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Dining in Mount Pleasant


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There are so few good dining options in Mt. Pleasant. Radius is a good neighborhood joint, and the various Salvadoran places can be fun now and again. Still, we are lacking a good diner, or a good local place (think Cork). We could also use an organic grocer in the neighborhood.

The DC government renovated a spot for the temporary Mt. Pleasant library at 3162 Mt. Pleasant Street a couple of years ago, and it is really nice. The library is moving back to its permanent home soon, and the great space with lots of windows will be available.

If there are any restauranteurs or grocers out there, please consider this space! I have no financial stake here, but the neighborhood needs more places, so I am just putting the word out!

Should also add that there is another great spot for a restaurant just up the street next to the Bestoworld -- high traffic corner, big windows, for lease!

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4 hours ago, Rieux said:

This is unfortunately true.  I used to be in Radius weekly some time ago but the menu/quality just seemed to slip and I can't even remember the last time I have been in there (18 months ago, at least).  Every time I walked past it was empty.  I hope something good goes in the location, given I live 2 blocks away.

Ditto for all of this, except I live one block away. :)

Mt. Pleasant is, sadly, a hard place to sustain clientele for neighborhood bars and restaurants that aspire to anything interesting, for a variety of reasons (from the surprising number of already-established-if-unfortunately-mediocre eating establishments on the strip, to a restrictive neighborhood board, to the lack of significant foot or motor traffic that could fuel word-of-mouth or steady customers from outside the immediate few blocks).

It's too bad.  Beau Thai has some good things (if the menu itself still tends towards the over-sweet), Don Juan is actually pretty great for what it is (those pork chops mmmmm), Marx Cafe is surprisingly solid, Zabver and Angelico are both great takeout options (albeit of very different kinds; I still maintain that Zabver's pork chop salad is one of the great dishes of the city...maybe I just really like pork chops), Lezo's tamales and pozole are legit, and even Pollo Sabroso is of a quality that belies the fast food exterior (okay, and interior).

But man, I just want a Bad Saint or a Room 11 or a Tail Up Goat or a Red Hen or a Thip Khao or someplace that's striving for something more ambitious than a neighborhood bar or restaurant.  Something chef-driven and thoughtful and ingredient-driven and seasonal and, at minimum, oh-so-slightly elevated.

Failing that, I just want The Raven Grill to change its name and take that damn cocktail sign out of their window, because they haven't served food or offered decent cocktails for at least the last twenty years as far as I know, and every time I walk by it, it just annoys me as I think about all the phenomenal little kitchens at all the grungy little bars back in Portland.  Raven Grill, my butt.

Anyway.  Yeah.  Sad to hear that Radius is closing.  I hope something interesting takes its place, or at least something at all (have you noticed how much of Columbia Road between the Safeway and 18th, and then how much of 18th along the Adams Morgan strip, are vacant storefronts now and have been for a while?).  But not another Subway; the one we inexplicably have now is more than enough.

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On 3/6/2012 at 11:47 AM, Rieux said:

There are so few good dining options in Mt. Pleasant. Radius is a good neighborhood joint, and the various Salvadoran places can be fun now and again. Still, we are lacking a good diner, or a good local place (think Cork). We could also use an organic grocer in the neighborhood.

The DC government renovated a spot for the temporary Mt. Pleasant library at 3162 Mt. Pleasant Street a couple of years ago, and it is really nice. The library is moving back to its permanent home soon, and the great space with lots of windows will be available.

If there are any restauranteurs or grocers out there, please consider this space! I have no financial stake here, but the neighborhood needs more places, so I am just putting the word out!

Should also add that there is another great spot for a restaurant just up the street next to the Bestoworld -- high traffic corner, big windows, for lease!

Ironic to read this now, four years later, since that "great spot for a restaurant" Rieux mentioned -- and I totally agree! -- is what became the Subway.  Huge waste.

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1 hour ago, Gadarene said:

Ditto for all of this, except I live one block away. :)

Mt. Pleasant is, sadly, a hard place to sustain clientele for neighborhood bars and restaurants that aspire to anything interesting, for a variety of reasons (from the surprising number of already-established-if-unfortunately-mediocre eating establishments on the strip, to a restrictive neighborhood board, to the lack of significant foot or motor traffic that could fuel word-of-mouth or steady customers from outside the immediate few blocks).

It's too bad.  Beau Thai has some good things (if the menu itself still tends towards the over-sweet), Don Juan is actually pretty great for what it is (those pork chops mmmmm), Marx Cafe is surprisingly solid, Zabver and Angelico are both great takeout options (albeit of very different kinds; I still maintain that Zabver's pork chop salad is one of the great dishes of the city...maybe I just really like pork chops), Lezo's tamales and pozole are legit, and even Pollo Sabroso is of a quality that belies the fast food exterior (okay, and interior).

But man, I just want a Bad Saint or a Room 11 or a Tail Up Goat or a Red Hen or a Thip Khao or someplace that's striving for something more ambitious than a neighborhood bar or restaurant.  Something chef-driven and thoughtful and ingredient-driven and seasonal and, at minimum, oh-so-slightly elevated.

Failing that, I just want The Raven Grill to change its name and take that damn cocktail sign out of their window, because they haven't served food or offered decent cocktails for at least the last twenty years as far as I know, and every time I walk by it, it just annoys me as I think about all the phenomenal little kitchens at all the grungy little bars back in Portland.  Raven Grill, my butt.

Anyway.  Yeah.  Sad to hear that Radius is closing.  I hope something interesting takes its place, or at least something at all (have you noticed how much of Columbia Road between the Safeway and 18th, and then how much of 18th along the Adams Morgan strip, are vacant storefronts now and have been for a while?).  But not another Subway; the one we inexplicably have now is more than enough.

Have to get back to Lezo for that posole.  Does Mi Cuba Cafe count?

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Just now, Rieux said:

I have a dream that one day the paint store will close and a french bistro will open in that spot with a huge outdoor patio where the parking is currently.

That paint store...  I remember when it was a failing supermarket.  I'm not sure the paint store offers that much more marginal utility, though admittedly I'm intrinsically self-interested and don't buy paint.  But yeah, that parking lot could be used for so many better things.

I wonder if anything's going to go in that basement space where the random imported toys, lunchboxes, brooms, and other cheap plastic goods and sundries store (no, not that one; the other one -- no, the other other one) used to be.

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I have another dream where I take over the spot around back of BestWorld and Subway and turn it into a restaurant/shop (which shall remain detail-less, as I may actually try to do it some day).  And another dream where the BestWorld is replaced with a Yes! Organic Market.

 

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3 minutes ago, Marty L. said:

Have to get back to Lezo for that posole.  Does Mi Cuba Cafe count?

This is where I demonstrate that I am lazy and entitled.  Mi Cuba Cafe is too far!  It's, like, a ten-minute walk, down several streets, across a wide and busy 16th Street, and past two of the area's seven hundred and thirty-six churches (rough estimate).  There's something psychological about having to walk ten minutes for decent stuff (and Mi Cuba Cafe, Pho 14, and Los Hermanos are all definitely decent and worthy establishments) when there are two dozen restaurants in the two blocks next to my house that really makes the stuff ten minutes away feel much, much further.  Ditto Doner Bistro on Columbia, and then Thip Khao is fully fifteen minutes away, and let's not even get INTO Room 11 and those guys...

Like I said, lazy and entitled.

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2 hours ago, Rieux said:

I have another dream where I take over the spot around back of BestWorld and Subway and turn it into a restaurant/shop (which shall remain detail-less, as I may actually try to do it some day).  And another dream where the BestWorld is replaced with a Yes! Organic Market.

I always wonder about that space and what it used to be (and when).  Definitely a foot traffic issue, but it certainly has potential.

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