Tagged Again!

I was recently tagged by my new friend Foodette to do a new meme. Foodette writes the blog Restaurant Review World, all about restaurants around the Los Angeles area. Since Matt’s family lives in the LA area, I will be certain to check out her picks on the next trip out there, and if you live in LA or are visiting, be sure to stop by her blog!

So this meme asks me to pick my 5 favorite restaurants in my city. I had to think about this one for a while. DC and Northern Virginia have a ton of fantastic restaurants and I love lots of them for different reasons. To combat that, I’ve decided to stick to restaurants that are affordable on our everyday budget and offer great service and food for the money. My first pick was easy:

1.) I love Pizza Paradiso. There are two locations in DC and each one has its charms. The location in Dupont Circle is tiny, really tiny. If you go on Friday or Saturday night, be ready to wait for one of the 8ish tables or to sit at the bar (which is actually great as it’s right in front of the oven and you can watch them toss and cook the pizzas in the open brick oven). In Georgetown, the location is much bigger, but be prepared for lots of college students to be there. My favorite thing to eat there is the Pizza Paradiso with fresh buffalo mozzarella and fresh tomatoes. Be sure to check out the huge beer selection (sacrilege, I know, but it’s seriously good) and try the tiramisu!

2.) My second pick is also Italian (I love Italian food, my grams is a tiny little Italian woman who is the best cook!) and would be the Odeon Cafe. It holds a special place in my heart as we ate there the night we got engaged. (Insert sappy moment here.) The food is always excellent, the portions are big and the service is great. The Odeon Cafe is also located in Dupont, we used to hang out there quite a bit when Matt first arrived in DC. I recommend the bruschetta, but be sure to request it with fresh mozzarella as it is billed with just tomatoes! The olive oil dip on the table is to die for to put your bread in and the four cheese fettucini is my favorite. Good prices, always a seat available, and a special memory for me, I can’t ask for more.

3.) Next would be the Lebanese Taverna. The first time we went was to the one in DC near the National Zoo. Matt had to drag me kicking and screaming but now I can’t get enough. I love everything we have there, we even went twice last week! My favorite appetizer is the Jibneh Halloum, which is salty, delicious Lebanese cheese served with olives, tomatoes and onions. My favorite dish is the Shwarma, the house special, perfectly cooked slices of lamb and beef over a bed of rice pilaf. There’s always a seat available and the service is impeccable.

4.) It hasn’t gotten such great press, but Bebo Trattoria in Crystal City, Arlington certainly makes my list of great affordable places to eat. Our bill here is the best part. We rarely spent over $60 for 2 meals, an appetizer and a bottle of wine. For DC, that is fantastic! The wine list is pretty good, the service is really the most attentive I have ever seen and I really like all the pastas I have tried. Go for the sausage in orange sauce with cheese appetizer and be sure to stock up on the yummy bread.

5.) Last but not least is a recent affordable and fun place, one that’s perfect for a quick, cheap weeknight meal. Mackey’s Public House in Arlington. Things I love about Mackey’s: the first time we went we had 5 pitchers of beer and it only cost us $30, they have dart boards and pool tables, and the food is actually really good for pub grub. I recommend the nachos, the homemade mac and cheese, and the mozzarella sticks. Delicious, open late, actually an okay wine list for a bar and plenty of beer, sports and games.

Thanks for tagging me Foodette! If any of these bloggers care to indulge, I’d love to hear about the best restaurants from David of Cooking Chat, Winedeb of Deb’s Key West Wine and Gardening, Leah of DcGastronome (I bet she has tons of great ideas for my area and I’d love to hear her picks!), Brooklynguy of Brooklynguy’s Food and Wine Blog, and John of Brim to the Dregs. Hope you will play along!

11 Responses

  1. Your blog is very interesting!
    Please, send me the photo of your computer desk.
    I’ll publish on my blog!.
    And if you want I can link your blog on mine!

    EMAIL: pcdesktop1@gmail.com

  2. Hi there,

    Just received your comment, and I want you to know that ever since I read the post on your blog about our shortage of wines under $20 that can ship to VA, I have been trying to get more wineries in that can ship there. Sorry — we’re working on it!

    Also, a photo of your computer desk… That’s an interesting request. 🙂

  3. Sonadora,

    Thanks for playing along! I love your picks – the pizza paradiso sounds great – I have a deep love for buffalo mozzarella. Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I hope to make a trip to the East Coast soon, and I definitely will need suggestions on affordable restaurants!

  4. Hey Sonadora, I will post my restaurants from your tag this week!
    What’s up with the photo of your computer desk?

  5. How yummy! Thanks for this – we get up to that area quite a bit. I’ll have to check one or two of these out.

  6. “…the service is really the most attentive I have ever seen…”

    Really? I’ve been to Bebo three times and found it to be hands down the worst service I’ve ever experiences (in a restaurant that tries that hard). Roberto Donna may be a great chef but he’s got no control over the front of the house….

  7. Frank, thanks…I don’t think anyone has ever asked me for that before.

    Marshall, I appreciate, I know you are working hard. I’ll give youa reprieve 😉 as I had to pause my shipments for the summer…cooked wine is not my idea of a good time!

    Foodette, thanks, it was fun!

    Winedeb, great, and I have no idea!

    Welcome Cattiva! I’m always on the hunt for new restaurants, so I post about where we go often, so check back!

    Robert, thanks for the comment. Perhaps it’s the nights we’ve gone? We tended to go in the middle of the week and there were never many people there and we always had a server who was just for our table. Attentive almost to a fault, in that if you took a sip of water they came and refilled your glass.

  8. I agree with your comments on Cafe Odeon and Lebanese Taberna. Pizzeria Paradiso is crap though. No offense.

  9. No offense taken homeimprovementninja, different strokes and all. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Wow, thanks Megan. My top picks:
    The Number 9 Lounge for wine by the glass and delicious and hearty small plates.
    EatBar in Tallulah in Arlington – the mushroom ragout, pea shoot and ham salad and mascarpone stuffed dates wrapped in bacon are all amazing.
    For pizza, Radius in Mt. Pleasant or the spicy meatball variety at Matchbox.
    Raw oysters and steamed lobster at the Old Ebbitt Grill.
    Hummus at Zaytinya.
    Thanks again 🙂

  11. Firstly thanks for doing the tag…Hope you enjoyed it…Super sorry for reading it so late…will be putting you on the update list…if you know of anyone else doing the tag feel free to message me and I’ll add them on the updated list

    Pizza Paradiso sounds good…and tiramisu…yummmy..Lebanese Taverna sounds good too…dun think many ppl mentioned good Lebanese food before

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