New DC Resident Tips

This is an open letter to John — who commented on my blog (thanks for reading) — wondering what is the restaurant he shouldn’t miss when he’s in DC next week.

John, I have been contemplating and working on drafting such an entry, so thanks for the prompt.

To sum it up, I don’t think there is just “one” restaurant that is DC.  But I do think, depending on your mood and how often you’ve visited, there are some outstanding options.  I am keeping the suggestions only to within DC-proper and metro accessible. 

With that in mind, here’s the quick personal list (with many more additions to come).  But readers, please chime in!  Before you chastise me for forgetting a “duh” restaurant, remember I typed this bad boy up in 15 minutes.  So it’s seriously a list off the top of my head!

  • Cheap but real DC — Ben’s Chili Bowl.  Everyone goes here.  Anthony Bourdain to Bill Cosby to Bill Clinton.  If you go and you’ve never been, must get the half smoke and fries. 
  • Organic and sustainable — if the environment is your #1 priority or you’re looking for a light but absolutely phenomenal meal, go to Hook.  Although Barton Seaver has left so not sure if it’s still as amazing. 
  • Indian with a twist — RasikaI haven’t reviewed it because it’s been more than a year since I’ve gone.  I’ve been and here’s the review — still love it!  They offer this popcorn at the bar which is sweet and spicy and amazing.  I loved loved loved that popcorn. 
  • Authentic Mexican — Mixtec.  Simple yet good. 
  • Cart food — For lunch, I would honestly recommend the Bulgogi cart.  Unless you’re from NY, you don’t see a lot of carts with options other than hot dogs. 
  • Mussels and frites (and beer) — My new favorite place is Brasserie Beck.  Seriously.  Drool.
  • Thick crispy fries, delicious crab cakes, and beautiful atmosphere — Blue Duck Tavern.  Between Brasserie Beck and Blue Duck, I’m not sure who has the better fries.  It’s definitely a toss-up!
  • Pizza — Hands down it’s 2Amys.  Not metro accessible (really) but so worth the cab fare. 
  • Wine bars — I haven’t been to Cork so I don’t know if it’s cool, but I love Veritas
  • Vodka bar — There’s only one (I think) – Russia House
  • Real Greek food — Mourayo, then you can go to Russia House and Veritas after dinner!
  • Bagels — I really like So’s Your Mom bagels.  Plus their Reuben is delicious.
  • Breakfast — If you want to sit down for breakfast, I think The Diner is quintessential DC.  You’ll see everything from families to cops to hung over people eating here. 
  • Sushi — Sushi Taro if you don’t mind the wait, Tono Sushi especially if you want it delivered or want to hit up a sushi happy hour, or Kaz Sushi
  • Caribbean/Trinidadian — Islander Restaurant.
  • Grocery store listing — Sometimes, you just want to buy a big gallon of water.  To find the closest grocery store to you, visit here.

I was watching a little TV this weekend — and I can’t just watch TV.  I have to do something so I decided to create this map of DC-metro area grocery stores. 

Not only will this help those who are new to the area, but it’ll also help if you’re visiting and want to know where the closest grocery store is to your hotel.  Yay!

These are the big ones with some of the smaller ones included.  I’m working my way to include Maryland and NoVA, but for now, you have DC. 

To view the map, click here.

Of course, I’m sure there are some I’ve missed and perhaps have included some that may no longer exist.  If that’s case, drop me a line [whereindc AT gmail DOT com] and let me know.

Ahh yes, the Department of Motor Vehicles.  No matter what state you live in, it’s not a fun place.  And is it just me or no matter what time you go — even first thing in the morning — it’s always busy and at least a couple of hours of waiting time? 

So when I noticed that my drivers licence was expiring, I was dreading having to go to the DMV.  But then, I realized that I could renew online

And as a DC resident, they offer vehicle inspection appointment scheduling, vehicle registration renewal, request residential parking permit, road test appointment scheduling, and payment for parking/moving tickets.  For more online services, click here for more information. 

OK, so I’m easily entertained.  But this just saved me a half a day on Saturday!

And for those of you who live in Virginia, same.  Lots of services offered online including drivers license renewal.  Maryland folks, not as lucky but a few services are offered.

** UPDATE 1/4 — I posted the list of menus and deals here.**

My fellow diners!  DC-Restaurant Week has been announced

It’s January 14-20th. 

Here’s the list of participating restaurants on OpenTable.

For those who have never participated, Restaurant Week is amazing.  Area restaurants that might be out of your normal price range become affordable. 

Lunch cost $20.08 and dinner cost $30.08 for a 3 course fixed meal.  Most places offer a few choices as the app, main, and dessert.  Tip is not included (nor alcohol).   

Ahh, if you’re reading this post, you’re new to the DC-area.  Welcome!  While I know you’re not a tourist, you should still read some of the tips I previously offered in my tips to visiting DC here. 

The first “tip” for you new DC resident is going to be on Safeway.  We have nicknames for them.  I think of them as terms of endearment.  While I think some of the Safeways have out-grown some of the terms, they’re still being used.  

Not for Tourists has a nice recap of some of them here.