Cafe Recess

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by grannola on October 26, 2006

Cafe Recess, as the name implies, is located very close to the Capitol in Washington.

We decided to stop there because we were looking for some quick lunch on Saturday, between our stop at the Library of Congress and our reservation at the Washington Memorial. It was within easy walking distance of the Library of Congress, and we'd actually driven past it our our hunt for a parking spot. The kids liked the name (of course they were thinking of school recess, but whatever), so we decided what the heck.

The restaurant is set up like a buffet or salad bar. They have 4 rows of food that you can buy for $5.69/pound. They have salad, hot food, all sorts of stuff. Of course, the kids (who love buffets and salad bars) decided they didn't want to bother with that. Go figure.

At the back of the cafe is a deli-type counter, where you can get made to order sandwiches. The 8-year-old wanted a Reuben (corned beef, sauerkraut, and cheese). The 4-year-old wanted a ham and cheese sandwich with mayonnaise but with no cheese (we got the cheese on the side). She's four after all. I got a bag of salt and pepper chips, a soda, and some chocolate milk for the kids. I figured that I would just share their sandwiches. Ha!

We got a few bites of ham (and the cheese on the side) for the baby, but do you think they were going to share their sandwiches with me? No way. They were not small sandwiches by any means, but the kids loved them and gobbled them all up. I got a tiny bite of the meat off the Reuben and it was delicious. I can see why they didn't want to share.

The restaurant is not very large, and the buffets take up most of the room, so there is very limited seating (about 4 tables or so). There are no high chairs, (babies don't spend much time on Capitol Hill I guess). We were there on a Saturday, so things weren't too busy. The food was good, it was prepared quickly, there were no line-ups and we were able to sit at one of the tables. I would think noon on a weekday would probably have a different atmosphere. (I'm thinking that good, relatively inexpensive food is going to create line-ups during the week.)

The sandwiches cost between $3 and $5 for the most part (with no sides), the chips and drinks were at standard prices ($1.50-$2 for drinks, etc).

Overall, the food was good, good value for the money, and we got out on time for our tour of the Washington Memorial.

They are open from Monday to Friday from 6:30am to 8pm and Saturday from 8am to 8pm.
Cafe Recess
209 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Washington, D.C., United States, 20003
(202) 544-3049

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