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Mailbag: Orange Line Edition

Welcome to our first edition of the Eat the District mailbag! Today I tackle two questions: one Orange Line related, and one bakery related. Please send any questions to micah@eatthedistrict.com, or just leave a comment here!

I need a place for a weeknight dinner for two that’s close to the Orange Line where I can snag a table on one night’s notice.  Interesting food is a major plus, and moderately priced (not too expensive but not a bargain bite) is ideal.  Any thoughts?

Oof. The Orange Line. Not exactly DC’s most cultured, restaurant-filled transit line. That being said, there are a few good options: here’s three I think are great for what you’re looking for.

If it weren’t for the one-night’s-notice stipulation, this answer would be no-brainer: Rasika West End. Only a 10 minute walk from the Foggy Bottom Metro Station, this Rasika spinoff, with a similar but not identical menu, upholds the original’s reputation of serving some of the best Indian food in the country.  Unfortunately, just like at Rasika, tables can be hard to come by, and one night ahead may not happen for you.  If you’re lucky enough to get a reservation, this should be your choice, but odds are you’ll be looking elsewhere.

Also near the Foggy Bottom Metro Station is Founding Farmers, one of Micah’s mom’s favorite DC restaurants!  Founding Farmers is a reliable source for Southern-style farm-to-table food, and you shouldn’t have a problem scoring a table on a weeknight.  It may not be the most exciting choice, but you should walk away feeling satisfied.

I think your best option, though, is the fairly new Green Pig Bistro in Clarendon, which has been met largely with enthusiasm by the District’s restaurant-goers. Green Pig Bistro focuses on interesting meat preparations from nose-to-tail cuts, though the menu is interspersed with safer options for risk-averse diners. And best of all for your needs, they don’t take reservations, meaning you have the same shot of getting a table as anyone else despite your last minute planning.  Head here, try the crispy pig taco, and let me know how it is!

After spending a year in Berlin with a bakery selling fresh bread on every corner starting at 6am I am really heartbroken at the lack of early morning fresh bread options in DC.  I live in Adams Morgan and other than the local grocery stores, there doesn’t seem to be a single bakery within early morning, pre-coffee stumbling distance. Any help?

In desperate need of 7am carbs.

Thanks,

Ozge

We feel your pain, Ozge. For some reason, DC is a bakery wasteland.  9 out of 10 neighborhoods have only a supermarket or a Firehook bakery, and it’s impossible to find the kind of Italian bakery on every other corner in New York. With your Adams Morgan location, you’re probably going to have to travel a bit to get that fresh bread you want. Here are a couple of options.

The PAUL bakery chain has been spreading through DC, with locations now in Georgetown, Golden Triangle, and Penn Quarter. They open up at 7 am with French-style breads and pastries, so this might be the answer to your early morning needs. Not exactly stumbling-distance, but a great place to grab a baguette.

If it’s a Sunday, though, a much better option is to head over to the Dupont Circle farmer’s market, where you can guarantee at least one vendor will be hawking fresh-baked bread. Opening at 8:30 during spring, summer, and fall and at 10 during the winter, this is the perfect way to grab those breakfast carbs while avoiding the same tired DC chains.  Unfortunately, it’s only one day a week, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?

Hope this helped, and let us know if you find any even better choices!

2 Responses to Mailbag: Orange Line Edition

  1. Dan says:

    You have Chez Paul locations in DC!?!? That is incredible. My host mother got bread there daily when I lived in France. If it is half as good, it will be the best bead you have ever eaten. I checked the website, and they serve the Sandwich Atlantique here (probably much more expensive than in France – they don’t overprice their smoked salmon there). There is no excuse for getting anything other than this sandwich.

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