Places I’ve dined in the past couple of weeks, and many times in the past:
- Cork Wine Bar (1720 14th Street, Logan Circle-ish) — the kind of place Yogi Berra had in mind when he allegedly said “it’s so crowded, nobody goes there anymore,” but August is the month to go, you can get right in and there’s room to move around the bar; French fries are still excellent but seem a little less lemony than they used to be; the Old World wine ain’t cheap but what a great selection.
- Mrs. K’s Toll House (9201 Colesville, Silver Spring) — sat on the patio this time, one of the loveliest evenings weatherwise we’ve had all summer, enjoyed a variety of half-price appetizers and half-price wine during what is indeed a happy hour (or two). Sliders are big and beefy if a bit dry; fried oysters have a poor oyster-to-breading ratio but are otherwise tasty; charcuterie plate is okay. Wine is the real draw here, though the food can be very good. Crucial to sit downstairs or on the patio, not upstairs.
- Rio Grande Cafe (4870 Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda) — large, fun, generally solid if unremarkable food except for the best Tex-Mex-styley rice and frijoles in greater DC. Not sure why other local places fail so consistently on the rice’n’beans, but RGC is a clear #1, perhaps not as good as a lot of Texas joints, but I’ll take it for around here. Service usually good, though not last week, when my server alternated between invisibility and raucous conversation with the next table over, non-work-related and oblivious to the needs of surrounding tables. Had to get the check from someone else.
- Tiffin (1341 University, Takoma Park) — samosas and naan are fine, I often get the fiery vindaloo, but Mrs. Me and I are both addicted primarily to the lamb biryani here, always amazingly flavorful, with tender lamb and lots of it. They recognize Mrs. Me now as the crazy lady who never orders anything else, even during lunch buffet time she still gets a plate of biryani (I get the buffet…and an order of biryani to go).
- Zorba’s Cafe (1612 20th Street, Dupont Circle) — Greek food with an Anthony Quinn obsession since 1984, hasn’t changed much since then although I think the food has gotten better if anything, gyro is solid, excellent Greek salad, good fries, and above-average spanakopita. Eat on the patio or upstairs, it’s all good.