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Levi's Port Cafe, Southern Cooking on Barrack's Row - Owner Johnny Kersey on 8th & L Streets SE - Closed Nov, 2013


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Levi's in Oxon Hill and their restaurant on Barracks Row, Levi's Port Cafe, have pretty good NC barbecue. It's Eastern style so I'm assuming they're cooking whole pigs. It's chopped fine and nicely flavored with a good amount of vinegar. Their slaw was too sugary for me, but they have hush puppies, yams, collards and a whole lot else to keep you busy. I haven't found anything in the area as close to the 'cue back home in Cackalacky.

Just tried the Levi's Port Cafe on Barracks Row (south side of the bridge) and I love it. My East Carolina (Tarlboro) friend gave thumbs up to the chopped East Carolina BBQ (vinegar base) and the fried chicken was delicious. Yams are on the sweet side, but very good, collards were fine, mac and cheese was above average, and sweet tea, cornbread, and various ribs are all options. I've heard the ribs are great, but a big group cleaned them out before we made it in. Pricing is VERY reasonable - $8 for two large pieces of fried chicken (of your choosing) with two sides of your choosing. You can leave this place stuffed for $10 before tip. They are only open until 8 pm and don't seem to have a liquor license.

The chef/owner/manager? is a super nice guy named Johnny who's from small town Eastern Carolina himself. I've been inside studying a lot lately, so I'm probably overly excited to get out, but it didn't feel like I was in DC while I was here - and I mean that in a very good way. It felt more like small town NC to me. Very relaxed environment, good mix of people from the greater neighborhood area, and fantastic pricing. This is now one of my favorite small businesses around. I'll be back soon to try the ribs. And Johnny said Friday nights they are going to start doing seafood platters with crabcakes, fish fries, etc.

ETA - others recommend the pork chops, and apparently the mac & cheese and peach cobbler are quite good.

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Levi's Port Cafe. Johnny is a great guy who makes pretty darn good, plain ol pork ribs, mac n cheese, cornbread and greens. I can't see why anyone would go anywhere else before a game at the new stadium. Johnny says he's going to try to put together some to-go meals for folks to take to games. He deserves more business, I don't think he sat more than a few tables tonight, we had the place to ourselves most of the evening.

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Levi's Port Cafe. Johnny is a great guy who makes pretty darn good, plain ol pork ribs, mac n cheese, cornbread and greens. I can't see why anyone would go anywhere else before a game at the new stadium. Johnny says he's going to try to put together some to-go meals for folks to take to games. He deserves more business, I don't think he sat more than a few tables tonight, we had the place to ourselves most of the evening.

Went there once for lunch and enjoyed the food and atmosphere. The staff is also very friendly. The one thing I did not expect to see when I walked in, however, was a giant steam table containing all the food. Is this always the case? That is, can you get your food cooked when you order it?

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Went there once for lunch and enjoyed the food and atmosphere. The staff is also very friendly. The one thing I did not expect to see when I walked in, however, was a giant steam table containing all the food. Is this always the case? That is, can you get your food cooked when you order it?

Nothing I've had has come off that table. I'm not sure if that's just part of a lunch buffet or his Sunday all you can eat buffet, but he certainly does prepare fresh food in addition to whatever is available off of the it.

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Nothing I've had has come off that table. I'm not sure if that's just part of a lunch buffet or his Sunday all you can eat buffet, but he certainly does prepare fresh food in addition to whatever is available off of the it.
I've only been there once, but they have a list on the wall next to the steam table of the items that they cook to order, such as the catfish. Bob's baked chicken came from the steam table and didn't give any sign of being any the worse for being there, nor did the mac 'n' cheese. The waitress told me they aren't open on Sundays now.
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I've only been there once, but they have a list on the wall next to the steam table of the items that they cook to order, such as the catfish. Bob's baked chicken came from the steam table and didn't give any sign of being any the worse for being there, nor did the mac 'n' cheese. The waitress told me they aren't open on Sundays now.
Had a quick dinner at Levi's this past Friday. Highlights were a HUGE portion of beef ribs - good smoke and sauce on them, a rarity in these parts. The fried chicken was well seasoned and crunchy, and the meat was very moist. The sides came off of the aforementioned steam table, although this may have been a function of when we arrived (45 minutes prior to closing) than anything else. Mac and Cheese was good, as was the cole slaw. Mashed potatoes were of the instant variety. All in all, a very good impromptu meal, all for $31.90! Can't beat that....and that it's close to home.
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Went here for lunch today. I wasn't in the mood for lots of food, but I'm rarely on that side of the bridge and I decided to take the opportunity to stop. I enjoyed a small NC BBQ-sandwich with cole slaw on it and unsweetened iced tea--just the right amount of food.

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Ziaafat Grill recently opened in the old Levi's space. Same kind of steam-table buffett for take out, but now specializing in Indian-Pakistani food instead of American southern barbecue. Sparse decor with limited seating but they do offer made to order meals as well. New tile floor and tables. I haven't tried the food yet.

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