DC Restaurant Rec
February 18, 2015 8:07 PM   Subscribe

Can you suggest a Washington DC restaurant for us?

I'm gluten free and vegetarian. My companions are not. I'm coming in from Baltimore and haven't decided whether to take the MARC, drive to Greenbelt and metro, or drive all the way in. Our out-of-towner is at a conference hotel near Farragut North. Our third will drive in from a suburb. Prefer not crazy expensive, but a bit of a splurge is okay (leaving that a little vague intentionally.) Ethnic could be nice (Lebanese? Greek? Indian? Something else?) or just interesting... or just really good. Lay some ideas on me.
posted by spbmp to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Dukem seems like a pretty ideal choice for you. Central-ish, delicious Ethiopian, plenty of veg/gluten-free choices. A great meal for conversation over.
posted by jaksemas at 8:14 PM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

2nding Ethiopian for DC. Etete is another nice Ethiopian spot.
posted by pravit at 8:20 PM on February 18, 2015

Response by poster: I can check tomorrow myself, but do most of the Ethiopians in DC (and these in particular) have pure-teff (gluten-free) injera. I've found that hard to find in Baltimore.
posted by spbmp at 8:23 PM on February 18, 2015

A celiac coworker of mine who used to live in DC says that she typically calls ahead a couple of days earlier to request gluten-free injera. Most places will accomodate.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:32 PM on February 18, 2015

Response by poster: Hmm, I just called Etete and they told me they don't have it.
posted by spbmp at 8:38 PM on February 18, 2015

We take our gluten-free guests to Meridian Pint for the unique and tasty take on pub food that meets those dietary needs. We've had great experiences at the newer Brookland location as well.
posted by juliplease at 9:28 PM on February 18, 2015

If you find GF Ethiopian in DC I'd love to know about it; currently I am batting 0.000 on finding a place, either in DC proper or the VA suburbs; they all seem to add flour.

Founding Farmers is good and has GF options if you like farm-to-table. It'd be a mild splurge, price-wise.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:40 PM on February 18, 2015

my go-to for situations like this is pizzeria paradiso. their gluten free crust is pretty good and of course, you can make your pizza vegetarian. their beer list is always interesting as well. and it's in dupont, so an easy walk or metro ride for your out-of-towner. it's not very fancy, though.

I've also heard very good things about agora - small medi plates. their menu looks to be mostly gluten free except for the bread, of course.
posted by kerning at 9:52 PM on February 18, 2015

Dukem sells 100% Teff injera. Not sure if it's strictly gluten-free.
posted by SillyShepherd at 10:37 PM on February 18, 2015

Founding Farmers is definitely gluten-free friendly, though the Venn diagram of GF and vegetarian may have a small overlap. Try their homemade fruit sodas if they have them.

Any of the restaurants in the Think Food Group should be able to accommodate you and be at least somewhat memorable, though I'd aim away from the meat-focused ones. China Chilcano is their new hotness, reservations are definitely needed.

If you're willing to get into the splurge price range, Fiola, Casa Luca, and Tosca all do high end GF Italian.

If you're parking downtown, be aware that some parking garages close quite early - make sure to park someplace where you can get the car out after dinner.
posted by Candleman at 10:58 PM on February 18, 2015

Dukem at least claims to have gluten-free injera.
posted by lunasol at 4:33 AM on February 19, 2015

My partner is gf and vegetarian and we live in the DMV. Here are your best options:

::If you want to go a little fancy, most of the restaurants run by Jose Andres are very gf and vegetarian friendly. My favorites are Zaytinya (Greek/Turkish mezze - unbelievably delicious) and Oyamel (Mexican). They're also in the middle of downtown and relatively easy to get to.

::Ethiopian: Ethiopic on H St definitely will make gf injera if you call ahead. I have done this before. The problem is they're out on H St which can be a little harder to get to via public transport.

::Pizzeria Paradiso not only has good gf crust but lots of ciders that you can choose from. There's one in Georgetown and one in Dupont Circle.

::El Centro DF (upscale Mexican) is mostly gluten free and has tons of vegetarian options. There's one in Georgetown and one on 14th St.

::Busboys and Poets has really good gf vegan nachos and lots of veggie choices generally. It's also a DC icon.

Good luck!
posted by deeparch at 5:46 AM on February 19, 2015

Yeah, Busboys and Poets was going to be my suggestion -- we end up going there for a lot of DC meetups because they have options for basically everyone in terms of vegetarian/gluten-free options.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:51 AM on February 19, 2015

Rasika West, if you want to splurge on Indian. Kaz Sushi Bistro (more than just sushi).
posted by jindc at 1:48 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Reporting back, we went to Zaytinya. I'd give it 4 stars as a gluten free vegetarian experience. It was a little hard to feel full on what was available, even though the things I did have were very yummy. For instance, the cucumbers to substitute for bread with the (very yummy) dippables -- there wasn't much starchy and filling to make up for it. The evening definitely "worked" and we had an excellent time! Thank you for all your suggestions. I look forward to trying more of them!
posted by spbmp at 4:43 PM on March 21, 2015

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