Tag Archives: washington

The Partisan (Washington, DC)

The second night I found myself in National Harbor, I instead got on public transit (buses! Metro! The wonders of SafeTrack!) and went downtown to meet up with more friends from TCF to try out The Partisan. Located in the Penn Quarter, The Partisan is the culinary partner of Red Apron Butcher, and the result is a bistro style restaurant with an impressive beer list, a good selection of wines, and a really good dinner menu focused on small plates and charcuterie, and, somewhat surprisingly, wasn’t that difficult to book for a large group (over a dozen in our party). So I soon found myself with my friends, enjoying a pleasant Saison, while watching them assemble our table.

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Sunrise Caribbean Cuisine (Washington, DC)

My usual approach for getting to DC involves simply flying to DCA (the now cumbersomely-named “Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport”) since it’s generally pretty affordable, on the Metro, and walking distance from Crystal City. But for this trip I had a bunch of Southwest points to burn, so we booked our travel through BWI. BWI is reasonably good for trips to DC, although there’s a bit of “planes, trains, and automobiles” involved, with taking a bus to the train station, following by taking an Amtrak or MARC train to Union Station. But one notable feature of this trip is that you get to visit Union Station. Originally one of the more majestic train stations in the US, like most major train stations by the 1950s it was in massive disrepair, although a major effort in the 1980s resulted in a restoration (I’ll spare you much of the history here, and simply refer you to Wikipedia). Part of that restoration involved converting part of the old baggage handling level into a large food court to go along with the other retail in the station, so the bottom level of Union Station has almost 20 restaurants crammed in. Now, like the food court at your local mall, most of these places aren’t really any great shakes, since most of these are places like Burger King, Subway, and The Great Steak and Potato Company. But hidden amongst those food court stalwarts are a few local small business gems. One of them that caught my eye was Sunrise Caribbean Cuisine.

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Crêpes Parfait (Washington, DC)

Since I end up going to the DC area at least twice every year (usually for work), I’ve been able to see a lot of minor changes as they happen on the food scene. One of the bigger changes is that the area is finally starting to embrace the food truck. A few years ago, there were surprisingly few modern food trucks, with the mobile food scene in DC still dominated by hot dog vendors and the people selling random snack food on the Mall. Indeed, it was just 2011 when one had to go to odd neighborhoods to find a place like El Chilango (who have since spun off a brick and mortar joint in the District, as is often the case with the better food trucks). In any case, there are now food trucks aplenty: 12th Street and 14th Street on the Mall are repleat with them, and the central business areas in downtown and Arlington now sport plenty of food truck options, as do most of the major tourist areas. Indeed, Connecticut Ave on the west end of the National Zoo has quite a selection, and, as we discovered this trip, some of them, like Crêpes Parfait, are actually quite good.

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Rasika (Washington, DC)

Well, my travels to the DC area are always a good excuse for getting together with several of my friends in the area. So when I had a free evening on my visit earlier this month, I called up some friends, and Steve, Allie, Leslie, and I all met up at Rasika in DC’s Penn Quarter. Rasika has been on my hit list for a few years, since it’s a perennial top finisher in most of the local restaurant review guides, getting particularly good marks from Eater DC and the Washington Post. It has a reputation of having the area’s best Indian food, with an emphasis on modern and vibrant interpretations of classic Indian dishes. It’s also been on a lot of other people’s hit lists, since I was completely unable to actually get reservations for our group of four… but they also like to keep a good number of tables available for the walk-in crowd. They very happily gave us a nice table for four in their odd little front room (at some point they expanded into the space next door, and there are two tables sitting in what used to be the entry vestibule for that suite) with the promise that we had to be done and out the door by 7.

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Good Stuff Eatery (Washington, DC)

Sometimes, you just want a burger. If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, burgers are one of my passions, and something I spend a lot of time seeking out. And there are a lot of burger places getting press these days. This time, a trip to Washington, DC, was a good opportunity to knock another burger joint off of the list. So I sent out an invite to some of my DC area friends. Spike Mendelsohn’s (we all remember him, the hat-wearing “culinary boner” guy from Top Chef season 4) Good Stuff Eatery was about 15 minutes’ walk from my hotel, right down the street from Tune Inn (which I’d also write up, but it’s been about five years since I’ve been there).

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Lincoln’s Waffle Shop (Washington, DC)

One of the things that amazes me about Washington, DC, is that several of the tourist trap food spots seem to have remained almost unchanged since my earliest visits to DC as a child back around the Bicentennial. There are still the food carts next to the American History museum and the Air and Space museum hawking some really dubious looking egg rolls. The exit of the Federal Triangle Metro station still seems to have one of the worst, and most expensive, hot dog stands in the district. Tony Cheng’s in Chinatown is still churning out dubious “Mongolian” food. And the block across the street from Ford’s Theater is chock full of touristy t-shirt shops, souvenir stands, and odd restaurants. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was only April 15, 1865 when the first entrepreneur set up a souvenir stand. But, for as long as I can remember, there’s always been a Waffle Shop across the street from Ford’s Theater.

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