other is a hotter mixture.  Their guacamole is decent with good flavors and chunks of avocado.  I ordered their steak fajitas, which when you think about it, you can’t really mess up.  good.  But make no mistake, they really serve Tex-Mex food.
  • Service: Once you get a table, they are good about getting your order, serving your food, and cleaning up quickly. 
  • Atmosphere: There’s actually three levels and outside seating.  It’s a huge restaurant and can be super loud when it’s packed.  The bar is usually jammed as well. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:  Is it worth the long lines at night and on the weekends?  I’m not a wait in line kind of person so I say no.  If you’ve never been to DC, I’d say to pass this place.  But after living here for five years, it makes sense that you’d try it at least once. 

Details:

  • Reservations are not accepted, but at night and on weekends, be prepared for a super long wait! 
  • Hours: Mon-Thu,Sun 11:30am-11pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-12am
  • Address: 1835 18th St NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 387-0035

Next to So’s Your Mom is Astor Mediterrean, a neighborhood joint that prominently thrives on takeout orders.  Here’s their menu.

  • Food:I’ve ordered a lot of their chicken kebobs and lamb (or chicken) gyros in the five years I’ve lived here.   Despite their sometimes dry chicken, it’s still delicious.  The fries are super crispy and hot — a must in my book.   

Astor Mediterrean - Lamb Gyro and Fries

  • Service: When you walk in, they have a large display case with their various sides and above that, a huge menu of options.  When you’re ready to order, go to the cash register to order and pay.  Then you huddle around the counter (or run other errands) while you wait for your number to be called.
  • Atmosphere:In the summer, they have 3-4 tables and chairs, and if you like to people watch, it’s a perfect spot to go.  You’re on the sidewalk by the Bank of America ATM line.  They did a renovation to the restaurant a few years ago, which greatly improved the interior, but it’s still not that conducive to sit-down dining.  Instead, most pick-up their food orders and take it back to their respective homes. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall:If you’re new to the Adams Morgan neighborhood, this is a must.  And if you’ve lived here for decades, chances are you’ve visited this nondescript restaurant because the food is good and reasonably priced.  At least that’s why I keep coming back. 

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Sat 11 AM-10:30 PM; Sun 11 AM-9:30 AM
  • Address: 1829 Columbia Road NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-745-7495

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

Variety Deli opened up several months ago, but I never went…until recently.  Here are photos of their menu. 

Breakfast menu:

Variety Deli Breakfast Menu  Variety Deli Breakfast Menu

Lunch and Dinner menu:  

Variety Deli Menu  Variety Deli Menu  Variety Deli Menu  Variety Deli Menu  Variety Deli Menu  Variety Deli Menu 

  • Food: I ordered the New Yorker sandwich with pastrami, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and coleslaw on perfectly toasted rye.  While I know that may sound crazy, I’ve found a lot of restaurants don’t let the bread actually toast until it’s light brown.  Instead, they figure if it’s gone through the toaster it’s “toasted.” 

Variety Deli New Yorker Sandwich

  • Atmosphere: The interior is fun with red walls and white tables and chairs.  In the back of the deli, there’s mirrors so the place seem a bit bigger than reality. 
  • Service: The woman behind the counter was very nice and was fast when she was making my sandwich. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: For a quick sandwich, it’s a good spot. 

Details:

  • Hours: 7 AM-9 PM Mon-Thurs; 7 AM-10:30 PM Fri-Sat; 12 noon-7 PM Sun
  • Address: 2120 18th Street NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-234-3354

For five years (since I moved to DC), I had been meaning to go to Super Tacos & Bakery (formerly Tacos Pepitos Bakery II).  But when I would go, they’d run out of meat for the sandwiches.  I finally made it early enough to be able to order their sandwiches.  BTW, here’s some of their menu — the rest can be found here

Super Tacos & Bakery  Super Tacos & Bakery  Cuban Sandwich  Super Tacos & Bakery Sandwich Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Sandwich Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Sandwich Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Combo Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Combo Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Combo Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Tacos Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Burrito Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Fries and Tamale Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Breakfast Menu

  • Food:I ordered two — the Cubano (photo on the left) and Carnitas (photo on the right).  The sandwiches are absolutely enormous and I didn’t even order the large.  For $7, they are some of the best deals .  There’s fresh tomatoes and avocado — yum.  For me, there were 4 meals — 1/2  a sandwich is definitely enough! 

Super Tacos & Bakery Cubana Sandwich  Super Tacos & Bakery Carnitas Sandwich

  • Service: While Spanish is the predominant language spoken, they do understand English. 
  • Atmosphere: There’s only a few (4-5) stools inside and a couple of tables and stools outside (when it’s nice) so eating in isn’t really an option.  On the right, there’s a huge wooden cabinet full of baked items. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: For those days you’re feeling poor, I’d definitely go here and get a couple of sandwiches for a grand total of $15.40 (tax included).  The good news is that they deliver for free (with a $10 minimum) so anyone who lives in the area can get their fantastic food!  I think next time I’ll try their tacos. 

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Thu 8 am-10 pm; Fri-Sat 8 am-11 pm; Sun 8 am-10 pm
  • Address: 1762 Columbia Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-232-7121

I am not a bourbon drinker.  I’ve tried it but it’s just not my thing.  I’m not a fan of dark alcohol.  But I am a fan of Bourbon, the restaurant in Adams Morgan.  Wow!

  • Food: While Bourbon is a bar, the food is upscale bar food.  I ordered the grilled chicken and it was delicious.  The bourbon sauce on the sandwich was a perfect combination of tangy and sweet.  The baked beans had a little too much sugar for my taste, but it was good.  We ordered onion rings which were perfectly fried crispy.  The seasoning was interesting — it wasn’t as mixed throughout the onion rings as much as it should have been so there were some bites that had a little kick while others were a bit bland.  My friend ordered the veggie burger which wasn’t frozen, but a handmade veggie paddy. 
  • Service: Our server was nice and quick with the ice tea refills.
  • Atmosphere: They have an outdoor deck in the back and an upstairs dining/bar area.  But we stayed downstairs at the bar.  I loved the casual atmosphere.  And while we were there on a Sunday morning, there was no smell of the previous night and it was very clean.  So yes, you can definitely take your parents here!
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: While my expectations may have been a bit low, I really enjoyed their food and would gladly go back for dinner and brunch.  Plus, for anyone who is a serious bourbon drinker, they’ll love it! 

Details:

  • Hours: Dinner daily 6 PM-11 PM; Brunch Sat & Sun 11:30 AM-4 PM
  • Address: 2321 18th Street NW; Washington DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-332-0800

So another friend is leaving the city and so we went out for a last DC meal.  Now she has promised she’s coming back to the city and I am going to visit her, so that will work out.  But it still stinks.

Anyway, we were feeling indifferent on where to go and so she picked Rumba Cafe.

  • Food: We ordered an appetizer to split — the Arepa de Carne Flour corn cake with mild beef stew.  It was pretty good.  My friend ordered the Ropa vieja shredded beef stew with a huge yellow plantain, and rice and beans.  The beef was tender and had good flavor.  I ordered the Mero entomatado which is a filet of Red Snapper with garlic, bell pepper, red onion, tomato, and white wine.  I thought my meal didn’t have a lot of flavor. 
  • Service: The servers have a tendency to hoover around the tables, but they are very nice.
  • Atmosphere: There are 8 very closely put together tables outside, but it is nice place for a leisurely meal.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: While the food was decent, I thought it was a bit more expensive than necessary.  There are lots of other yummy Latin American restaurants I’d rather drop $30-40/person. 

Details:

  • Hours: Restaurant Mon-Fri 5 PM-12 midnight; Sat & Sun 11 AM-12 midnight; Weekend Brunch 11 AM-4 PM; Bar Mon-Thurs 5 PM-2 AM; Fri 5 PM-3 AM; Sat 11 AM-3 AM; Sun 11 AM-2 AM 
  • Address: 2443 18th St NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 588-5501

I love The Diner.  It’s like those old jeans that are perfectly broken in.  It might not be fancy, but it’s just good and you know what you’re going to get at all times.  So imagine my joy when they opened Open City.  Oddly enough though, I hadn’t gone until just recently.

  • Food:I ordered the chorizo scramble which was pretty good.  There was lots of chorizo in the eggs.  The hash browns were shredded and I was bummed because they weren’t crispy.  But they did have good flavor.  And the coffee they served was in the big cappuccino mugs, like what they serve at Tryst.  I wonder why they don’t do that at The Diner.
  • Service: Our server was fine, but like The Diner, they’re a bit scattered.  Sometimes you get a refill on coffee, sometimes you don’t. 
  • Atmosphere:They have horrible acoustics so don’t go with a low talker!  It’s really loud and I kept having to ask, “What” when I was trying to talk with my friend. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: Unlike The Diner, Open City has outdoor seating which is really nice.  But Open City has more options than the standard breakfast and that makes me a fan.  Plus, I love the big mugs of coffee.  Like The Diner, expect a line on the weekends!  But here’s a tip — if you get there before 10 AM, your wait won’t be too long.

Details:

  • Reservations not accepted.
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 6 am – midnight Sat-Sun 6 am – 1 am
  • Address: 2331 Calvert Street NW; Washington, DC 20008
  • Ph: 202-332-2331

It was raining and crappy and so my friend and I decided to order in.  Plus, I had a bottle of Rose that I wanted to try. 

I don’t like Rose.  I never have.  But for some reason, when I was in the liquor store to buy some sparking wine (loved this one he recommended — Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava from Spain), the liquor store guy told me that even though I don’t like Rose, I’d like Juno Rose from South Africa. Now why is it that even though I know I don’t like Rose, I still ended up buying the wine?  Regardless, my friend was a super trooper and joined me in trying this bottle.  It was fine, but I didn’t love it and won’t buy it again.  The Cava was dry (but not too dry) and was a great sparkling wine to cool down from the humidity!

Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava from Spain  Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava from Spain  Juno Rose from South Africa

Anyway, we decided to order from Jyoti.  Menu here.

  • Food:I first need to tell you that I don’t like cardamom.  I never have.  So ordering Indian is a bit of a challenge, but I do like Indian food!  I just need to be careful.  My friend ordered paneer makani (the orange container) which had a strong cardamom flavor.  I ordered the lamb rogan josh which was really good.  Then we got a side of roti and raita.  I thought it was really good!  They also gave us a huge portion of rice — look at it! And yes, their naan was better than the one I make (but they have a tandoori!). 

Jyoti Restaurant  Jyoti Restaurant

  • Service: Our delivery took over an hour.  And we were starving.  So it gets poor marks for taking more than an hour. 
  • Atmosphere: No idea, they delivered!
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:I was excited to hear that there’s Indian delivery ($15 min).  On their menu, they tell you it’ll take 45-60 minutes to deliver and if it’s bad weather or traffic, it’ll take longer.  My next order is going to be chicken tikka and samosa. 

Details:

  • Hours: Sun-Thurs 12 PM-10:30 PM; Fri & Sat 12 PM-12 AM
  • Address: 2433 18th St NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-518-5892

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

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 know I said I’d only blog about the really good restaurants, but sometimes there are good concepts that don’t go quite as I think the chefs meant.  I think that’s what happened with Left Bank breakfasts. 

Before I get to the food, I wanted to bring up that the chairs (not the booths) are just slightly too high for the tables.  So it makes eating just slightly awkward.

Anyway, I went with a friend for breakfast one morning and ordered the Eggs Norwegian.  I chose the poached eggs (am into that style right now) and it was sitting on top of a toasted English muffin, smoked salmon, spinach, and chive hollandaise.  Sounds really yummy right?  All really tasty components and healthy (minus the hollandaise)!  Good concept!

Now I’m not much of a hollandaise fan but my friend that I went with, she knows hollandaise.  So I ordered it on the side so she could tell me how it rated.

Apparently, it was just so-so.  And that’s how I’d explain my breakfast.  There was perhaps 3 TBSP of potatoes on the side — it was a bit of a sad looking plate.  Plus, one of the eggs was not poached, but hard (the yolk never broke).  Everything was also cold. 

Interior is fun though and would be a great spot to grab drinks with friends, just not breakfast (especially since there are so many other great places in the area!).  It’s a wide open bar/restaurant and would be a spectacular spot on a beautiful weather day when their floor-to-ceiling windows are open. 

BTW, they also have some good happy hour offerings.  Daily happy hours until 7 PM with $4 beers and $5 rails.  Mondays are half-priced red and white wines; Tues & Wed are Smirnoff & Flavors night with mixed drinks going for $5 and martinis for $6; Thursdays are martini madness with half-priced Left Bank specialty drinks until 8 PM.  Sat and Sun starting at 10 are $9 Moet Chandon Mimosas.   

Details:

  • Hours: Brunch Sat 10 AM-4 PM & Sun 10 AM-4:30 PM; Dinner Sun-Thurs 5-11 PM & Fri-Sat 5-12 AM; Sushi Sun-Thurs 5-11:30 PM, Fri-Sat 5-1AM
  • Address: 2424 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 464-2100

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

Owned by the same people who run Cafe Bonaparte, Napoleon opened February 1, 2007 in Adams Morgan.   I had been once before and had ordered a salad which was decent.  But when a friend was in town and wanted to catch up, I thought it’d be time to try this place out again.

  • Food:I ordered C&C Risotto which was made of shrimp and duck confit with creamy risotto and green peas.  The shrimp was tough and overcooked and there were only a couple of pieces of duck, yet the creamy goodness of the risotto seemed to make up for it all.  While it was good and perfectly seasoned, I don’t know if it was $18 worth.  My friend ordered steak frites with a bearnaise sauce (that came on the side).  It was a huge piece of steak and it was really good.  Perfectly cooked and well-seasoned.  The frites were big, thick cut fries.  I prefer the thin fries that are crispy so I didn’t really like them. 
  • Service:Our server was very nice, but one of the busboys was uber attentive — and my poor friend kept having to fight to keep his plate. 
  • Atmosphere: It’s dark wood interior which makes it a comfortable spot on a cold winter day.  During the summer, they offer great outdoor seating.  At night, you can visit their Metropolitan Champagne Bar in the basement where they have DJs spinning on the weekends.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:I wouldn’t order my risotto again, even though it was decent — it’s mostly because it wasn’t worth $18.  I would definitely order the steak frites (without the frites) or try some of their other meat dishes.  Oh!  And they serve my favorite Cabernet

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Wed 5 PM-12 AM; Thurs 5 PM-2 AM; Fri 5 PM-3 AM; Sat 10 AM-3 AM; Sun 10 AM-12 midnight
  • Address: 1847 Columbia Rd. NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-299-9630

Napolean Restaurant

 Until recently, I had only been to Regent Thai for drinks.  I always thought the menu looked good and kept thinking I wanted to check out.  Thankfully, I was able to convince a friend to try it out with me recently.

  • Food:My friend ordered spring rolls which were really good.  They were hot and crispy served with a pineapple dipping sauce.  I think she ordered the Pad See Ew with vegetables.  Both were really good (I preferred the spring rolls over her entree).  The Pad See Ew was a little sweet for my taste — even though we had both ordered hot spice.  So I’m predictable.  I ordered their fried tofu and vegetable Pad Thai.  The fried tofu was like eating air — it was very light.  I even questioned if there was any tofu in there.  The Pad Thai had a bunch of great vegetables and the spice was perfect.  Plus, it wasn’t greasy. 
  • Service: To say it was horrible is putting it nicely.  After being left alone for about 15 minutes before we even got a glass of water, by the time we did see our waitress, we were ready to order and starving.  After another 15 minutes with just water, we finally got our wine — albeit the wrong one.  While I do sometimes mumble when I talk, when I order food or wine, I’m pretty clear.  She brought us the most expensive bottle of wine, even though we didn’t want it — and thankfully, I caught it before she opened it.  When I asked my friend if I mumbled, she said no and then reminded me I said the kind of wine we did want twice. 
  • Atmosphere: The interior is dark with beautiful wood carvings.  The tables are pretty close together so it can be difficult to hear your conversation when it’s busy. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I really enjoyed the food, but the servers left something to be desired.  I’d go back, but will order for pick-up so I don’t have to deal with the service.

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30 AM-3 PM; Dinner Sun-Thurs 5 PM-10 PM and Fri-Sat 5 PM-11 PM
  • Address: 1910 18th Street NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-232-1791

I had only been there for bagels (not sure where they get them from) because they are quite tasty.  I hadn’t tried their sandwiches, until recently.   And check it out — I took photos of their menu! 

So's Your Mom Menu  So's Your Mom Menu  So's Your Mom Menu  So's Your Mom Menu  So's Your Mom Menu

  • Food: While they offer 66+ different sandwiches, it’s the one that isn’t on their menu that I tried — the Reuben.  While I have no idea why it isn’t on their menu, they make it and oh so well.  The Reuben is on light rye which was perfect because the bread wasn’t overpowering but one can still taste the rye goodness.   When you’re eating the sandwich, there’s no dripping of sauerkraut, dressing, etc.  How did they do that?  With the light rye taste and no dripping, this is definitely one of the best Reuben sandwiches.  

So's Your Mom  So's Your Mom Reuben 

And after hearing so much about their breakfast, I ordered an egg and cheese sandwich on a toasted sesame bagel.  There was a lot of eggs on the sandwich!  I did love the bagel and will definitely order those by the dozen…oh, with smoked salmon, red onion, capers, and shmear…forget it…

So's Your Mom Egg and Cheese on Sesame Bagel

I also recently ordered a corn beef sandwich with dijon mustard on rye.  Delicious.  So’s Your Mom rules.

So's Your Mom Corn Beef  So's Your Mom Corn Beef

  • Service: They’re very polite and fast.  So if you’re in a rush but want a good sandwich, go here.
  • Atmosphere: There are no tables, so you’ll have to grab your sandwich and eat it somewhere else. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: The Washington Post says that they have “simple, old-fashioned sandwiches,” and it is true.  Their ingredients are fresh and have great pairings (#1 most popular sandwich is their turkey, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on sourdough).  I’m looking forward to going back and trying their other sandwiches.  BTW, make sure to bring cash because they don’t accept credit cards or checks.  Of course, there’s the Bank of America ATMs right next door too.

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Fri 7 AM-8 PM; Sat 8 AM-7PM; Sun 8 AM-3 PM
  • Address: 1831 Columbia Rd NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-464-3666

There are few things in the world that are better than a sushi joint that delivers.  Tono Sushi is my favorite because they deliver pretty good sushi at a reasonable price.

  • Food:With a mix of Asian food, it’s all good.  I’ve ordered Pad Thai, sushi, sashimi, nigiri, spring rolls, etc.  All tasty.  They also have sushi happy hour daily from 5-7:30 PM (dine in only). 
  • Service: Courteous and efficient.
  • Atmosphere:On the rare occasions I don’t order in, I think their restaurant is comfortable and casual. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: Between $ and $$
  • Overall: Their menu is on my fridge and their number is programmed on my phone.  I think it’s good sushi at a reasonable price.  

Tono Sushi Mango Sticky Rice Tono Sushi

Details:

  • Reservations might be needed during peak hours.
  • Hours: Lunch – Mon-Fri 11:30 – 2:30 and Sat & Sun 12:00 – 3:00; Dinner – Mon – Thurs  5:00 – 10:30; Fri – Sat  5:00 – 11:00; Sun 5:00 – 10:00
  • Address: 2605 Connecticut Avenue NW; Washington, DC 20008
  • Ph: 202. 332.7300

So that does it for my trip to the San Fran area.  Thanks for continuing to read the blog and I hope you were able to at least enjoy the photos/stories! 

I’m back to living in DC now so in that spirit, here’s a restaurant review of a Peruvian place called La Granja de Oro.  You’ll see it because it has a red/brown awning with the words “Rotisserie Chicken” and a wooden (but covered) patio.  Here’s their menu:

 

  • Food:I ordered the chorizo sandwich for $5.95 and it was good.  I think I got the end piece though of the chorizo so it was a bit tough, but the flavor was good.  I also love fried plantains so I ordered a side to try.  These were OK, but not great.   My favorite are still at Mixtec.  They claim to have the best rotisserie chicken, but I think I “OD’ed” on rotisserie for now.  I want to go back sometime and try it.

Granja De Oro  Chorizo Sandwich  Fried Plantains

UPDATE 10/2008 — I went back for their rotisserie chicken.  I’m bitter it took me so long.  It’s phenominal.  For $6.59, you get a 1/4 piece of chicken (your choice of white or dark meat), salad, and a side of either fries or fried yucca.  I went yucca and it was awesome.  There’s so much food! The chicken is so moist and flavorful without a lot of grease.  They also provide three small sides — one is a salsa verde (hot!), a yogurt-type sauce, and a thicker cream sauce.   BTW, their menu says that they marinate their chicken in their own special sauce in a rotisserie “over natural hardwood charcoal, makingit moist yet practically greaseless.”  You have to try this chicken…and yes, they are the best!

La Granja De Oro 1/4 Chicken with Fried Yucca

  • Service: It was fine.   
  • Atmosphere: I don’t think the restaurant could be more casual if it tried.  You walk in and order at the register then you pick it up on the side.  I think of it as a Peruvian fast food restaurant. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: Once I’m over chicken, I’m looking forward to trying their rotisserie.   I have a feeling it’s spectacular.

Details:

  • Reservations are not accepted.
  • Hours: 11 AM – 10 PM daily
  • Address: 1832 Columbia Road NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-232-8888/89

A few weeks ago, I went to Las Canteras with a friend.  Not knowing what to expect, we went with low expectations.  I came away knowing that I really enjoyed my meal while my friend wasn’t too pleased with her order.

  • Food: I ordered Camarones a la Limena (sauteed shrimp in garlic, butter, and white wine with cilantro).  I thought it was good, but I realized I could have made it myself at home.  My friend ordered the mixed greens salad which was fine.  For dinner, I think my friend ordered Aji De Gallina, shredded chicken in a sauce of bread, peanuts, and yellow pepper.  But she hated it compared to my dish.  I have to admit, it was fantastic.  I ordered the Pescado Al Horno, which is fresh fish baked or broiled, served with mashed potatoes and quinoas cakes.  Those cakes were ridiculous. 
  • Service: Very courteous.
  • Atmosphere: It’s on the 2nd floor with beautiful red walls.  We were fortunate and were able to sit by the front window.  It’s definitely casual, but it’d be cute to go with friends or a date. 
  • Attire: Business casual/casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: The quinoas cakes are really good.  I’m looking forward to going back and getting those cakes!  I definitely wouldn’t order what my friend got, but I think it’d be good to go back and try some of their other offerings.

Happy Hour: Tuesdays 1/2 priced bottles of wine.  They offer only about 15 different varieties so the selection is limited.

Las Canteras

The building is actually a light purple, but you can’t tell from my photo. 

Details:

  • Reservations are accepted.
  • Hours: Closed Mondays; Lunch 11 AM – 3 PM; 5 PM – 11 PM; Sat & Sun 11 AM – 4 PM
  • Happy Hour: 6-8, Tuesday through Saturday. Specials Daily.
  • Address: 2307 18th St. NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-265-1780

I came home from Seattle with no food in my fridge.  I was starving and decided I really wanted some pizza.  As you may have been able to tell, I don’t like eating at chain restaurants — EVER.  I will if I have to, but I do try to avoid it if possible.  I can appreciate chain restaurants and believe they have a role in our society, but I personally prefer local places.

So, all that was needed to basically say that I don’t order from chain pizza places.  It was also raining in DC so I didn’t want to leave my apartment.  I also prefer thin crust. 

That’s when I decided I’d try Duccini’s Pizza

  • Food: Since I’ve never had one of their pies, so I figured I’d have to try their “Unique Pizza,”with secret sauce, ground beef, Italian salami, onions, black olives, fresh tomatoes, and extra cheese.  Wow friends, wow.  I can see why they have such a loyal following.  It was insanely good and really hit the spot.  There wasn’t too much sauce (a little heavy on the cheese which makes me think their normal pie would be perfect).  What I loved more than anything though was the fact the crust was still crunchy — even though it was delivery!  Plus, there were big chunks of topping.  The side salad was fine but definitely unmemorable (felt I needed to eat leafy greens).  I forgot to take a photo when I got it (again, super hungry) but here’s a couple of slices that I had re-heated.  Oh, and they let you order online!  

duccini

  • Service: I ordered over the phone and the person who took my order was polite.   
  • Atmosphere: No idea.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: Definitely suggest putting this place on speed-dial/bookmarking!  The crust is crispy with great big coarsely chopped ingredients — what else can you ask for?  OK, super thin crust…still trying to find that in DC.

Details:

  • Hours: Sun-Thurs 11 AM – 1 AM; Fri-Sat 11 AM – 2 AM
  • Location: 1778 U St NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-483-0007

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