I know, I know, Ben's Chili is not really a revelation to anyone actually from D.C. or who has read any travel literature on the city. But it is good. And it is kind of landmark. So go there once. Yes, your friends may tease you about going to a tourist trap. But screw those hipster scum. I'm from Detroit and this is official chili and dope show hotdogs. Plus I'm pretty sure it's in Adams-Morgan, which is a cool little neighborhood. Lots of good bookstores and little boutiques.
This spot is awesome. It was basically across the street from my hotel. I'm half-chinese, so my opinion is totally legit. (or at least half legit?) This honestly is one of the first organic chinese spots I've seen. Good and it was open later than anything else on the block other than the Mcdonald's. So tell Mr. Chen I said hi.
Open City is in Woodley Park too. Directly across the street from my hotel. It's kind of like a hipster version of a motorcycle club. Instead of motorcycles there were a shit load of fixed gears outside. But the coffee is really good and the pastries are top notch. Throw in wi-fi and a friendly waitstaff and I'm down. The fact that they have a really decent breakfast and lunch menu puts it over the top. Go here before or after your trip to the zoo (you have to see the pandas, right?) they're only a few blocks apart.
Oyamel, in Penn Quarter, is Jose Andres' venture into Mexican food. With a pedigree like Andres' (he trained at el Bulli, probably the best restaraunt in the world) it's no surprise that the food is good. In fact, it is amazing. So good. Hand made guacamole, amazing moles, tacos with ingredients that ranged from grasshoppers to pork rinds. Honestly, you can't beat the food here. Probably some of the best mexican you can get outside of Mexico. Certainly most likely the best mexican in D.C.
And last but not least, Palena. I normally eschew places with so much hype, but I had to try the so-called best burger in D.C. And honestly, it was really good food. So was everything else on the menu. To be honest, the pate was a bit more of a revelation for me, but you can't really go wrong with a burger that has home-made buns, mayonaisse, and a truffle on top. Plus their frites are really good too. Although the dinner menu is a tad pricey the prix-frixe menu is really reasonable and the burger is totally worth it. Honest. No pic for this place. I figured they get enough play as it is.
So. That's D.C. or I guess that's what I ate in D.C.. It was my first real trip to D.C., so give me a break. Maybe next time I'll be able to focus on other things. But I doubt it.