Wednesday, January 10, 2007

DC Restaurant Week: Mmm...Bad Food

I told my wife we should participate in Restaurant Week. Not as diners, mind you. But by offering a prix fixes menu and setting up folding tables in our living room. Because, let me tell you, she’s a better cook than most chef’s in the city. Especially during Restaurant Week. (Let’s face it, most chefs participating this week are at the tops of their games.) That, along with the long waits and shoddy service, and I know we could do better than most!

Good food doesn’t have to be expensive, anyway. Sometimes it is. And sometimes you can spend 10 bucks on an entire Peruvian chicken (plus steak fries and slaw) and actually look forward to dying in a car accident on the way home, because you would be sure to die happy. Good food is good food. It’s just that so few people know what it is anymore, and assume that if you pay a lot for it, you’re getting it. So here’s a list of my favorite non-Restaurant Week food in DC:

Best Thai: The Old Siam on Capitol Hill. Not expensive, great service, incredible food, just simply a well-run place.

Best Italian: AV Ristorante Italiano, New York Ave and 6th Street NW. Serves wine in stemless water glasses, huge portions, unpretentious. They simply know what they’re doing.

Best hotdog: Ben’s Chili Bowl (of course)

Best Burger: Five Guys. Nothing more needs to be said.

Best Falafel: Amsterdam Falafelshop, Adams Morgan. Ditto.

Best fried pork, pupusas, and tamales: Tortilla CafĂ© at Eastern Market (not to be confused with Tortilla Coast, also on the Hill). They serve on Styrofoam plates here. I’d crawl over broken glass for the fried pork.

Best food, ever, anywhere, period: El Pollo Rico, North Kenmore Street, Arlington: I think they put crack in the chicken. I’m serious. Because there’s no way that chicken, steak fries, and coleslaw can be this good.


Ar-Jew-Tino said...

Freakonomics tells us that since there is no incentive for chefs and waitstaff to provide better food for a fixed price, regardless of how "expensive" or "not expensive" a patron interprets the price, we can continue to expect subpar quality.

Maybe you learned something today, Kwest.

Sweet said...

My friends and I opted out of restaurant week as well. Instead ten of us are having an Italian potluck, and the results are going to be delish.

Anonymous said...

If you like Pollo should try Chicken Tortilla.

Chicken Tortilla
1100 8th St. SE
Washington, DC 20003

I think they're better than Pollo Rico and they're fried yucca is heavenly. $7.50 will get you a 1/4 chick, two sides (I usually go with black beans and rice and the fried yucca), and a drink. The white and green sauce they have is unparalleled.

Johnna Knows Good Food: Yum Yum, Gimme Some! said...

If you like Five Guys, you would really like Z Burger. It has better food and service. The onion rings are amazing too.