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On what seemed like the hottest day of summer so far, we took a field trip to eat some fried fish. If it weren't so hot, I think I would've enjoyed it more as a quintessential DC experience. Horace and Dickies, 800 12th Street NE, serves up their fish fresh, right out of the fryer, pipin' hot. They're known for their deep fried croaker but we opted for their 6-piece whiting filets, some potato salad and mac and cheese for about $10. The fish is coated with a corn-meal based batter, and the pieces are huge! 6 pieces could feed 2-3 adults. Two small plastic containers of hot sauce, tartar sauce and 2 slices of white Wonder Bread come with the fish. The sides cost extra. Someone else had the croaker and said it was fishier (and bonier). The collard greens are good, the potato salad is mustardy and on the sweet side, the mac and cheese is not creamy, more lumpy (but still delicious IMO). The menu also has fish sandwiches (literally several pieces of fried fish sandwiched between white bread), crabcakes, shrimp, chicken and seafood platters. The hot sauce tastes like Frank's and extra containers of sauces can be had for eleven cents. In the refrigerator case, there were mini pies wrapped in plastic that were labeled "bean custard pie". The place is takeout only, no ambiance to speak of. It's just some deep fryers, a counter to order, and some refrigerator cases for drinks and sides. They have an old Zagat's Guide write-up on the wall that actually says, "in a sketchy neighborhood, so exercise caution." I didn't see any reasons for caution, except for the quantity of food you get for the price. whatta deal. Gotta love a place where I asked, "What's good here?" and the lady at the counter says without missing a beat, "Everything's good here, baby! It's all good."
Soupergirl is located on M between CT and...18th st NW, this little take-away place just opened a few weeks ago. Some of you may recognize Soupergirl b/c she's been selling at local farmers' markets for years. Her food is all virgin (my short-hand for local, organic, eco-friendly, ect). Plus she's vegan and kosher. In my eyes the vegan thing is a huge downside. I love meat. All kids of protein. I digress. The menu consists of maybe 6 fresh soups every day and they offer free tastes. She has Gazpacho (or did earlier this week). There's also pre-packaged salads of both the veggie and grain varieties. Some of her soups are served both warm and cold. I've had a wonderful soy veggie soup and a fabulous quinoa salad that I added shrimp to once I got home. Excellent. Didn't really need the shrimp but I thought: why not? Give it a try; I think you'll like it.
I remember when Takoma Station was serious about food – pub grub but good pub grub. I remember when they had a rightful place in the conversation about this areas best fries and wings. I remember when Takoma Station was serious about Jazz. When Wynton Marsalis would stop by every time he was in town and more often than not sit in with the band for the last set. I remember when Chuck Brown’s first jazz album (the Godfather of Go-Go actually started as a jazz musician) debuted more than 10 years ago the impromptu premier party was at Takoma Station. I remember when this areas young jazz lions wanted a gig at Takoma Station almost as badly as they wanted one at Blues Alley. I remember when the spoken word community and those young jazz lions started to collaborate that Takoma Station was the epicenter of the movement. I knew that they had abandoned that legacy long ago. What I did not know until last night was that after leaving that legacy in the rat infested alley behind them to suffer for a decade they decided to pour liquid ventworm nut on it and set it ablaze. The food, which was from opening day “all fried, all the time”, lacked even the salty satisfaction that can come from that type of menu. Wings had visible hairs and feathers still attached. The fries tasted like they were frozen…last millennia, and of all of the other things I saw, nothing looked even remotely edible. And the music…played at ear blistering volumes was low hanging fruit wrapped in a cliché. It combined the worst elements of “Smooth Jazz” with the subtle as a sledgehammer rhythm of contemporary R&B. Just painful. At least the Stella was cold.