Washington, D.C. Journals

Tastes Like DC

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A January 2009 trip to Washington, D.C. by Idler

Banana Cafe & Piano Bar Photo, Washington, D.C., United States More Photos
Quote: With its sophisticated international mix of visitors, diplomats, and ethnic groups, it's no surprise that restaurants in Washington, DC reflect the world as well as a broad multicultural heritage.

The Mansion on O Street

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Restaurant | ""How Long Has This Been Going On?""

The Mansion on O Street Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
That's what I asked myself, in the words of the famous Gershwin tune, when I first came here. Seriously, I wanted to know WHY I hadn't ever heard of this place after a friend organized a lunch here for a group of mutual friends. The Mansion on O Street, you see, isn't really a restaurant. It's this amazing upscale boutique hotel/private club that just happens to offer sumptuous buffet meals several times a week, mostly on Sunday and Monday. There's a "power lunch" buffet every Monday, a champagne brunch from 11 to 2 or a high tea from 3:00-4:30 on Sunday, "Dinner-tini" (dinner buffet with martinis or other libation...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 21, 2009

The Mansion on O Street
2020 O Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 496-2020

Zaytinya

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Restaurant | "East End Story"

Zaytinya Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
I'm thrilled to have a new favorite restaurant in DC. I won't dwell on which old restaurant it has supplanted, for that would be gauche, but suffice it to say that I am utterly besotted with my new found treasure. In fact.... well, pardon me, as I feel like bursting into song: Zaytinya... I've just had a meal at ZaytinyaAnd suddenly that nameWill never be the sameTo me.Zaytinya!I've just eaten lunch at Zaytinya,And suddenly I've foundHow wonderful a mealCan be.Zaytina!Say it loud and there's music playing,Say it soft and it's almost like praying...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 8, 2009

Zaytinya
701 Ninth Street North West
Washington, District of Columbia 20001
(202) 638-0800

Burma

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Restaurant | "An Unprepossessing Place with Interesting Food"

Burma Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
We’ve never been terribly impressed by the Chinese restaurants we’ve been to in DC’s Chinatown, (though we’re always ready to be persuaded otherwise), preferring the Chinese places near us in Rockville and other suburbs. When we’re in Chinatown, one of the places we go to is actually this Burmese restaurant, the simply named Burma. We came initially to sample Burmese food, and we’ve returned a few times since then as we found some intriguing items on the menu. First of all, let me say that Burma is a decidedly unpretentious place. It’s on the second floor of a modest building on 8th Street, above a Thai restaurant. The décor borders on depressing, but it’s redeemed by the courtesy of...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 21, 2009

Burma
740 6th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 638-1280

Kanlaya Thai Cuisine

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Restaurant | "In the Mood for Thai? Try Kanlaya"

Kanlaya Thai Cuisine Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
Some of the best food in Chinatown isn't Chinese, but it's at least Asian -- in this case, Thai. Kanlaya Thai Cuisine is located directly underneath another of our favorite Chinatown restaurants, Burma, but we'd scarcely given it a second glance until I read a recent "Best Budget" article in Washingtonian magazine and saw a review for Kanlaya. I made a mental note and decided to check it out. My first meal there, on my own, made a favorable impression. Kanlaya doesn't look that promising from the outside, wedged as it is between several other small eateries, but step inside and things begin to look up. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 23, 2009

Kanlaya Thai Cuisine
740 6th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 393-0088

Haandi

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Restaurant | "One of Our Favorite Indian Restaurants "

Haandi Photo, Bethesda, Maryland
Quote:
Generally speaking, I enjoy going out to eat food that would be difficult or time consuming to prepare at home. Indian cuisine definitely falls into this category, and although I often make simple curries myself at home, I'd much rather go out when we're in the mood for Indian food. Our restaurant of choice? About half the time, it's Haandi. Strictly speaking, Haandi is not a Washington restaurant, but it's fairly near the Bethesda Metro, which is a few stops past the city limits on the Red line. If we've been downtown for the day, it's an easy stop for dinner on the way home. (There's another Haandi restaurant in Falls Church, Virg...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2009

Haandi
4904 Fairmont Avenue
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
+1 301-718-0121

INTI Peruvian Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Good Introduction to Peruvian Food"

INTI Peruvian Restaurant Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
Full disclosure: What I know about Peruvian food you could put on the head of a pin. But I'm always up for trying something new, and after it seemed that we'd fallen into a "Thai one week, Middle-Eastern the next" rut (if that can be said to be a rut), I scanned the Washingtonian and Yelp for something different for our next DC foray, looking for something in the Dupont Circle area as we'd be going to a concert there right before dinnertime. I also was on the lookout for something relatively inexpensive, quiet, intimate, and a bit on the romantic side given that it was Valentine's Day weekend. When I read reviews of Inti, I knew I'd found what I'd been looking for: Somet...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 16, 2009

INTI Peruvian Restaurant
1825 18th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 797-0744

Banana Cafe & Piano Bar

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Restaurant | "A Taste of Cuba"

Banana Cafe & Piano Bar Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
Until the US travel restrictions to Cuba are lifted, those seeking a taste of Cuba should head to Miami… or, if they’re in the D.C. area, to the Banana Café, a cheerful bistro just a few blocks from the Eastern Market Metro. It’s a convivial place for a meal and/or a drink, with outdoor tables set under colorful umbrellas, and a bustling interior space featuring whimsical folk art set on candy-colored walls. An upstairs piano bar is a favorite hangout for a diverse Capitol Hill set, with the happy hour featuring popular three-dollar margaritas. As it’s a cinch to get to the café from the Mall (it’s just four Metro stops ea...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 21, 2009

Banana Cafe & Piano Bar
500 8th St Southeast
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-5906

Dubliner Restaurant & Pub

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Restaurant | "Convivial Irish Pub"

Dubliner Restaurant & Pub Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
My "history" with this place goes back to my college years in the 1970's -- not too long after the place opened, in fact. Back then -- and to this day -- the Dubliner offers a lively evening scene, with live music most nights. If you're fond of an Irish ballad or sing-along, then this is a place you'll probably enjoy. Located on a corner just across from Union Station, it's an easy place to get to, too, which makes it a favorite gathering place for groups of friends at lunch or after work. In more recent years, I've joined a friend "of Irish distraction" (as we say) here for St. Paddy's Day, which is something of a marathon event. Be forewarned: the Dubliner is downright cr...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 21, 2009

Dubliner Restaurant & Pub
520 N Capitol St NW
Washington, D.C., United States 20001
(202) 737-3773

Maine Avenue Fish Market

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Attraction | "The Way Things Used to Be"

Maine Avenue Fish Market Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
The Fish Market isn't located in the most scenic spot in DC -- far from it, as it's next to a large elevated interstate overpass, right next to the waterfront. Even though it's not far from the Mall, it's far off the tourist radar, which means that it's one place in town that doesn't overcharge for its wares or tart things up beyond endurance. It's just a good, solid, open-air seafood market, one of the few remaining ones on the Eastern seaboard. As the fish market is popular with locals, parking near it can be a bit of a challenge, but we've really never had to go all that far to find a spot. Commerce really picks up on the weekends, especially on Fridays through Sundays, when the pla...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 22, 2009

Maine Avenue Fish Market
1100 Maine Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20024
(202) 484-2722

Station Grill (The)

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Restaurant | "A Local Hangout in the Bustle of Union Station"

Station Grill (The)  Photo, Washington, D.C., United States
Quote:
As a lapsed vegetarian, there are few things I enjoy more than the sinfully meat-laden steak-bacon-and-shrimp salad at the Station Grill in Union Station. At home, I prepare only seafood, chicken, and vegetarian dishes as my husband eats no beef or pork. Naturally, when I'm dining out on my own or with friends, I go whole hog (as it were) in the meat department. A friend who worked just up the street at the Federal Maritime Commission first introduced me to the place. It was convenient for her and equally convenient for me, coming in on the Metro Red line. Union Station, like any major train station, is a bustling place, but a fairly impersonal one in some ways. The grand Beaux-Arts b...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 22, 2009

Station Grill (The)
50 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002 20002
(202) 898-4745