My Scene: Washington D.C

7 07 2008

I did a post a while back about Houston and don’t worry, I will be updating that and adding more hot spots very soon. 

For people who abhor the mundane and yearn for eccentric places that exude originality and classic taste, then this list is for you! I am basically sharing my list of go-to places for this semester and can’t wait to try each new nook and cranny! Some places I have been and others I will be trying out very soon!! Maybe I will catch you there! Don’t be afraid to submit your places as well!

Restaurants:

Acadiana– I am slightly afraid to try Creole food up North but I have heard rave reviews and will give them the benefit of the doubt. After you have had my Mom’s gumbo then you will know why I am so picky! However, with a menu that boasts gumbo, boudain/boudin (wherever your region) balls, etoufee, and jambalaya, hopefully I will get the little taste of home that will last me until I get back. Nothing tops Cafe Du Monde’s beignets, Floyd’s blackened catfish, and Mom’s home cooking but it beats going without. 

Ben’s Chili Bowl– What would a list be without this U-street staple. If you are from Houston, this is like the Frenchy’s of Washington D.C. Very chill vibe with a real cool staff. The best thing about Ben’s is their hours. For a college student, you appreciate people staying open late. Can’t wait to go back and get a chili dog! Now for a little history- Ben’s Chili Bowl is located in the historic U-street corridor which was know as the Black Broadway. After Dr. King’s assassination, riots ensued in Washington D.C. When the city closed down on the freedom fighters and people trying to restore order in city, Ben’s stayed open to provide shelter and food for them. The offspring of the owners are still running the place to this day.

The Market Inn aka the Lobster House of Washington- Not a location to go to on a typical day, if you are on a budget…but…this would be perfect for a wonderful date for that special someone. I had to include this restaurant because I am an avid seafood fan and looked at this restaurant for my birthday dinner this coming December. They are located in Southwest D.C and have also been featured on the Food Network.

Madam’s Organ Restaurant and Bar– So I think I am sold on this location for my birthday celebration because who can compete with drunkeoke. Its a play on karaoke but you can’t even get on stage without the 2 drink minimum. Being a minor, I guess I can’t. (Wink) No, but seriously, this is a blues and soul food lounge. I love their slogan: It’s where beautiful people go to get ugly. They boast a Soul Food Specialist, daily deals for those on a budget, and regular meals that are perfect for any budget. Their website is eclectic and they keep it real! They got their name from a play on the neighborhood Adam’s Morgan, where they are located. Can’t wait to get ugly!

Mie N Yu: Located in Georgetown and just exudes the Mediterranean and Asian style. Very Intimate setting I might add. Come here to give your taste buds a little twist. This has been voted “Best Date Spot” by AOL. They have won a host of other awards and I can’t tell you how much I love the decor. Perfect spot to relax after a long day. 

The Diner: After a long night of trying desperately to get into this Campus Pal event last year, a couple of my friends and I just said forget it! We are ready to go and hopped in a cab without a clue of where we were going. Somehow we ended up in Adam’s Morgan and thankfully we found the Diner. It is open 24 hours a day, 4 days a week. When I think of diners, I am looking for 50’s decor and memorabilia but this is actually a very chic restaurant. Although it took us a long time to get our orders, this is not the norm. 

Larry’s Lemon Bowl: So walking down Georgia Ave, I found this gem with one of my best girls, Akia. We were feigning for ice cream and nobody had any. She is from Cali and I am from Texas, so we are used to smoothies and nice cold treats. We couldn’t find a Smoothie King or Jamba Juice so we just walked in random restaurants asking if they had ice cream or smoothies. To our luck we walked in Mr. Larry’s establishment and were served the best smoothie. If you go to Howard and see me on the yard, ask me to take you there and I will! Other strangers, don’t try it. I don’t f with the psycho’s. He also serves food and homemade cheesecake. Don’t bother googling it because this gem is a “word-of-mouth” place only. Support this fine black-owned establishment. 

Sankofa: We must go back and reclaim our past. Ask me one of my goals and I will tell you it is to become a Sankofa sandwich! In my Intro to the Black Diaspora class, we watched a wonderful film named Sankofa. Doing research, I found out that not only did the director come from Howard but she also owned a restaurant across the street from the school with the same name. This place uses the best ingredients and I must admit that they have some wonderful smoothies too. Everything is fresh and healthy. The restaurant also has a store with plenty of books and movies on our African roots. They have poetry nights that feature HU talent and from abroad. My favorite sandwich is the Spike Lee with out the Bleu Cheese and tomatoes. lol No, but seriously, their sandwiches are named after directors of African descent who have directed feature length films. I wonder what my sandwich will taste like. 

Some fast food places that are great for Howard students: 

Up late and need a bite to eat:

Howard China aka Ho Chi- No this isn’t a place for fine dining but their hours are great and you can’t beat  nuggets and Mambo sauce with a Mix on the side. Yeah, they can’t really spell on their menus but I have had some fun times in that lil hole in the wall. Looks can be deceiving. Mix please!!!

Dandy’s- I am notorious for my freestyles about Dandy’s. They deliver up until 3am and I believe the delivery men are scared of Black people. Their menu is perfect for when you have up to pennies left in your pocket and need to hook up with friends to buy one item. I usually order about 3-8 mixes along with my meal. Fun times in the Quad with Dandy’s. 

(Hey yo B, what in the world is a mix? )

A mix is a beverage concoction that is widely loved by the Howard University community. You may hear the terms, Crack tea or crack water, because just like crack…you don’t stop drinking them. Plus they are very cheap and come very large. 

I love mixes because it reminds me of my Mom’s tea. All it is, is Ice tea mixed with lemonade. I called her the moment I tasted one and told her all about it! 

Shopping:

I was spoiled by Houston shopping but D.C has some okay places too.

My favorite is Georgetown. It has a host of different shops and reminds me of an outside Houston Galleria. Although they closed one of my favorite stores, Kickballers, they still have Major and most major stores like H&M, Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s (hates black schools) Secret, and a host of others. 

The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City- I used to work in the large Victoria’s Secret there but quit because they are crazy in there. PC has all of your major department stores. Pentagon Row is next door and has Marshall’s, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, and plenty of other stores as well. 

Wheaton: Take the red line and it has its own stop! My friends swear by Wheaton Mall because their stores are basically what you have at home. A bunch of national chains and perfect for those on a budget. Haven’t been there but wouldn’t say no to going. 

Union Station: Not a lot of stores to choose from but a nice place to visit. Plenty of restaurants and a couple of nice stores. Great place to take Facebook/Myspace Pictures

PG Mall: Before the new Target by Howard, this was a must go destination. This is next door to UTC and also has a movie theatre within walking distance that is actually cheaper than the ones in the District.  A host of stores as well as a place to get your groceries. 

D.C USA: Down the street from Meridian Hill Hall and right across the street from the Columbia Heights metro stop. Perfect for quick fixes needed from Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Marshall’s. Recently opened and this was a god-send. Just walk around the area and there are other stores and restaurants nearby. 

Fun activities to do will be posted later.

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