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National Place Food Court


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The food court at 13/F Streets NW has reopened and I braved today's oppressive humidity to check it out. I had low expectations, thinking it would be more or less a lighter, brighter space (it was) but with the same players as before (wrong!).

Five Guys has an outpost there. The line was LONG. I've never been that impressed through my visits to the H Street location so I kept looking.

A sushi/Japanese joint (name forgotten) has not yet opened, but looks as if it's ready to.

There's a pizza-by-the-slice spot that was doing heavy business, next to an also-popular Quizno's franchise.

Meiwah Express is set to open tomorrow.

Finally, there is Naan and Beyond which is where I picked up lunch. The menu is pretty brief - a few salads, a few sandwiches and entrees, all with Indian accents. The meat is spiced as you'd expect from an Indian restaurant and the sandwiches are served wrap-style on naan.

Feeling hungry, I got both a vegetarian samosa ($1.25, I think) and a chicken tikka naan sandwich. The samosa was pretty darn good. I missed the light saucing that you tend to get in a sit down restaurant; instead I dunked the crisp fried crust into the "spice" sauce that came with my sandwich. A chicken samosa is also available.

The sandwich ($5.95) is offered with chopped cabbage (I passed), tomato (not the best) and mayo (is that Indian??). Chunks of marinated, tender white meat were used and if you eat quickly, the bread will hold up. If, like me, you take a phone call during lunch...well, you're on your own. You can also get paneer, lamb, shrimp or beef versions of the sandwiches.

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My husband works across the street and has been trying to stop by the 5 guys. He said the lines have been outrageous. However, one day he was ready for a late lunch and noticed there was no line. He gets over there....and they're closed because they've run out of food (or so the sign says!).

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I went to check out the 5 guys yesterday. As it was a late lunch (1:30 or so), there was no line to speak of. Very efficient-- I got my cheeseburger and fries in only a few minutes. You can choose from a bunch of toppings for free, but I went with just the mushrooms and fried onions. The fries, they say, are cooked in peanut oil (and there were boxes of peanut oil behind the counter to substatiate the claim), so "no cholestrol" (I have no idea if this is true, but they made for less greasy fries-- which, in my mind, is a good thing.) Fries were yummy after the addition of a touch of salt, but too much for me to eat alone. Burger was also very good.

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Stopped in for lunch with coworkers today as we were attending a conference nearby. Only new additions to the options mentioned above are a Quizno's and Moe's Southwest Grille. Lines were long at most places. I opted for Meiwah's 2 item special and got the chicken with broccoli and Kung Pao chicken. The portion was extremely generous and I took most of it with me. As a coworker commented, it looked like enough to feed a family of 4. Nothing great, but not bad - lots of broccoli in the former and chunks of zucchini in the latter, which was a new one in Kung Pao for me.

The Japanese sushi/teriyaki place looked very busy and the dishes I saw from there looked pretty good, and again, very generous.

I wouldn't make a special trip (if the Grill had been open I'd have made a beeline for it) but the space is large and open with lots of seating.

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The line at Five Guys was almost non-existent, but I chose to return to Naan and Beyond. Instead of the same sandwich I had last time, I tried the thali meat platter with chicken curry, rice and spicy chick peas. I also got a veggie samosa, which I liked last go round.

The chicken isn't as tender as I would have hoped, but it's still tasty. The chick peas are great though, as is the rice (which is strangely delicious for plain white basmati rice).

Total damage: $9.25 with enough food for two meals.

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In case anyone cares (and I see no reason why they should), the current roster of eating establishments here is:

FDK Restaurant trading as "A Slice of Italy Pizzeria" (Six locations nationwide)

F.U.E.L. Energy Cafe (Formerly Amazon Cafe)

Five Guys

Grill Kabob

Kabuki Sushi and Teriyaki (In several area food courts, not sure of the ownership)

Meiwah Express

Moe's Southwest Grill

Naan & Beyond

Quiznos

Saxbys Coffee

The Chicken Place Express

From what I saw on a quick walkthrough, I'd probably opt for The Chicken Place Express, which opened last October, because they had a good, hot rotisserie going.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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In case anyone cares (and I see no reason why they should), the current roster of eating establishments here is:

FDK Restaurant trading as "A Slice of Italy Pizzeria" (Six locations nationwide)

F.U.E.L. Energy Cafe (Formerly Amazon Cafe)

Five Guys

Grill Kabob

Kabuki Sushi and Teriyaki (In several area food courts, not sure of the ownership)

Meiwah Express

Moe's Southwest Grill

Naan & Beyond

Quiznos

Saxbys Coffee

The Chicken Place Express

From what I saw on a quick walkthrough, I'd probably opt for The Chicken Place Express, which opened last October, because they had a good, hot rotisserie going.

Cheers,

Rocks.

I dunno, for a "food court" this is a pretty strong list of options. At least it has very diverse options with a heavy dose of ethnic cooking. The average food court looks something like this:

Burger King

McDonalds

Sub-Par Smoothie Place

Auntie Annie's or Cinnabon (yum!)

Horrible Japanese, but Somehow-Kinda-Tasty-in-a-"i'mstarvingsoittastesgood"-Sort-of-Way

Fake Cheesesteak Place

Sbarro

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The teriyaki place also gives you a substantial amount of food, which isn't bad. However, there have been times when I've asked the cooks what a certain customer ordered, and then when I went to the cashier to order what the cooks told me, it came out looking different from the item I had originally asked about.

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Has Saxbys finally opened? Having worked in that bldg for a few months, Moe's was a definite miss, Fuel Cafe is hit-or-miss (more misses than hits, though), Naan & Beyond was better than its 17th location when I ate there, the Kabob I heard were decent and avoided the rest on the list. Meiwah was good if right from the kitchen, but otherwise gelatinous, based on seeing what other co-workers bought. Most of the time, the office smelled like Five Guys, as that was the safest option apparently and one most people got. There are now more options across the street though, thankfully.

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