dc is metropolitain

dc is metropolitan
dc culture is international culture
yet dc still has its own culture
but what is dc culture

last night at a waba happy hour there was a discussion about whether or not washington dc has a reputation for a certain food

there was mention of new york's connection to both hot dogs and pizza
while chicago also boasts a connection to both hot dogs and pizza
to what food does washington dc makes its claim?

dc may have had the country's first thai or indian restaurant along with new york and san francisco
boulder may have had a period where they had more Mo Mo restaurants than Katmandu
then there is cajun from new orleans
but what about washington dc?

soul food?
yes... maybe soul food

over the years many Washington DC institutions have changed hands while many others have closed
this old town is not the place it used to be
for better or for worse washington dc has changed
just as the world has changed
washington dc has changed

but much of old washington remains

Ben's Chilli Bowl ranks well with either Gray's Papaya or any Vienna Sausage Stand on the side of the road
the list is not yet formed in my head
but be certain there is more

just around the corner and down the block from Ben's there is Florida Avenue Grill or Ohhs and Ahhhhs
it may not be Soul Food but it is Washington DC and it is SOULFUL! the Market Lunch at the Eastern Market
which transitions to ribs and bbq... a subset of soul food with a huge presence all over the city and on every block of Georgia Avenue all the way to Silver Spring!
Hogs on the Hill and Kenny's may not be what they were I guess they all burned down one too many times
and Hodges? is Hodges still over there or did they go the way of AV's?
great fried fish all over the city... Yums is great late night with the hometown favorite MUMBO SAUCE... but DC can do better fish than that
on the hill there are a few places that may qualify

maybe DCist has a better answer
maybe Washingtonian has already compiled a list

dc definitely has its flavor


Jim said...

Ben's Chili Bowl is the shiznit. My favorite is the chili cheese fries, though a couple half smokes w/t chili and cheese works pretty good too.

That the architects of desegregation used it as their meeting place only adds to the patina.

Frederick Ingram said...

What about crabcakes? No wait that's Maryland.

Unknown said...

Your completely wrong on the food associated with DC. When talking food with those of us that live elsewhere in the country and travel to DC often. The food of topic is always Ethiopian. No place outside of Ethiopia (I can only assume) does it better.

gwadzilla said...


gwadzilla is wrong!

gwadzilla is mistaken for lumping all international cuisine into the thought of dc being cosmopolitan



accept no imitations
Eritrean Food Will Not Do!


gwadzilla said...

and yes...

Maryland is for Crabs
which boils over to DC a bit as well

I am still upset that I was wrong about Soul Food

GhostRider said...

When Matt from BikeJax speaks, we all listen!

I remember some pretty kickass Ethiopian food there...so I'm gonna have to side with him. I don't have any other culinary memory of a distinctive D.C. "flavor".