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Eating and drinking.

Seattle, Washington
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Eating and drinking.

Hey TA DC,

I have 5 nights (Superbowl Sunday - Thursday) when I will be in town on business travel, staying near the World Bank.

I am from the DC area so I know the city pretty well, the lay of the land and basics on how to get around. But I haven't been back to DC for for two years so I am going to need some help finding some new, solid places to eat and drink.

*Coffee. I am looking for indie Third Wave places associated with or featuring local roasters, notable multi-roaster cafes, places that offer a variety of brewing technique or places known for their competition baristas.

I was reading about Tryst (Adams Morgan) which uses Counter Culture, The Coffee Bar (Logan Circle) which uses Handsome and Ceremony (from Anapolis), Peregrine (Logan Circle 17th and R), which uses Counter Culture, and Filter (Dupont Circle) who uses Ceremony. Does anyone have experience with those. They would have to be for an evening coffee as they are not close at all to my office. I heard Filter has a second location at 19th and I. That would be really convenient for me for morning coffee. Has anyone been there?

What other roasters do you like? I have seen references to Vigilante, Ceremony, M.E. Swing, Qualia (Fresh off the Roast), Quartermaine, Dublin. I'd be interested in trying Vigilante. The closest coffee shop to my location looks like it might be Bean & Bite at 15th and M. Any coffee shops in the vicinity of my hotel that you know of that service Vigilante?

On dinner and drinks I have a pretty wide range of food interests. I have done the gamut from Michelin-starred molecular gastronomy to comfort food, street food and mom and pop kitchens putting out various world cuisines.

Recently I would say that I get more excited about places that have a local, seasonal and artisanal focus. At home I probably eat modern American most often (including places that are nominally doing a European cuisine but modern, outside of the box, and incorporating local and seasonal or American artisanal products. I also tend to really enjoy places that fall under the gastropub umbrella. I am always interested in good tap beer lists with local options and classic cocktails. I am not interested in really formal dining on this trip and frankly any place that you need to book weeks and months in advance I am not going to worry about even calling.

I have read some forum posts and dug into Eater DC & Washingtonian. Here are some places that have jumped out at me:

Proof

Cork

BistroBar at Menu/MBK

Pearl Dive/Black Jack

Rose's Luxury

Graffiato

Doimoi

LIttle Serow

Blue Jacket Brewery

I was also intrigued by Toki but it is a hike from my location. It looks like the primary way of getting there would be by taking the X2. I'll be frank in saying that when I grew up in DC I would have never considered getting that close to the Trinidad neighborhood although I see now they are calling that stretch of H the Atlas district and even light rail looks like it is imminent.

Same thing with the area around the Navy Yard where Rose's Luxury and Blue Jacket are.

I have made a reservation at Table (a Bon Appetit Top 50 Best New Restaurant) already. I'm thinking about going to Birch and Barley or at least Church Key one night and I think it is likely I'll get to Jack Rose one night.

I'd appreciate any first hand reviews of those places and if there are some other recommendation that would be great too.

Thanks

K

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Eating and drinking.

H Street NE between about 5th St and 15th St is very different than it was even just a few years ago. It is full of restaurants, bars, music clubs and other businesses that have been opening up since about 2005, as well as still a lot of long-time establishments. The street is usually full of people visiting these places all the time and you should not let the neighborhood's old reputation stop you from visiting.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Eating and drinking.

I think you should definitely visit H st NE, just to look at it! The changes are unbelievable. Second, Birch and Barley has gone down, it's nothing to write home about in my opinion, and Tom Sitsema agrees with me (also about Blue Jacket): popville.com/2014/…

But making a meal out of appetizers and sampling beers upstairs at ChurchKey is still great.

Across the street from ChurchKey - Estadio, spanish tapas, delicious.

Little Serow, if you manage to get in, it's great. The food is very very spicy though!

My personal favorite is El Chucho, small, neighborhoody, delicious mexican food without pretense. Try the street corn - and margaritas.

Edited: 5:07 pm, January 31, 2014
Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Eating and drinking.

Thanks for the quick replies -- in particular UkieDC.

I have been to Estadio and enjoyed it a lot (I have also been to Jaleo, Taberna del Alabardero and Bodega in Georgetown). I'm going to try to exercise discipline and mostly hit new places. I looked at Barcelona Wine Bar. It's on my "possible" list.

Re: Little Serow, I am willing to eat early and stand in line before opening. I've done that from time to time here in Seattle (in particular for lunch at Salumi or dinner at Walrus and the Carpenter) ... but whether I can get over there at Little Serow in time will depend on how work plays out each day. The food looks pretty exciting.

Where is El Chucho? Where in Mexico are they from ... That is, what kind of Mexican food do they do?

Appreciate the info about H St. NE Matt and Ukie. I mean back in the day we felt at risk on 14th and P going to the Studio and last time I was here I walked from Logan Cir. to U and all around that area and I never would have done that but I felt perfectly safe. It's a great strip. I figured change all around the city has been significant. It looks like the light rail isn't going to be up and running while I am there so to get over that way I'll have to bus it.

Finally Ukie, thanks for the info on Church Key/Birch and Barley and Blue Jacket. I thought B&B was pretty great last time I was in town but that was 2 years ago. Might still stop in for a beer -- unless the lines to get up there are still out the door.

-K

San Jose, California
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4. Re: Eating and drinking.

We were very impressed with the beer at Bluejacket. The Fix is one of the best beers ive ever had, actually.

Washington DC...
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5. Re: Eating and drinking.

Here is a link to a great trip report that has a lot about coffee and beer, as well as a few restaurants.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28970-i40-k713341…

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Eating and drinking.

El Chucho is on the 11th St NW, in Columbia Heights, there's a little strip with restaurants and bars, very cute. You can walk there from Columbia Heights metro. But the food is not anything special, like it's not oxacan mole house or anything like that. It's more of a small everyday dinner kind of place, you have to order multiple small dishes to fill up. It's near Wonderland Ballroom if you remember where that is. You have to remember that we, on East Coast, have no mexicans, so we get excited by any type of mexican food. :)

Edited: 4:28 am, February 01, 2014
washington dc
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7. Re: Eating and drinking.

Rose's Luxury has been consistently praised. I like Pearl Dive and near there, St. Ex and Bar Pilar are also good. look at Le Diplomate and Chez Billy. And of course - for an extraordinary meal - Obelisk - though it is a one-price 5 course major eating event. The new place by Obelisk owner Peter Pasten - Etto - is also great. For beer - Meridian Pint. El Chucho is more a little neighborhood hipster place with mixed reports on the food.

Here is another link from local blog Popville on the subject - the topic being "What Restaurants did you once Love but no Longer Do?" It is quite long, but your coffee thesis leads us to believe you don't mind long! The gist of it is that several of the places frequently mentioned in tourist guides - Founding Farmers and Jaleo most notably - are not recommended. I haven't been to FF but agree about with Jaleo.

popville.com/2014/…

Maryland
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8. Re: Eating and drinking.

"You have to remember that we, on East Coast, have no mexicans, so we get excited by any type of mexican food. :)"

A bizarre comment on so many levels!

Washington DC...
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9. Re: Eating and drinking.

Really? But compared to west coast where the Latino population is mostly Mexican, in DC it's mostly El Salvadorian. So most of the latino cheap places are salvadorian with papusas, or peruvian, and not mexican with tacos. Therefore we don't have as many mexican restaurants as California for example.

San Jose, California
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10. Re: Eating and drinking.

I know what you are saying Ukie - not a bizarre comment at all. Every Californian that I know who has moved to the East Coast, when they come home for a visit, the first on the agenda is to get some good Mexican food :-) The last thing I expect to get when I travel to the East Coast is any kind of good Mexican food. Salvadoran, Cuban, Puerto Rican - sure, but not Mexican.