Washington DC Restaurants??

Old Mar 20th, 2002, 01:20 PM
  #1  
sonya
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Washington DC Restaurants??

Still planning that June trip to DC

Looking for family friendly restaurants with decent food not outrageously expensive. Nothing too fancy, we don't want to dress up on vacation.

Traveling with my 6 & 9 year olds and my husband. Kids basically eat anywhere that there is a kids meal with a burger or chicken strips. Husband and I like just regular good food, Steaks, seafood, italian, japanese, whatever.

It needs to be walkable from our hotel (L'enfant Plaza) or accessable by metro as we won't have a car.

Have hear about Mimi's and Krammerbooks, are these any good? How about any other recommendations?

Has anyone ever eaten in the restaurant at the L'enfant Plaza Hotel? Is it any good?

Thanks all!

(oh, I tried to find this info on chowhounds but I must have the weg address wrong 'cause I couldn't bring it up. Anyone know the address?)
 
Old Mar 20th, 2002, 03:56 PM
  #2  
sonya
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I figured out what I did wrong it is chowhound not chowhounds but I would still appreciate any restaurant feedback.

Thanks!
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 04:36 AM
  #3  
Roger
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Dag gone it, the Washington Post Sunday magazine had a restaurant review that might be up your alley last Sunday. I think the restaurant was called Orangtide or something to that effect. L'Enfant is not known as restaurant heaven. There's some sort of restaurant on the Potomac at about 8th & M Street, SW but it is mediocre.
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 06:29 AM
  #4  
Jeff
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I'm thinking 'family style' restaurants - someplace you'd be comfortable with kids that's not too fancy or expensive. One place you might try is called Otello. Get out of the Dupont Circle metro (south exit), and walk South on Connecticut about 1 block - it's on the east side of Connecticut. Nothing fancy, but very good traditional Italian cuisine (red tablecloths and all) that won't break your bank account. In the same vein, you might like Odeon Cafe (walk north on Connecticut about 3 blks, almost to Florida Ave, its on the west side of Conn). It's a bit more trendy, but has good food and a friendly, informal atmosphere. If your kids are very conservative eaters (burgers and chicken) you could also try Timberlakes or Childe Harolde in the same area. These offer decent food (ie. nothing to write home about) but they do center around standard American cuisine.

Krammerbooks is more of a coffee-desert-breakfast kind of place - and often very crowded. Good bookstore/cafe, but I wouldn't eat dinner there. Mimi's is supposed to be excellent, with singing waiters, but I haven't been there. Not sure how expensive it is.

I'm not too familiar with Southwest DC... I don't think there are many resturants down that way.
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 06:46 AM
  #5  
Christina
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There aren't any restaurants around that hotel at all. None that I know of, except some fast-food/takeout places (some have tables and chairs, I think) in the mall underneath it. However, that's a "commuter" mall, meaning main clientele are commuters on the metro, and it closes very early (probably by 8 pm). But if you want to eat early, that would be fine for sandwiches and simple meals. There is a good Italian restaurant in there with good sandwiches. My info on that mall and eating joints around there is a little dated, I used to work across the street and ate lunch in there or used the metro, but that was years ago, so I'm not sure now. The only restaurant I can think of around there, other than those and the one in the hotel, is the one at the Maryland Ave exit, Vie de France. A French cafe-style place (low-end, more sandwiches), but it's open later, I think.

Mimi's might be okay, I haven't been there, but I would not recommend Kramerbooks for family dinner with little kids. It's a cafe-type place, adult clientele, much of it bookstore browsers or late-nighters (it's open later than most places and has live music some nights). YOu might as well just go to the Au Bon Pain IMO (I think there is one of those in the L'Enfant Plaza mall, also).

I think your best bet is just to get on the metro (as you have to mostly, anyway) and go to Union Station. They have tons of restaurants there of all kinds, one or two nicer ones, but plenty in the lower level, you could eat there a month probably. Kids will be no problem, it is very casual (really an open food court, but not as low-level as some of those are). You'll have to transfer at Metro Center, but you'd have to do that anyway to go to Dupont Circle.

I've eaten a couple times in that hotel's restaurants, and the food is okay. I think they have two, one nicer (which was pretty good, I thought) and a lower level more casual one where I've seen families with kids (probably hotel guests).

For better advice and choices, you should look in the dining section of www.washingtonian.com, maybe www.washingtonpost.com (they have a lot of tourist info) or www.zagat.com
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 08:29 AM
  #6  
Roger
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Just got out the yellow pages. There's Phillips O Washington, 900 Water St SW 488-8515. There's Pier Seven at 650 Water St SW 554-2500.
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 08:47 AM
  #7  
nit
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I'd recommend the Old Ebbitt Grill --15th St NW --I believe it's between F and G Streets --very close to the White House.

Took my family there last summer and really enjoyed it. Not too expensive, but not fast food either. We were there at "off" times (late lunch, early dinner) so it wasn't crowded at all, but apparently it's pretty popular among congressmen, etc. because of it's location and can get pretty crowded over the lunch hour.

We also ate at L'Enfant Plaza (stayed there, too). Food was pretty good, but much more expensive than Old Ebbitt Grill. We were there on a weekend, so it was very empty --apparently they do more of their business with business travelers during the week.
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 09:16 AM
  #8  
Victoria
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I would recommend against Phillips. It's a chain restaurant that needs new life. Old Ebbitt's Grill is a popular favorite with us; Panevino in the Reagan Trade Center is pretty good for lunch. Union Station is an excellent suggestion, and just three short blocks away from Union Station is the Capital Children's Museum, an off-the-tourist-path gem.
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 09:56 AM
  #9  
Ruth
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I wouldn't recommend either Phillips or Pier 7 or any of the other dining places along the waterfront. If I had to pick between Phillips or Pier 7, though, I'd opt for Pier 7. From L'Enfant plaza, you can take the metro green or yellow line one stop north to the Navy/Archives stop or two stops to Gallery Place. There's lots of restaurants in those neighborhoods. Gallery Place puts you near Chinatown and places around the MCI center. Or you can reach the Dupont Circle restaurants mentioned in other posts by transferring to the red line at Gallery Place. That's also where you'd transfer to go to Union Station, but go in the other direction.
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 10:16 AM
  #10  
annie
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sonya:
We went to Ireland's Four Provinces on Connecticut Avenue. Good food, not fancy and plenty of families. www.irelandsfourprovinces.com
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 10:23 AM
  #11  
annie
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Foegot to tell you. It's the Clevland Park station on the Red line of the Metro.
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 12:03 PM
  #12  
Roger
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Actually, I tend to agree that neither Pier One or Phillips are particularly good restaurants. I was just thinking proximity. Considering you have a 6 and 9 year old, and you're willing to travel, I'd say McCormick's and Schmick's (yes, a chain but a very good one) on K Street might suffice.
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 12:14 PM
  #13  
Roger
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Thanks to the Net, I've figured out the DC restaurant I'd like to go. It was reviewed that Sunday in the Post. It's called Ortanique, a Florida-style modern restaurant. Located at 730 11th Street NW. Entrees are 19-33 bucks. Some food items- jerk chicken, venison, crab cakes, calamari.. I'm intrigued- I'm a big seafood lover. Kinkeads at 2020 Pennsylvania NW has received great reviews for years. Capitol City Brewing at 1100 New York Ave NW might be nice.
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 01:14 PM
  #14  
Kristin
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I think Kinkeads is overpriced, snobby and there is much better food to be found in this city. As for Ortanique, I've been to the one in Miami, and the good was great, but I'm not sure it sounds like what Sonya was looking for. Old Ebbitt is a good idea because it's in an interesting location and there's definitely food that kids would like, but also good "grown-up" food. And I think the kids would have fun at Mimi's as well (Dupont Circle Metro).
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 01:35 PM
  #15  
Jim Rosenberg
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Okay, no beating up on me for suggesting a bar with the kids -- my suggestion is simply to go early and I didn't find the atmosphere to be rowdy or nasty. But here's a fun place a couple of blocks walk from the Dupont Circle metro station:

The Brickskeller, 1523 22nd Street, NW

Type of Cuisine: American
Price Range: Less than $10
Attire: Casual
Reservations: N/A

Here's my little review:

The Brickskeller Dining House & Down-Home Saloon is a tribute to beer and brewing around the world. This place has an absolutely incredible selection of beer -- 10 pages of names in very small type. Since opening in 1957, the Brickskeller has handled more than 5,000 different labels at one time or another. If you've had a brew anywhere, the chances are better than good that they may have some on hand and ready to serve to you. It's a great, cozy atmosphere and the place can draw a crowd. The food menu is a selection of mostly burgers and pizzas; simple, but they are well-prepared and filling. Best of all, everything but the seafood platter and crab cake platter go for well under $9, so this place is a bonafide budget place to eat in Washington DC. And while some of the fancy imported beers can top $11.95 a bottle, the vast majority of the list seems to fall into the $5 or less category -- again, a very decent price in the Nation's capital city. Just to be creative, there is a selection of "Beer Tails" -- mixed drinks all made with beer, including such concoctions as "ale punch", "whistle belly vengence", and "skip and go naked". This is a wonderful place for a casual dinner with friends or you can even toddle in yourself and quickly make some new friends at the bar, but don't be surprised if you decide not to leave too quickly as you study brews from around the planet. It's an extra fun place and the staff knows what the hospitality business is all about.

* * *
In short, it's a great relief from 3-digit restaurant tabs in DC. Now, regarding the kids: that's your call and it depends on you and your children; I wouldn't have had any problem taking my own at that age. Still, I'm not going to tell you that it's a traditional family restaurant, either. There are so many choices up and down the streets of that area that you would have little lose by sticking your head inside and deciding for yourself, IMHO. (I realize others often see these things differently than I do).
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 01:39 PM
  #16  
Ed
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I don't know about snobby, but Kinkeads is a fantastic restaurant. A little pricey. Go to www.washingtonian.com, they have an excellent restaurant guide. The metro should be able to take you most places. Arlington, Alexandria and Bethesda have some great places too, and should be accessible by metro.
 
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 06:12 PM
  #17  
mjh
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My son and I went over to the MCI area a few weeks ago. We were very disappointed by what a mess the area is. We thought the whole area had been revitalized. Seemed to be big on empty lots at best. I would not recommend this area to tourists or children. I'd only go there for an event at MCI -- preferably during the day -- or to Chinatown which has a few very good restaurants.

I think Four Provinces is kind of out of the way. Kinkead's and McCormick's expensive. Dupont Circle has all kinds of places to choose from as I'm sure Union Station does but I haven't been there. Definitely skip the SW waterfront.

Old Ebbitt's Grill is wonderful -- a must for all tourists. Food kids would like.

 
Old Mar 22nd, 2002, 04:31 AM
  #18  
Roger
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Let me second the Brickskeller. I met my wife there back about 1989 and my life hasn't been the same since.
 
Old Mar 22nd, 2002, 08:50 AM
  #19  
sonya
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Wow! Thanks for all of the responses.

I'll have to write all of these down and keep them handy for our trip.

We're not looking for anything particularly fancy, just good eats while in the city on vacation in June.

After saying that let me ask, if we wanted to do 1 really special dinner, is there any restaurant particularly spectacular that is unique to Washington DC? Perhaps something historic or something with great views of the city or some kind of entertainment? Keep in mind, kids and no car.

Thanks all....keep those recommendations coming!
 
Old Mar 22nd, 2002, 09:25 AM
  #20  
Roger
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The Inn at Little Washington. $ 200 a plate.
 

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