As far as I'm aware, there is no true DC regional food. Instead, Californians go to Chipotle, Texans go to Old Glory, and People from New Jersey go to the Broadway Diner.
The metro ride and subsequent walk are well worth it- a step inside the Broadway Diner transports you to the innumerable neon-lit rest stops along the Palisades Parkway run by tired men of unknown ethnicity in white shirts.
Ways to tell that this is a true Jersey Diner:
The menu is too heavy to lift. It contains the obligatory club sandwiches and minestrone soup, the super expensive steaks that someone, somewhere must order, and random Greek food. It contains the dubius lowfat selections and the huge burgers to balance them out.
There is breakfast. There is always breakfast. At three in the morning if you want that pecan belgan waffle with bacon, hash browns and fruit cup with two poached eggs and a peeled carrot, its yours.
There is a sketchy desert case, required by Jersey Diner law, sitting next to the cash register. Its purpose is to prompt speculations about whether it still contains the same coolwhip-sculpted chocolate mice as last time. You never eat anything from there; it tastes better as a conversation piece.
The food is hot, fast, and tastes like home. If youre from New Jersey.
Broadway Diner | 895 Rockville Pike