Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Five: Underrated places in our neighborhood

For this week's Friday Five, my series of five things I like right now in the area, I decided to do write about five places that I feel like are underrated -- awesome spots that just aren't as popular as I think they should be.

Heat da Spot Cafe, 3213 Georgia Ave NW

Heat da Spot is an awesome little coffee shop and cafe. It's got a nice, homey vibe with good coffee and delicious sandwiches -- I really like the spicy grilled chicken with cheese and veggies. The owners are super nice and they also have Ethiopian pastries most of the time and Ethiopian entrees on weekends. Definitely worth a visit or five.

The Airedale, 3605 14th Street NW

A fantastic European gastropub, the Airedale has the best fish and chips I've ever eaten, as well as really good traditional German, Belgian, British and French food like schnitzel, currywurst, croques madame and monsieur, and the Mitraillette, which is a Belgian sandwich with a burger patty, fries, brat and onions (all on the sandwich!) Plus they have rye whiskey and Angostura bitters soft serve. Also a good spot for watching soccer.

Bravo Bar, 2917 Georgia Ave NW

Bravo is a really chill little neighborhood spot at Georgia and Hobart with tasty bar food and a great happy hour -- $6 for a beer, shot and hot dog until 8 pm, then $6 for the beer and shot thereafter, as well as buy one, get one free. They also have really good pupusas.

El Tio, 3345 Georgia Ave NW

There are a lot of good Mexican options in the area, but sometimes you just want cheese Tex-Mex, and El Tio is a great spot for that. Lots of food, tasty margaritas and good service.

Salt and Pepper Grill, 2632 Georgia Ave NW

Salt and Pepper has a few locations around town serving Indian and Pakistani fare, and this one is my fave (also the closest.) They have a small dine-in and it's popular as a take out or delivery spot too, and it's really tasty. Spicy, herby, fresh and delicious.

Any places you'd recommend that should get more love?


  1. Harrar Coffee and Roastery. 2904 Georgia Ave. Simply the best coffee I've ever had. Their dark Harrar roast had been or family's go to breakfast cup for the past year.

  2. Definitely like Harrar! Great spot.

  3. El Tio's on 14th St.

  4. Agree with both the commenters on Harrar. It's a seriously underrated place in the neighborhood and cheaper than Colony Club. Coffy Cafe is great for a quiet spot with some dynamite crepes. And even if you aren't a veggie muncher, Nu Vegan on 2928 Georgia Ave is delicious, with food that satisfies both meat eaters and vegans at a very affordable price. And seriously, for those who haven't been to Bravo Bar, especially between the hours of 5-8 pm everyday, you have no clue what you are missing.

    Only real disagreement on this list is El Tio. The food is decent, but I've been there maybe four or five times since it became an El Tio from whatever the hell it was before. All but maybe one time, the service has downright sucked. This is going at different hours of different days (i.e. the servers weren't in the weeds or anything; I'm former service industry and can tell bad service from busy service).

    Other than that, your list is fantastic (as always).

  5. Completely disagree, El Tio's food and service is spot on. I go there weekly and am greeted warmly like family. I never have to ask for anything. They are attentive and always ensure guest leave happy. Maybe you should give it another try Sweaty. Love the list and agree with the comments otherwise.

  6. To be honest, if "Heat da Spot" had another name or more curb appeal, I'd probably have been there by now. I think that is their main issue. I mean, the name is awful. I'm with you on Salt & Pepper Grill as well. Their Georgia Ave locations are great, but their place on upper 14th is awful. Food good, but I can't imagine a more unappealing facade and interior. They would do so much better with an actual dining room without bullet proof glass, storage boxes and a card table.

  7. It's worth noting, Salt & Pepper Grill II on 14th St is eligible for a $50,000 Great Street Grant that can be used to renovate existing businesses. Why wouldn't they apply for this? It's free money!


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