Balqees in Baileys Xroads - Report

On a Thursday night, there are not many places in the area to have dinner past 10pm. Even in DC, you are mostly confined to the 14th St or U St corridor. Or perhaps a small handful of shawarma/felafel places. There are a couple in Georgetown.

So it’s with great pleasure that I turned up at Balqees, a hybrid Yemeni/Lebanese place on Seminary Road. The outdoor seating and canopy turns this parking lot into an oasis, and the menu is extensive. We had foul, accompanying by fresh hot naan that kept its warmth to the end of the meal. Also had more bread in the form of a manouch covered with zataar. To drink we had icy watermelon and lemonade with a ton of mint. Both great.

We weren’t served any silverware or napkins, and we didn’t ask. We ate it by scooping up the foul with the breads. Just like a Mark Wiens video!


Interesting! I am a huge fan of lamb dishes and Balqees seems to have several that look really good. I was at REI just a couple weeks ago and could have gone then. My loss, but I am going to put it as a “Want to Go” in my Google maps.

As always, let me know if you think you’re going.

This is part of an enclave now of hookah bars, Ethiopian, felafel and shawarma, and a serious bakery, Jenin. They are great at pumping out the knafeh. I got lucky the other day, waited for about 2 minutes, and had some some fresh, hot knafeh right out of the oven.

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There are a few in Upper NW DC. Clyde’s/Chevy Chase is open until Midnight, as is Surfside, and the truly outstanding Osman’s Steak and Egg Diner in Tenleytown never closes – or I think they’re back up to 24 hours in their new digs. Over on Connecticut The Avenue is open until midnight. There are a bunch of places in Bethesda.

Clyde’s and Surfside do not usually come to my mind as places to recommend, though they are indeed open late. The Avenue was truly terrible when I went there, during the pandemic. I am not really looking for a laundry list of places that are open.

For example, the khachapuri at Compass Rose is something worth traveling around DC for.

I haven’t been to that steak and egg diner in years. what menu items are outstanding?

You must not have ordered the Avenues burger. Which is consensus highly rated, as are other menu items. Clyde’s, of course, is Clyde’s, never adventurous, always dependable / the place to meet people whose food tastes you don’t know. Surf side is very good for seafood tacos. Osmans is a diner. It has diner food, including breakfast all day. If there is a better 1:00 am meal than bacon and eggs over easy with hash browns, it is yet to be discovered