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visiting Washington DC for a weekend in March---how's my plan?

soccermom13 | Feb 27, 201008:54 AM

I'll arrive on a Friday and would like to have three lunches (Fri, Sat, and Sunday). I am not a large person, and I find that if I have a big lunch, I can't eat much if any dinner. So, I usually just have wine, good cheese, good bread, fruit and some chocolate in my room for dinner.

Here are some of my criteria:
*really good food (of course)
*accessible via metro and walking (I will not be renting a car)---I am a great walker and I can walk miles and miles with no problem. I am staying in Foggy Bottom but I can and will walk/take the metro almost anywhere :0)
*cheap (We are still paying hefty college costs for kids)
*holes-in-the wall are fine

These are the three places I'm tentatively considering for my three lunches:
***Saints Paradise Cafeteria (I love good Southern, and this place sound like it has good food and some character.)
***the buffet at the Garden Cafe in the National Gallery (thanks to mjhals for this tip)
*** Lauriol Plaza for a Peruvian dish with scallops and shrimp (I know that LP is not a favorite on this board, but I LOVE this dish and I love walking to this restaurant)

I may need a very small dinner on Sunday and Monday evenings---I'll be at a conference those days---so I'd love ideas for where to go without a reservation for something small---I will NOT want huge dinners. Some ideas I have are:
**Coco Sala for something like a bowl of mac and cheese plus a dessert (of course)
**Rasika for palak chaat

But I need more ideas for these "small" dinners. Are there any Happy Hours where I could get a drink and some small portions of really good food?

Oh, and a couple more questions:
1. Is the Cowgirl Creamery worth a visit? I usually look for good local cheeses at Whole Foods, but I will gladly go to Cowgirl if you guys recommend it. I LOVE the Cowgirl Creamery shop at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
2. Are the salty oatmeal cookies at Teaism really good?
3. Any neat little cooking stores/food stores I should visit? Last year I visited HIll's Kithchen (love those cookie cutters for each state of the union :0) and Eastern Market.

I like almost all food except:
**sushi (yeah, i know i need to learn to like this)

Also, I don't want to eat Ethiopian on this trip. We have excellent Ethiopian in my city and I've eaten a lot of it in the last few months.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. I really appreciate it.

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