We're visiting for 3 days at the beginning of June (from San Francisco), and staying at the Renaissance M on New Hampshire Ave NW (between M and 21st.) It looks like it's about halfway between Washington Circle and Dupont Circle, and according to Priceline, we're in Foggy Bottom. This is my first trip to DC, so I have no clue where anything is!
For dinners, I'd like to keep it within walking distance if possible, and not too pricey. Lunches will probably be in the general vicinity of the Mall. I'm mainly looking for tasty, inexpensive (totally relative term, I know) local places that serve things I can't get at home. Asian fusion, sushi, Thai, Korean, Burmese, and Mexican are definitely out!
On my list so far:
Need at least one more option?
Hank's Oyster Bar
Etete or Queen Makeda (not within walking distance, but I'd love to try Ethiopian)
Possibly Heritage Indian?
Possibly Primi Piatti?
Any recommendations or suggestions? Am I heading in the right direction, or am I leaving out some places you think we'd really enjoy? I'd love to try more food from Northern Africa, but I have a life-threatening peanut allergy, so I get a bit nervous when it comes to new cuisines if I can't communicate well with the servers. I've looked at the Ethiopian reviews and menus and think I'm pretty safe, but if I'm misinformed, please let me know!
Also, I have a serious love of soft shell crabs, and according to wikipedia, the fresh blue ones are in season in June, but I refuse to get my hope up till the chowhounds confirm it! If so, where's my best bet for getting these suckers, preferably classic east coast/MD style? (If I screwed up the terminology, please forgive me!) I've seen mentions of them on threads for both Hank's and Breadline, but is there anywhere else I should be looking?
Thanks in advance for any input!