Jump to content
deangold

Annie's Paramount Steakhouse, East Dupont - A Family-Owned, 17th-Street Institution Since 1946

Recommended Posts

Last night, after a quick 2 dozen oysters at Hank's ($1 each!!!), I met up with Kay and we were looking for a hamburger. Annie's popped to mind. Don't ask why, but something totally camp and retro was perfect.

We stepped in and were seated in the front glassed in area. Kay was only one of 2 women at the time, but by the end of our meal, at least 3 other women walked in. So the male female ration was about 90 to 5.

I ordered the chopped steak and Kay a hamburger. My chopped steak came with two sides so I opted for salad (out of a bag croutons and out of a large plastic jar Italian salad dressing) and Green Beans (out of a can supposedly in tomato sauce but seemed more like a splash of tomato juice to a huge can of beans. Its been a long time where I have had green beans that melted in my mouth with no resistance to tooth whatsoever. The Chopped steak came out as a sirloin and I was by then too tired to speak up. It was tough and devoid of flavor. A-1 sauce improved it immensely. Kay's burger, however, was damn good! On a nicely chewy bun, it was a large house made patty of pretty flavorful stuff. At $7.95 it was also a good deal. The steak fries, while out of a plastic bag, were also quite good.

The drinks, a Tanquerey Martini and a Manhattan were on the other side of bad.

Still in all, a fun evening was had. I would go back for the burger late at night, and hope that they can't screw up a bloody mary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The drinks, a Tanquerey Martini and a Manhattan were on the other side of bad.

Still in all, a fun evening was had. I would go back for the burger late at night, and hope that they can't screw up a bloody mary.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be able to drink something in crappy bars."

--Thomas Jefferson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be able to drink something in crappy bars."

--Thomas Jefferson

But you just didn't drink beer in a steakhouse in the 60's! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be able to drink something in crappy bars."

--Thomas Jefferson

The beer selection at Annie's is beyond awful. I think I had a bud the last time I was there...it was (amazingly) the least offensive option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually have had some very enjoyable meals at Annie's on occasion. Once years ago we went with a mixed group (as in mixed orientations) that included my son, then 6 years old. When he had to go to the gent's, my sister suggested that I might want to go with him (he had been going by himself for a while) So I wandered in to find him comparing his temporary tattoos that he still had from a trip to the beach with those on the guy at the next sink. Both of them were laughing uproariously and comparing dragon tattoos. When we were getting ready to leave his new friend made a point of thanking us for not acting like he was going to molest our son. Jake still remembers that trip, thought sometimes I think it is because we let him have a whole steak all by himself rather than the trip to the loo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have fond memories of going to Annie’s. But that’s because I used to go with a friend who was a Metropolitan Police officer. He grew up in the neighborhood and liked having a simple steak and a Bud, and ignored everything else. Like a lot of off-duty cops, he had a way of displaying those bulges that were in all the right places, including that nice Glock bulge. I used to joke that it was the only place we hung out where more guys stared at him than at me. I didn’t mind at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After having a superlative burger at Hellburger last weekend, and a pretty good burger at Good Stuff on its opening day, I was reminded that Annie's actually still does a decent burger, based on a meal there in late June. Not fresh-ground like Ray's or overhyped like Spike's--just a juicy, honest, thick patty at a good price. The place has done a rather attractive (if noisy) physical make-over in the past year--it's no longer like a Wisconsin rural steak joint as reimagined by Liberace--but the menu is pretty much the same. I'd never call the place "good" per se, but on its own terms it's remarkably consistent. I think that's one of the reasons it's so popular with its regulars--you pretty much know what you're going to get when you go there; it rarely surprises, but it doesn't "disappoint" either, if that's what you're looking for.

I'm wondering if anyone has tried their new "Upstairs at Annie's," which seems to their version of an upscale wine bar. The wine list I saw was laughable (I mean, if you think the Post wine writers make insipid picks... :lol: ), and the menu was five-years-ago trendy and much pricier than downstairs. Doesn't seem worth it to me, but maybe someone has had an unexpectedly positive experience there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob and I made our first visit to Annie's in nearly a year last night. Following their makeover, the menu got ridiculously overpriced for even more middling food than before. Now, it looks like they've tried to return to something a little closer to what they used to be, but with a much smaller menu and some trendier offerings at more reasonable prices. I went for what I think was called the "Working Man's Burger," with gorgonzola and bacon (I don't understand the name connection either), and I'm glad to report that Annie's burgers are still perhaps the best thing on the menu, even in this fancier guise. Perfectly cooked to medium, the cheese was flavorful but not overpowering, and they've changed the bun to something that can hold up better to the juiciness without being insipid. The fries were nothing special, and $11.95 is a bit steep, but it was a worthy effort. Bob opted for the chicken pear salad ($13.95)--the sort of thing that never would have appeared on Annie's menu a few years ago--and it was good-sized and attractively arranged. The chicken looked a bit dry and generic, but it had a generous amount of pear, plus candied walnuts and (I think) gorgonzola on mesclun, and he seemed satisfied. Annie's will likely never be an especially good restaurant, but after a nice makeover coupled with a misguided attempt to go upscale, I think they perhaps have hit a happy low-medium that will bring back some of the audience that they had seemed to abandon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know what the relationship is (or was) between the Annie's in DC and the one in Grasonville, MD?

The Katinas family started the original one, and one of the kids owns the restaurant in Grasonville.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew there had been changes since I was there last (15 years ago) but I was expecting better. we went last wednesday and wished we would have gone somewhere else.

our "waiter" took forever to come to our table, then took one drink order and the drink menu and walked away (I guess I was the only one allowed to order drinks - though the Coconut Dream was yummy) after my drink was made he came back for food order - our guest asked if she could order a drink and he took her drink order and then walked away. We asked another waitress if she could get us water refils.

Then he came back with that drink and took our food orders - after I told him what doneness I wanted mine without him asking he remembered and asked the others - but he obviouly didn't write it down because we all got 'medium' (when medium rare and rare were our orders)

Sweetie and guest both had the Queen Cut Prime Rib and I had the Filet with Bernaise sause. The meat was good cut (but there are times like this when I miss Kansas) but a bit dry. he came back 3 times to ask if we were done with our plates (it was only 6pm so not like they were closing) and then appeared with our check (no offer of dessert). Have to say I will not be returning, and will have to seperate out my prior great memory as obviously some other place and time.

Dinner for 3 with drinks was $117.54 plus tip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don suggested that we comment on what's going on at places that rarely come up, and so, a few comments on Annie's. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that this is probably the place where I wind up eating most often, since as I note above, I am fully aware that it's not a particularly "good" restaurant. The reasons for that frequency are this: (1) a cheap happy hour with decent enough martinis and manhattans; (2) friendly service that is especially attentive to regulars (looking at you, Manny and Ramon); (3) a few pretty good (or good enough) dishes that are prepared with remarkable consistency; (4) Bob likes it, especially since we can get out for around $30 apiece, including two drinks.

Again, that doesn't mitigate the overall mediocrity, but I've come to realize that on a Friday evening after spending the week editing work on critical social theory, diasporic feminist theology, the Deuteronomistic authorship, or the Palestinian occupation, it's kind of nice for me to go out to a place where I don't have to think too much about what I'm eating but still not hate myself for eating it. The burgers are still pretty good, though not to the level of the burger renaissance that others have initiated; the pork chop can be excellent, as well as the half-chicken; I like the onion rings; and that pear-chicken salad really isn't bad. If you want to have a vegetable, hope that they have asparagus or green beans on that day. Nothing special, but usually well-prepared--there hasn't been much change since my last post in this thread, and that's not necessarily a totally bad thing.

I did wind up here at brunch on Palm Sunday. My bloody mary was large, but blah. As I recall, my entree was a variation on eggs benedict, and it came through as something that would be utterly delicious if I was nursing a mean hangover. Objectively, that's faint praise, but there's still something weirdly honorable in that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there is something about this place.  I should have really stopped going after the first time, but I do find myself there on a late Friday night about once every other month. The food is ok if you pick the safe stuff like the iceburg wedge, the burger, or the fried chicken.  I tend to stick to a dry vodka martini.  I think what draws me back is the friendly staff and the extremely casual atmostphere.  It's definitely not a place I would ever plan on going to well in advance.  It's just a place I somehow end up at.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there is something about this place.  I should have really stopped going after the first time, but I do find myself there on a late Friday night about once every other month. The food is ok if you pick the safe stuff like the iceburg wedge, the burger, or the fried chicken.  I tend to stick to a dry vodka martini.  I think what draws me back is the friendly staff and the extremely casual atmostphere.  It's definitely not a place I would ever plan on going to well in advance.  It's just a place I somehow end up at.

I remember Tom Head (ex of Washingtonian) moved away from the area for awhile, and I asked him what was the first restaurant he planned to dine in when he returned. His answer? Annie's Paramount Steakhouse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've lived in this area for 41 years and worked downtown for 35 of those years.  Annie's has never come up in a food discussion, I've never been tempted to eat there and nobody with whom I've dined has ever suggested going there.  What exactly makes this a James Beard American Classic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jpbloom said:

I've lived in this area for 41 years and worked downtown for 35 of those years.  Annie's has never come up in a food discussion, I've never been tempted to eat there and nobody with whom I've dined has ever suggested going there.  What exactly makes this a James Beard American Classic?

It has quietly and unwaveringly welcomed the LGBTQ community for decades.

This is perhaps the strongest year ever for LGBTQ representation in the history of the awards.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, DonRocks said:

It has quietly and unwaveringly welcomed the LGBTQ community for decades.

Honestly I had never heard that (so I guess for me at least the "quietly" is accurate).  If that was the criteria for the award, then bravo. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...