This weekend I enjoyed some great cheap eats and thought I would share the experience, and also add my review of Locanda, which I enjoyed Saturday night.
1. Take out from Thai X-ing in Shaw. OK, after so much hype about this place and the mystique that seems to enshroud it, I was happily surprised to find the food as good as expected. We had larb gai, the curry salmon and fried rice (SO insists that bad fried rice can ruin the best meals). The salmon, especially, was stellar. $27 for all, and it was two meals for us.
2. Islander Caribbean on U Street. We've passed this place so often and finally decided to stop in early on Friday evening. Service was pleasant but a little spacey. I had the curry goat and SO had the calypso chicken. The goat was really tender, with lots of layers of flavor that were more than just heat. Calypso chicken had a brown sugar base, but was not overly sweet. Entrees were under $15, and the passable house chardonnay was only $3 a glass. If you're jonesing for Caribbean, this place really hits the spot.
3. Cafe La Ruche in Georgetown. How is it that I've not managed to find this place before now? The courtyard is really sweet, and it's on a quiet street (31st, south of M) away from the madness of the Georgetown Saturday shopping frenzy. We were looking for a snack, not lunch, so I had pate and SO had the brie. Each plate was about $8. What a nice place to chill out on a pretty afternoon!
Locanda: This is a gem and I hope it stays that way. Service was warm and friendly. I had the ruccola salad and the mint papardelle (SP?) with lamb ragu. SO had the crostini and the ravioli of the day, with goat cheese and leeks. We shared the Meyer lemon panna cotta for dessert. The ragu was delicious, and I liked the pasta but the mint was very, very faint. I would have liked a more prounounced mint flavor to complement the lamb. The ravioli was killer. Clearly the star of the evening. We had an Italian red wine (Lacrima de Cristo Vesuvious, or something close) which was great with the lamb ragu. This is going to be a go-to place for us.
It was a great weekend!