Phillips Seafood (Flagship) 900 Water Street SW Washington, DC (202) 488-8515 Monday–Thursday & Sunday, 11am–9pm Friday & Saturday, 11am – 10pm Weekend Brunch, 11am – 2:30pm
Overlooking the Washington Channel on the Southwest Waterfront, Phillips Seafood (Flagship) is reputed to be the only all-you-can-eat seafood buffet in Washington DC. A large buffet of fresh seafood selections, as well other cooked and dessert specialties, make up an glutton friendly display. A traditional a la carte menu is also available. For those coming by car, you can swing below to an underground parking garage (complete with a man standing by the payment machine to help speed up the process at dinner time when the line can get long). Its a pure tourist destination however, so be warned…
The choice for this massive group dinner was left to someone who’s been here before and thought the simple venue and dining style would be conducive to our party – filled with a bunch of big strapping fellows associated with a certain active military outfit and accustomed to big eating of the seafood variety (as they are based on the west coast). I wasn’t particularly thrilled but decided to chalk it up to one of those unfortunate outings when one’s interest in eating well (and perhaps in more moderate quantities) was thrown to the wayside in the greater interests of group harmony and wasting time arguing about where to eat. I guess I can be accommodating to a fault.
Bistrot Du Coin 1738 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC (202) 234-6969
During short, non-leisure trips I’m often forced to put my interest in eating out and trying new things on the backburner due to various reasons, including unfortunate hinderances such as lack of free time and fussy travel companions. But there are those occasions when my interests do find a fortuitous match and I meet like-minded folks who know a good meal when they see one, and are willing to seek them out. A well travelled businessman, who was born-and-raised in the DC area introduced me to Bistrot Du Coin, which turned out to be the gastronomic highlight of my trip.
The sweltering heat of the DC summer did put a bit of a damper on my dinner experience as the inside was absolutely packed and the air circulation was minimal at best. We were seated on the upper floor overlooking the main dining area below, which perhaps made the stuffiness seem that much worse. With the boisterous crowd and plentiful tables full of wonderful smelling food, it felt part American overindulgance and part French bistro casualness. I was so insanely hungry after another long day that I was willing to put up with the discomfort as long as the food was satisfying, and thankfully it was.
Capital City Brewing Company 1100 New York Ave NW Washington, DC (202) 628-2222
Hot summer weather. And cold beer. Goes well together don’t you think? I must be mentally trying to keep the summer alive with today’s post, reflecting on my July visit to the east coast of the US.
As an escape from the humid heat that was still blanketing the city even in the late afternoon, a group of us ducked into the nearest, air conditioned gastropub for a quick hit before our dinner plans. As we were expecting some vehicles to pick us up, we had plenty of time to kill. And with the drivers taken care of, a license to drink as well. The formula for a good start to the night!
Churchkey 1337 14th Street Washington, DC (202) 567-2576
So a Canadian, a Texan, a Colorodan, and a native Virginian walk into a bar…
Nope, not the opening line of some tacky joke but what happened on my summertime visit to the Churchkey gastropub in the funky neighborhood of Logan Circle, that I grew to love during my time in America’s capital city. In desperate need of some shelter from the sweltering heat, along with some food and liquid sustenance, the four of us ducked into this two floor establishment well before the big rush of customers came not too long after the sun went down.
The burly fellow who was checking ID’s at the door gruffly noted they didn’t have a happy hour (or at least when we entered). Alas, that didn’t stop our crew from going inside, as one member had heard this place had a wicked beer selection. Now if you’ve been following along lately, you’ll probably remember that I’ve cut back my consumption of this popular adult summer season liquid, but this day was an exception. Why is it that the hotter the weather, the stronger my craving for ice cold beer becomes?
Zaytinya #701 9th Street NW Washington, DC (202) 638-0800
As I am sure many of you are aware, the northeastern States have endured quite a few battles with Mother Nature this summer – including some blistering hot heat waves, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, and Hurricane Irene. Fortunate for me, I was only around for one of those events and managed to get safely in and out of the nation’s capital, and enjoyed some good eating along the way. While this will be a pictureless-post due to my not wanting to whip out my cell phone during this particular meal, I still wanted to put some thoughts down and share my experience at Zaytinya, which offers Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisine.
Mediterranean cooking is not something I indulge in a great deal but when I do, I am always pleasantly surprised by the boldness of flavors that can be captured by a talented kitchen. In the case of Zaytinya, their celebrated chef is José Andrés, recently named this past spring as an “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation at their annual awards gala in New York City. The restaurant is clearly on the popular destination list by locals and visitors alike. Without a proper reservation, we had to wait a little while at the bar (where you can still get food), before a table opened up for us later in the night.
Fogo de Chão
1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Fogo de Chão is a well known Brazilian churrascaria restaurant chain that offers the unique experience of Latin steakhouse plus full table-side service all in a high end environment. It has successfully established a beachhead in the United States over the past decade, including this beautiful location in the US capital, situated just several blocks away from the White House grounds. This was perhaps the only pre-planned dinner I had on this trip (actually organized by another person). The rest were all ad-hoc due to lack of time and I might add, interest.
It actually occupies a good chunk of the first floor of an impressive structure, better known as the Evening Star Building, which is listed in the National Register as a Historic Landmark. When you see if during the height of the day, the building is impressive to even the non-architect with its classic French design and clean lines carved through the marble. Doing some background research after the fact, I’ve learned it was originally constructed in 1898 and was the home to a newspaper (not surprisingly, called the Evening Star).
National Pastime Sports Bar & Grill
201 Waterfront Street
National Harbour, DC
Some places and food just go together. As a lifelong baseball fan, for me, this sport is all about hot dogs. Its part of the experience of seeing MLB games live. Strangely enough, having been through enough pork processing plants in my lifetime and gaining a full view into what goes into hot dogs, you would think I’d stay away from them. Alas, I can’t when it comes to watching America’s favorite pastime. This isn’t even limited to the outdoor environment, as if there is a game on in the bar, I’ll look to see if there are any ‘dogs in the house. Yup, I’m predictable that way.
For those fans of the sport, you’ll know that Canada lost one of its top professional teams to the Americans. The glorious Montreal Expos franchise that gave birth to so many amazing players has relocated to Washington, DC. The Nats as they are affectionately called are a fairly forgettable bunch, without a winning season in six years of their new existence. I wondered when I came across this sports bar within this massive hotel facility, if it was tied to the franchise (I did see a logo on the front glass), given its name. Its a little mixed, as I did see a lot of football paraphernalia adorning the room, including a pretty cool display case with helmets from all of the NFL clubs. Looking for a quick bite to eat and to catch a glimpse of whatever sports game was on the gigantic screens that covered on side of the room, we were quickly seated by a slightly unenthusiastic hostess at one of the high tables in the middle of the floor. A prompt order of some non-alcoholic beverages – since we were on the clock – and so began our lunch.