the chorister's c

Washington detours



last update: Tuesday, 23 November 2004

last link check: Monday 31 March 2003

Timberlake's awningMy idea of a great Saturday afternoon begins with brunch at Timberlake's in Dupont Circle. This is a cozy neighborhood "American food" place with pressed-tin ceilings and brightly-colored crockery, enlivened by curious tourists and conventioneers from nearby Connecticut Avenue hotels. Go for the artichoke frittata.

In the gallery district, the ruckus is about Jaleo. Hard by the Shakespeare Theatre at the Lansburgh, this restaurant specializes in tapas. You can assemble a meal from two to four of these hearty appetizers: building up from, say, Spanish sausages, garlicky white beans, or smoked salmon. My tipple of choice is a pitcher of sangria, very fruity and easy to drink. Jaleo currently holds two stars on Washingtonian magazine's roster of the 100 Very Best Restaurants.

Scattered across multiple locations in the suburbs is Hard Times Cafe, the only place to get authentic Cincinnati-style chili, that cinnamon-flavored ambrosia concocted by Greek immigrants. Order a 5-way, which comes with spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans. Traditionalists can order two different Texas-style recipes, and a vegetarian chili is available too.

There aren't many restaurants that have appeared on both Washingtonian lists, the 100 Very Best and the 100 Best Bargain Restaurants. Clarendon's Queen Bee is one of the precious and proud few. My first-choice dish at this, the great lady of Arlington's Vietnamese restaurants, is the Saigon pancake -- light and crispy, filled with shrimp, pork, and crunchy vegetables. Queen Bee is a very popular place; in prime time, be prepared to wait next to the tiny bar for a table. It's worth it.


1726 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
redDupont Circle


480 7th Street, N.W.
redgreenyellowGallery Place

and 2250 A Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA
blueyellowCrystal City

and 7271 Woodmont Avenue
Bethesda, MD


Hard Times Cafe
11 area locations


Queen Bee
3181 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA

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