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Dining Near RFK Stadium


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So my dad is coming into town this weekend and on Saturday we are going to a ball game to support the 1st place(!) Washington Nationals.

When he comes to town we try and keep it low-key, going out for burgers, steaks or spicy thai food.

Where should we go on Saturday afternoon for moderately priced food? Extra points for a place that had great beers on tap. The place does not have to be near or on the way to RFK, but near a metro line would be good. It must be in the District, however so no Arlington recs, please! He is fairly adventureous for an Ohioan, but will not enjoy sushi.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!

Jennifer

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What about Mr. Henry's at 6th and Penn near Eastern Mkt? I usually get patty melts which are great and I think (maybe I'm wrong) they have Foggy Bottom on tap. Outside seating is fun or if it's too hot, the interior has a good jukebox and plenty of character (and a fair share of neighborhood characters).

Just a thought - seems like a good pregame dive.

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Ugly mug is a brilliant idea.

I love it.  We may have a winner

Let us know how it goes. I've been twice but not in a couple months - the miniburgers were definitely quite yummy. There were a lot of service problems and I've heard the same from others. Would be interested to hear your thoughts on it! Have fun and GO NATS.

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Went last night, service was bar room adequate...the waitress refilled our beers, checked in every once in a while to see if we wanted anything else, was generally pleasent...however the kitchen was pretty slow esp. for a Monday night and light crowd.

Mini burgers were tasty, had the white pizza which was kind of heavy on the cheese and crust got a bit soggy...the pepperoni pizza and sweet italian sausage pizza were both good...pizzas were half price on Mondays

At it current trajectory I'd say the Ugly Mug will be a bar with better than average food and better than average beer list...still need to work on the decor...lives up to its ugly name...but if they keep cranking out the miniburgers and decent pizza, its a worthy neighborhood joint.

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So I took you all up on your suggestions and we went to the Ugly Mug on Saturday afternoon.

What this place is lacking in decor is more than made up for in good service, fabulous mini-burgers, tasty pizza, and wonderful meatball subs.

The guys were happy with the 25 choices of beers on tap. There is not much really out of the ordinary offered but there is some great standards to order.

we then shared the miniburgers and as they were at matchbox, perfectly done.

My dad and I shared the Maryland White Pizza that had huge chunks of crab meat and some big pieces of artichokes on the top. My man had the meatball sub and he said that was tasty as well.

After the Ugly Mug, we went to Finn McCools down the street. Notwithstanding the idiotic name, the place is very warm, beautifally decorated and they have some great beers on tap.

Anyway, thanks again for the suggestions!

Go Nads

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There is indeed a Red Hot & Blue area at RFK, up from 3rd base on the 300 level. While I can't attest to this directly, I have heard from others that the service is lackluster in typical RFK fashion, the portions are small, and the food is actually prepared off-site and trucked in. On the other hand, we recently discovered a place behind home plate that serves up huge chili cheese dogs that are hot and tasty, unlike the basic franks that are served throughout the park.

As far as tailgating goes, lots of people use charcoal grills in the grassy area between the main road into Lot 8 and the Anacostia. I've never heard of anyone getting busted for that yet.

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On the other hand, we recently discovered a place behind home plate that serves up huge chili cheese dogs that are hot and tasty, unlike the basic franks that are served throughout the park.
There are a few good hot dog stands throughout the park--Dominic's maybe? They're stand-alone carts, generally opposite the Aramark permanent concession windows. Always a long line, but you can get a good sized flat-grilled dog or italian sausage with onions and peppers or sauerkraut. MUCH better than the weenie weenies Aramark hawks.

Also, don't forget you can carry in your own. And the peanuts sold by the vendors outside the stadium are about two bucks cheaper than the ones sold inside...

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Also, don't forget you can carry in your own. And the peanuts sold by the vendors outside the stadium are about two bucks cheaper than the ones sold inside...

Strangely enough, this rule does NOT apply to DC United games at RFK. No outside food or drink can be brought in.

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Strangely enough, this rule does NOT apply to DC United games at RFK. No outside food or drink can be brought in.

Clearly the people on the Quiet Side don't try hard enough, you should see the number of mini bottles of liquor that make it into the Barra :)

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Anyone tried the Ugly Mug before a game this season? I don't have the courage to face another mediocre "grilled" hot dog today....

Edited to add:

10 minutes waiting for a table (no hostess, not lack of tables), 10 more minutes with no waitress. Decided that my money and time would be better spent elsewhere. Popeyes-yum!

Mr. BLB reports the sandwich at Red Hot and Blue was serviceable. I thought it was insanely small.

Sigh...

Jennifer

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With the Nats moving into their new digs on South Capitol next season, I imagine the dining options near the ballpark will be much better than they were near RFK, at least until further development of the neighborhood occurs. Are there any restaurants at all, in walking distance to the new ballpark, other than Five Guys, Subway, and a few seedy take-out joints?

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With the Nats moving into their new digs on South Capitol next season, I imagine the dining options near the ballpark will be much better than they were near RFK, at least until further development of the neighborhood occurs. Are there any restaurants at all, in walking distance to the new ballpark, other than Five Guys, Subway, and a few seedy take-out joints?
Sizzler and Subway were in the neighborhood last year, Southwest Waterfront and 8th St SE Cap Hill, etc neighborhoods about 1 mile away, so walkable for a day game. Haven't heard of any openings in my old hood yet (SW), but the new park SHOULD have much better food options INSIDE than RFK. I hope someone else has the inside info and wants to share.
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Haven't heard of any openings in my old hood yet (SW), but the new park SHOULD have much better food options INSIDE than RFK. I hope someone else has the inside info and wants to share.

It was announced way back in September that Centerplate will be the concessionaire at Nationals Park. This should be a HUGE improvement over the Aramark experience at RFK (Press release)

It's also been rumored that there will be a Ben's Chili Bowl at the new ballpark, too :( While I don't know that I've ever had any of their food, they've reportedly done a good job of integrating local flavor into their operations at other ballparks. AT&T Park in San Francisco comes to mind.

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It was announced way back in September that Centerplate will be the concessionaire at Nationals Park. This should be a HUGE improvement over the Aramark experience at RFK (Press release)

It's also been rumored that there will be a Ben's Chili Bowl at the new ballpark, too :( While I don't know that I've ever had any of their food, they've reportedly done a good job of integrating local flavor into their operations at other ballparks. AT&T Park in San Francisco comes to mind.

A Post article on the shop making the signage for the new park mentions a sign for a Ben's stand, so I'd be surprised if that didn't come to fruition. I've also read rumors for Boardwalk Fries (not surprising) and Cantina Marina, which I can't quite fathom. There are certainly better local options than that, but maybe it was the Cantina Marina folks approaching Centerplate on this one.

Whatever we get it will certainly be better than Aramark. As long as they put good micro taps in the upper deck I'll be just fine!

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Perhaps 'tis time to re-name this thread to "Dining near Nationals Park"? Just a thought.

Yes, Centerplate is doing the concessions at N.P. (gotta come up with a nickname for this place - maybe, "The big Nat"?) I've met the lady in charge, she used to work for one of the local, big catering companies.

Centerplate has a very good reputation. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. They do Super Bowls, they do FedEx Field, among many other big venues.

Cantina Marina had several stands on the Terrace Food Court outside the press cafeteria at R.F.K. They had their namesake Cantina Marina stand, with Corona, Dos Equis, margaritas, etc.. and they had the Capital Q barbecue stand and the hot dog stand there. I BELIEVE that they are associated with Capital Q barbecue, too, part of the same ownership. I think that I ate my weight in barbecue beef brisket there last season.

One thing for stadium-goers to keep in mind: This is a 30-month project that they are trying to pull off in 23 months. Not everything inside will be perfect on Opening Day. It will take time for everything to be at the standard that the Nationals want it to be.

Oh, and I've received my parking info packet from the team. Do yourself a favor, take Metro, do NOT plan upon easy parking in that area. That's something else that will take time to really iron out, probably a whole season. It will really help Metro and automobile congestion if fans have nice places to go after the games are over while they wait out the rush of other people leaving.

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Cantina Marina had several stands on the Terrace Food Court outside the press cafeteria at R.F.K. They had their namesake Cantina Marina stand, with Corona, Dos Equis, margaritas, etc.. and they had the Capital Q barbecue stand and the hot dog stand there. I BELIEVE that they are associated with Capital Q barbecue, too, part of the same ownership. I think that I ate my weight in barbecue beef brisket there last season.

Ah, that makes more sense then. I never made it down to that terrace; we usually brought our own food and snacks. I do need to find a replacement Trusty's for pre-/post-game; 8th St is probably going to be more mobbed now. We'll probably end up walking from there or Cap South on most game days.

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Perhaps 'tis time to re-name this thread to "Dining near Nationals Park"? Just a thought.

I heard Stan Kasten last week on the radio and he said he hoped to announce all their stadium vendors this week. He also said there will be several local guys.

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Sweet, look at all that available on-street parking! Looks like it will be soooooo easy to park. Why would I use Metro?
Because at least in the neighborhood surrounding Barracks Row, which is closer to the new stadium than RFK, they are putting FR#&%NG METERS on the residential streets. Those with Ward 6 stickers (which is the ward for the stadium and Barracks Row) apparently will be exempt from the meters.
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Because at least in the neighborhood surrounding Barracks Row, which is closer to the new stadium than RFK, they are putting FR#&%NG METERS on the residential streets. Those with Ward 6 stickers (which is the ward for the stadium and Barracks Row) apparently will be exempt from the meters.
Off topic, but as both a neighborhood resident and Nats season ticket holder, I think that the meters are a fantastic idea.
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Because at least in the neighborhood surrounding Barracks Row, which is closer to the new stadium than RFK, they are putting FR#&%NG METERS on the residential streets. Those with Ward 6 stickers (which is the ward for the stadium and Barracks Row) apparently will be exempt from the meters.

I was just being sarcastic. The demo showed drawings with very few cars parked on the street as if that's a reality anywhere in the city. I just thought it was funny.

I will use Metro for every game I go to.

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