If you want a view with your meal, you can't beat the Sky Terrace, the awning-covered outdoor restaurant on top of the Hotel Washington.
It overlooks the Treasury building and much of the White House, along with the Ellipse and the Washington Monument.
You can eat for under $10 -- sandwiches are built on fresh egg-bread rolls -- or for a little more, enjoy a more elaborate entree.
We stopped there twice in one week for lunch and found the food tasty -- but not fussy or fancy -- and the service uneven.
The first time was flawless. I had the crab cakes; my companion had the turkey sandwich, and we each had a strawberry daquiri. We saw the president's helicopter arrive, we watched the snipers on the White House roof stare back at us through binoculars. We left thoroughly satisfied with the view, the food, the price and the service.
The second time was marred by a resistant waitress: She led the three office workers who came in after us to a table that was three tables away from the balcony railing. When they asked if they could sit in one of the available railing-side tables, we heard her say, "No, you are already sitting here. " They had just sat down! She told them they could not have separate checks because "there are too many of you." Three people is too many? The place wasn't even busy.
When we had finished our meal, we asked her to please wrap up the half-sandwich that my elderly dining companion hadn't eaten. She said, "Well, I don't know, we don't usually ..." At that point, I interrupted her and said, "Look, the kitchen has foil or plastic wrap -- surely you can give us a piece of it." So we got a piece of foil. Sheesh.
What a shame that the latter half of this review dwells on one lousy server, but I can't help it -- that one woman will forever tarnish my memories of an otherwise lovely place.
Still, I recommend the Sky Terrace to visitors who want to get a great view of the city with a good meal.
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