Trip report Feb 2024 [DC]

Back from a 5-night trip to DC and had a great time sightseeing, not-so-hot eating but I dutifully report back. You DC Onions must wonder “who is this ‘BostOnion’ and why does she insist on posting her terrible DC reports?!” :laughing:

Note that every place had friendly and welcoming service.

Thursday 15 Feb
Grabbed a quick dinner bite at Legal Seafood at Logan before boarding. Candied salmon BLT for B, kids salmon meal for Spring Onion (SO). I wasn’t hungry so got a cup of chowder. Everything was fine and we got fed, anticipating that we wouldn’t reach our Airbnb in Capitol Hill until 9:30-10 pm (we really like this neighborhood…we stayed here last year, too, different house). We didn’t make it to Chiko…again. :expressionless:




Friday 16 Feb
Breakfast was takeout from Bullfrog Bagels, a place we enjoyed last year. Somehow, I wasn’t feeling it this time. My everything bagel/veggie cream cheese/tomato (I know, I know, who gets tomatoes in the winter) was adequate. B seemed to enjoy his bacon/egg/cheese on everything and SO loved his plain/plain. :roll_eyes:




Lunch was a choice made out of desperation; we needed something close to the Postal Museum so we chose the Dubliner, a pub in the hotel next to the museum. B and I were still full from breakfast so we tried to pick some lighter choices and ended up having too much rich and heavy food: French onion soup, Brussels sprouts, spinach artichoke dip. SO wanted a burger and we got him sides of fruit and a veggie…which turned out to be more Brussels. Dinner was a simple pasta meal made at home.




Saturday 17 Feb
We met a friend for breakfast at Call Your Mother (Barracks Row shop). Crowded but people moved quickly and we nabbed a cozy corner counter spot in the sunny window. I enjoyed my no salmon Royal Palm (tomato [yeah, again]/cuke/caper/red onion) on an everything although I found the bagel itself underwhelming. B loved his Thunderbird (sausage/egg/cheese) and our friend had the Gleneagle (candied salmon/cukes/shallot/lettuce subbed out the zaatar for an everything). SO ate every morsel of his plain/plain. He had no comment when asked which he preferred, Bullfrog or CYM.





Funny story: our friend accompanied us to the vicinity of the White House, where we had tickets for the tour. We were early so she took us to the Willard Hotel to gawk at the lobby. I needed to use the restroom, so she and I went and we ran into the same woman who had pointed out the restrooms at CYM to my friend just an hour earlier. I said to her, “hey, we just saw you at Call Your Mother!” The 3 of us couldn’t believe it! Crazy!

We had an unanticipated visit to the National Cathedral (long story but it was not our plan). We had lunch at Open City next to the cathedral which was a pleasant spot with tasty earnest food. My chickpea pita was a savory well-constructed bite but could’ve used some hot sauce, B found his chicken quesadilla surprisingly good, and SO happily got to eat chocolate waffles (not much else on the menu he would eat). Our friend had a good-looking tomato soup. Too full at dinnertime and we didn’t want to brave the Saturday dinner crowds so had a sad pasta dinner at home again. The evening was livened by a repeat viewing of “School of Rock.”





Sunday 18 Feb
Breakfast at the Market Lunch. B got the Brick breakfast sandwich while I was happy as a clam eating my rockfish side (the full rockfish breakfast was too big for me and had eggs, which I don’t eat). The red potatoes side was just ok but was helped by liberal lashings of hot sauce. SO devoured his buttermilk pancakes and bacon side. Fun experience. I found myself regretting that we hadn’t checked out the market sooner for fresh fish and veggies to cook at home.



We had to be on the Metro by 3:45 pm to meet my BIL and his family for a VERY early 5 pm-ish dinner out in MD. After some museum-going on the Mall, we stopped at City Tap which was close to a station out to Shady Grove to get SO a small snack of chicken tenders and fries who couldn’t hold out on eating. B and I had some adult bevvies.

Dinner was with my BIL and his family (he was coming from Marriottsville and his son was coming from Hanover, and we were taking the Metro because we didn’t have a car). Thanks to @Steve @DanielK and @FlemSnopes for responding to my APB about food options around Greenbelt. The guys (B, his brother, and B’s nephew) were put in charge of figuring out the dinner plan and we ended up going to Dogfish Head in Gaithersburg. Large portions, good beer, and we had a quiet-ish spot out in the greenhouse portion of the restaurant, where we could catch up (we hadn’t been together in-person for several years). Still full from our late breakfast, I barely made a dent in my Greek salad with ahi tuna (nothing special). Others had the crab dip, calamari, burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, lots of fries. Big time sink traveling but it was nice to see family. No photos.

Monday 19 Feb
Breakfast at home. Lunch was supposed to be at Oyamel but I didn’t make reservations and we walked in to a full house with a 20-30 minute wait. We had timed-entry to Planet Word so we couldn’t queue up. B saw Hill Country across the street, so that was lunch. I’m not a BBQ eater so I had no options except for the mac and cheese and the cuke salad (bracing and refreshing). SO liked the kids meal of brisket, mac and cheese, and giant chocolate chip cookie. B scarfed down his brisket sandwich and the accompanying slaws and pickles.




Too full for dinner (we ate at home) but we did check out Bluejacket in the Navy Yard on our way home. We snacked on a big everything pretzel and drank some beer and wine.


Tuesday 20 Feb
Our last day. We ate the rest of our food at home and then headed to the Spy Museum. For lunch, we wanted something quick so tried Surfside. We didn’t realize it was basically a takeout joint, which is fine but we were bummed out by all the disposable cutlery/containers. Food was good, though. My queso/mushroom/blue corn tacos were delicious (but too big—3 tacos with doubled-up tortillas…I took one to-go), B seemed to enjoy his chicken fajitas but I could tell not as much as usual which I think was due to the too-casual atmosphere. SO loved his steak quesadilla. The kid is finally starting to expand his food horizons a bit.




We’ll try harder next time. But still, we have no regrets.


Wow, thank you for the great trip report. If only everyone who asked for tips responded in such detail (I’m certainly guilty of sometimes asking for tips and then going radio silent).

Probably two of the three best places you visited were the two where you didn’t eat – Oyamel and the Willard, which though touristy has excellent food. The third, Market Lunch, is a delight; I often tell myself I should eat there more often.

The Dubliner is fun, but not for its food. Call Your Mother is a local critics’ favorite, but the one time I ate there was pretty average. I haven’t eaten at Surfside in quite a while, but it used to have a branch near my office and was always a solid option.

Hill Country is wildly inconsistent, it can be tremendous, but obviously not the best shoice for a non-barbecue eater.

Thanks again for the report.


The Dogfish Head near me closed, so it’s good to know they still exist elsewhere in the area. I like their onion rings a lot, and in addition to a regular list of beers, they stock some ‘vintage’ bottles, like their World Wide Stout. But I think you have to ask…

I have not been impressed with Bullfrog or CYM, especially at those prices. About the same as the Harris Teeter bagels that are sold out pretty quickly each day. In fact, you could shop at HT for years and not realize they have them. Small, dense bagels.

Market Lunch is a gem. I have not gotten past their crabcakes or the bluebuck pancakes, but I’m rarely there. Also in Eastern Market you can get some proper hot half smokes from the butcher to cook at home.

At Hill Country I would get the fatty brisket. in your photo it looks quite lean. Their chopped pork is tossed in a bit of sauce, so it’s far from a priority for me.

The Surfside photo of the blue corn tortilla looks mighty fine. I will have to check them out.

Thanks so much for reporting back!

1 Like

When my PIC had a semester-long stint at the Air & Space museum, he became a huge fan of Federalist Pig, but I saw you don’t care much for BBQ. Looks like you ate fairly well, anyway :slight_smile:

1 Like

One of the top two plates of bbq of my life was the burnt ends from Federalist Pig, ordered from their food truck but not usually on the regular menu. And I had them by accident, because I received the wrong order, originally destined for @FlemSnopes

Doug, I hope that you got a chance to try them another time…


My hubby did 6 years of schooling at UT, 2 years in Austin and then 4 years in Houston, so he loves BBQ. I can go with the flow as long as I have a snack and an adult beverage. :wink:

1 Like

Loved it but again, like at Surfside Wharf, I was bummed out about the disposable cutlery and dinnerware. I usually carry our own utensils when we travel, but most places are on autopilot and give you the disposables, whether you want them or not, which will get chucked. Sigh.

That was Spring Onion’s meal. The kind guy working that day knew it was a kids meal and asked if we wanted lean. Probably learned from experience. SO definitely likes his meat lean and used the giant steak knife to cut away the little bit of fat that was left on.

Thanks for the report. I always enjoy reading yours! Better luck next time, food-wise. :grinning:

1 Like