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'Hound-worthy chow recs for a 4-day trip to DC, near Mt Vernon Square?

ploo | Apr 19, 2012 10:30 PM

Greetings from a fellow Dallas- and Chicago-based hound!

I will be flying to DC next week for a conference and staying at the Renaissance Downtown right beside Mount Vernon Square. Looking for advice on chow-worthy spots that are within walking distance/Metro. I love all cuisines, all meats, offal, but for this trip I'm probably looking for more moderately priced restaurants (<30 an entree) and less destination restaurants due to the company I'll be with. Also excellent/innovative cocktails are a big plus, and I'm a huge craft beer fan with a palate leaning towards the hoppy (IPA's e.g. Ballast Point Sculpin, Stone Maharajah, etc) and imperial stouts (Deschutes Abyss, Old Rasputin, Great Divide Yeti, etc etc) though any place with a nice beer selection will do. Having gone to undergrad in Baltimore, I used to enjoy running down to DC for a nice meal and drink (Kaz Sushi Bistro comes to mind), but that was so long ago that I've since forgotten all the other places I used to love.

Some examples but all suggestions welcome, from the most casual to the most delicious, I'm game for anything!

-SUSHI - really would love one dinner to be some amazing sushi, for these the price limit is less applicable as I know sometimes I can spend 3x as much as a more reasonable dining companion if the uni or other specialties are just that good/interesting
-Moules frites
-Pho or Banh Mi
-Korean (I remember I used to go to Annandale for fantastic Korean staples, I love all Korean food such as taengjangjigae, ssamgyupsal bossam, nakji bokkum, soondoobu, etc)
-Mediterranean - gyro, shwarma, taramosalata, fried cauliflower, I know this unfairly groups several distinct ethnic palates but trying to get to get too carried away here
-anything with pate/rilettes/etc
-Japanese/Ramen (like Maruichi in Mountain View, CA or Ippudo or anything with amazing tonkatsu ramen)
-Ethiopian (I remember several good restaurants, heard ethiopic was good)
-Oysters/Crabs (anything like Faidleys in Baltimore? drool the memories)
-Best Sandwich - whether Cuban or a Uni-Mini chicken parm, anything reasonably close to my hotel? Or something like Xoco by Rick Bayless in Chicago
-Menudo or any authentic Mexican restaurant (any region) especially those with various moles
-Beer-oriented places - like the Brickhouse in Atlanta, Flying Saucer, Common Table, Meddlesome Moth in Dallas, etc
-Cocktail oriented places - like the Violet Hour or the Aviary in Chicago, Cedars Social in Dallas, etc
-Neapolitan pizza from a wood-fired oven (like Il Cane Rosso in Dallas)
-Chinese - especially Taiwanese or Cantonese style cuisine

Anyway, I know that's an expansive list, but I'm really game for anything and the more authentic, delicious, or unique, the better. For the most part, I think I'll only have time to venture out for dinner, doubt I'll have time for any hound-worthy lunch. Thanks all for your help and happy chowing!

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