The hardest part

Show of hands, please: who isn’t busy?

Right. Just as I thought, we’re all overloaded, overbooked, and under stress. Perhaps that’s why it took me three months to compile this reply to Steve’s tag. Oh well, the waiting is the hardest part, but that’s all over now, baby blue.

(Note: Because we’re vegetarians–no feet, no faces–all of these places are good for vegheads. Some also serve meat-type items, but you carnivores will have to figure out if those dishes are any good. Also, Steve stole my top Italian food choice, but these are my other selections.)

Ben’s Chili Bowl
When we moved to DC, our rat-trap basement apartment was around the corner and a block up from Ben’s, which was conveniently located between our Metro stop and home. We took advantage of this convenience often, since this is one of the only places where you can get a good bowl of vegetarian chili. If you come to DC and don’t visit Ben’s, you haven’t really tasted DC.
Need I say more?

Java Green
A great place in DC for quick tasty vegetarian lunches. Although I think they’re mostly geared toward lunches for DC workers, we’ve also gotten takeout bibimbop and other fun stuff to take to Screen on the Green, so they are open evenings. This is one of those places that makes vegetarian versions of dishes that typically include meat as well as serving delicious straight-up veggie dishes.

Meskerem
I don’t know if this is the best Ethiopian food in DC, but it’s damn fine. We used to go more when we lived closer–right up the street, really–and when we had a . . . what’s the word for it? . . . social life. Yeah, that’s it–social life. If we still had a social life, it would be worth the drive in from Dixie.

2941
No, this isn’t Prince’s new album, and no, this isn’t a restaurant that we’re going to be taking 3B to anytime soon. Then again, we’re not going to take ourselves there anytime soon either. We did get taken there by good friends for a birthday party when they had a vegetarian dinner tasting menu which was full of sublime dishes that the sommelier paired perfectly. So, if you know anyone who’s having a birthday, suggest that they take you to 2941 for it.

Haandi
A friend who grew up in Bethesda tipped us off to this unassuming Indian place with delicious food. I’ve loved everything I’ve had here, and Mama waits all year for our friend, his wife, and their baby to come to town for Christmas, so we can go to Haandi where Mama can get the malai kofta she’s waited 364 days for. Sure, we could go at some other time, but where’s the fun in that?

Valentino’s
I hate places that dress up in the garb of another city to make their food seem to be authentically from that city, as almost any bagel shop does to back up their claim of selling “real New York bagels.” Hey, if they were real New York bagels, your shop would be in NYC, know what I’m sayin’? However, I think this is the real deal: NYC pizza in Dixie, so I’m willing to overlook all the NY trappings in Valentino’s, as long as they don’t change their pizza, which has a wafer-thin, cracker-crisp crust that is as close to perfect as possible. The crust doesn’t travel well, however, so if you order out your mileage may vary. And their garlic knots–oh, get the garlic knots. Oh yeah, their pastas are good too. Be warned that one serving is usually enough for two, including their large pizzas, which are so wide we almost have to tip them sideways to get them through our front door.

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