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Leaving in a Few Weeks - Need Help with my Bucket List


Thomas P
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I'm moving away in about a month and there are a bunch of things here I'm going to miss when I leave: Little Serow, Daikaya, Ray's, Frank Ruta, 2 Amys, getting beef jerky from Red Apron, this community, to name a few. I would never have discovered half of the food I love if it wasn't for you guys here, so I'm turning to you all for help compiling my DC dining bucket list.

Before I leave I'm definitely going to Rasika (I have no idea why I haven't made it there yet) and Rose's Luxury's rooftop garden (I have no idea how I actually got the roof booked). I'm also going back to Little Serow and Grill Room for last meals. Are there other places I absolutely have to go before leaving? What places would you go in your last month here?

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One type of food I would eat before leaving is Ethiopian at whatever your place or places of choice are, since that's something the DC area does particularly well that you might not find elsewhere.

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Man, what a tough question...

Izakaya Seki for...well, everything.

Sushi Capitol for one of the most affordable (and outstanding) omakase experiences available.

Panda Gourmet and / or Hong Kong Palace for Szechuan Chinese (depending on where you're moving, of course - if it's somewhere with a great Chinese scene, nvm).

Red Hen is another favorite of ours - nothing mind-blowing, just consistently excellent.

Thip Khao is a really great representation of Lao cuisine, which isn't super common.

Fiola Mare was our one huge blowout meal last year, and it was worth every penny. Service, food, and view were impeccable.

Super excited to see what others come up with!

Cheers!

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Can you give us a hint to the place you are moving to in order to help us tailor your list better?

Some places I would suggest without this information would be:

La Bohemia Bakery in Rockville for their amazing croissants

Jumbo Slice at any of the jumbo slice places in Adams Morgan

Keren Restaurant for a Eritrean breakfast of fuul and eggs

Amsterdam Falafel for cheap, well-made falafels

Medium Rare for the pure novelty of getting steak and fries and then a free second helping halfway through your meal

Saint's Paradise Cafeteria for Southern food

Thip Khao (Columbia Heights) or Bangkok Golden (Falls Church) for Laotian food

Anywhere for some pupusas

Pit beef. However, it may be too far to get to. The Canopy in Ellicott City or Pioneer Pit Beef in Windsor Mill or Chaps in Baltimore

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Whoops, sorry I didn't post this first to Help Needed. I'm always checking this forum so I just stuck it here without thinking. Thanks Don for the awesome recommendations! In case anybody is curious:

Go sit at the bar at Fiola Mare and get the burrata - it is awesome. You can get all appetizers there (and half-portions of pasta) to keep the price sane.

Get the $30 menu at Corduroy.

I would go to Max's Kosher Cafe in Wheaton and get a Falafel, medium-spicy, with "the works".

I *love* Ching Ching Cha on Wisconsin and M - it's an inexpensive place for *wonderful* tea service.

I've not done any of these (but have had a lot of dumplings and noodles at Ching Ching Cha and they've been delicious) and added them all to my list!

One type of food I would eat before leaving is Ethiopian at whatever your place or places of choice are, since that's something the DC area does particularly well that you might not find elsewhere.

Any recommendations? I've been to Dukem before and have been meaning to try Zenebach and Abay Market. I'm thinking I'll bump Abay Market into somewhere I definitely go and maybe skip Zenebach, but I'm sure I can be talked into another course of action. :)

This brings up something else I've been interested in - I know very little about African cuisine aside from the tiny bit of Ethiopian I've had, and was wondering if there are any standout places that do other types of African food. There are about a zillion Ethiopian places in town but seemingly very little from the rest of the continent. I was recently hunting for a Kenyan restaurant and discovered that what sounded like the best place (Masai Mara) both opened and shut down pretty recently. I'll be trying out Safari DC soon, which I understand used to be more Tanzanian/Kenyan and is more pan African now, and was wondering if anyone knew of other places for non-Ethiopian African cuisine.

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Wow, some great ideas.

I've been to Izakaya Seki and it was lovely. I've also tried Sushi Taro and several other sushi places in town, but I have a soft spot for Kintaro in Georgetown. I think I'm about sushi-ed out, though, unless there's a seriously mind blowing "must go to" place I've missed.

I won't be doing any Chinese food, unless I can figure out where Peter Chang is going to be and catch him in the kitchen.

Thip Khao has been on my shortlist of places to try for a while, I think I'll bump it up in priority!

Fiola Mare is lower on my list just because I've already had Fabio Trabocchi's food at both Fiola and Casa Luca (all really good, but not things I'd think I missed out on if I hadn't tried it while here).

Keren is another place that's been on my shortlist, this breakfast sounds like something I should try!

I've had my share of drunken jumbo slices and Amsterdam Falafels to last me a lifetime, I was born and raised in the South, and I've been to Medium Rare so much pretty much everyone there knows my name, so those are all out. ;)

Also, anywhere I can't get to by metro or bus is out, but I have been known to go on hour and a half bus rides in search of good food.

Can you give us a hint to the place you are moving to in order to help us tailor your list better?

I was actually hoping to avoid tailored lists and just get a "must have while in DC" bucket list. Of the places I've been, my list would be:

Little Serow - really outstanding food and a unique experience
Daikaya/Daikaya Izakaya - there aren't many ramen houses this good in the states, and the Izakaya has some really inventive dishes and drinks
Ray's Hell Burger - one of the best damned burgers I've had in my life
Grill Room - damn my less than stellar experiences the last few times I went, the food is still great and that chicken is life changing
The Derek Brown Trio - specifically Mockingbird Hill for sherry and sliced meats and Eat the Rich for oyster happy hour
Rose's Luxury - Seeing as how every time I see the line I turn straight around, I don't think it's worth the wait (but I do think Little Serow is worth the shorter wait), but plopping your name in the list and grabbing some drinks at Beuchert's Saloon or Harold Black until you get called up is a damn fine way to spend the night while also experiencing one of the most creative restaurants in the country

And less culinary excellence/one of a kind places and more "only in DC" things:
Weenie Beenie - okay, I might like the half smokes at DC-3 better, but... Foo Fighters! Also, I think Ben's Chili Bowl is overhyped and mediocre and refuse to recommend it.
Any place for fried chicken wings with mumbo sauce - why don't more people know about mumbo sauce??

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This brings up something else I've been interested in - I know very little about African cuisine aside from the tiny bit of Ethiopian I've had, and was wondering if there are any standout places that do other types of African food. There are about a zillion Ethiopian places in town but seemingly very little from the rest of the continent. I was recently hunting for a Kenyan restaurant and discovered that what sounded like the best place (Masai Mara) both opened and shut down pretty recently. I'll be trying out Safari DC soon, which I understand used to be more Tanzanian/Kenyan and is more pan African now, and was wondering if anyone knew of other places for non-Ethiopian African cuisine.

Swahili Village in Beltsville has Kenyan (don't know how accessible it is by bus).  Washingtonian's blurb.

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