Every season, new hires and interns flood my office; when midday rolls around, they wander around like newborn ducklings without a mother, marveling at the plethora of lunch options with their mouths agape and eyes wide open. I worry about them, as they are in constant danger of being run over by a well-dressed lawyer double-fisting an iPhone and a blackberry and swinging a Chop’t salad around like a machete.
Now, nobody asked me for my opinion of the lunch scene in and around Farragut North. But never fear: I always come through. Here is Josh’s Complete Farragut North Lunch Guide. Use the map below, click to go to the full map, or look at the tables below for full reviews. Clicking on the circles reveals the restaurant review.
The rating system is done on three metrics: qualitative assessment, price, and level of fullness. Tier One candidates are delicious, well-priced, and give you a ton of food. Tier Two candidates are good but not great, overpriced but not egregiously so, and give you a good amount of food. Tier Three candidates are mediocre, overpriced, and sometimes leave you wanting more food. Tier Four restaurants are not good.
It is also important to note that Farragut Square, like other downtown corporate office neighborhoods in DC, faces a metastasizing blight: second-order food-gentrification, in which a variety of delicious and more “authentic” lunch restaurants that rich yuppies enjoy are being pushed out by chains of more expensive lunch restaurants that busier, less-interesting rich yuppies like. Sandwich chains are like an invasive plant species, eating up everything until all that’s left are overpriced sandwiches and it’s too late to turn back.
Comments and questions welcome. Responses not guaranteed. Thanks to Alex Holt for inspiring the map and adding reviews.
|Greek Deli||Not Too Overpriced||Stuffed to the Gills||The sound of Kostas plopping spoonfuls of artichoke special onto your plate is literally the sound of an Angel getting its wings, flying too close to the sun, and then falling back to earth into a tub of Avgolemono. Plus, you’re his friend. Kostas has so many friends. I’m jealous.|
|The Well-Dressed Burrito||Not Too Overpriced||Stuffed to the Gills||DC has the worst Mexican food of any city I’ve ever been to. The burritos at Well Dressed are not very good, but everything else is outstanding. It’s the most food-per-dollar you can get anywhere. Go on Wednesdays and Fridays for the Empanadas. Don’t get the burritos. Go any day for the special salads or the chicken and cheese enchiladas. Still don’t get the burritos. Did I mention not to get the burritos?|
|Suki Asia||Not Too Overpriced||Full||Nobody ever goes to Suki Asia with me, and frankly it’s very depressing. But the food is good. The Tofu-Don special with Miso Soup is one of my go-to lunches (it was better before they raised the price, but oh well) and the Udon is the best I’ve had around these parts. I like watching the sushi guy make sushi; I’ve never seen him smile. Frankly, it’s also depressing. My only complaint about Suki Asia is that the door opens the wrong way and makes entering and exiting awkward.|
|House of Kabob||Not Too Overpriced||Stuffed to the Gills||Having to use a tray reminds me of high school, but in a good way. The buffet spread at House of Kabob is impressive, with staples like tandoori chicken (good), chickpeas and beans (good), and saag potato (passable). The samosas are excellent, but the weird fried orange things that come in the same tray are highly underwhelming. I think that “House of Kabob” is an overstatement. If anything, it’s much more of a studio apartment of Kabob.|
|Szechuan Pavilion||Overpriced (but it’s fancier)||Full||Szechuan Pavilion has good Chinese food. That in and of itself is impressive in DC. This is more of a fancy place than other lunch spots, as it has white tablecloths (any form of tablecloth is usually too fancy for me). A good place to go to have a sit down meal, but it is always crowded. This is good for their business but immensely frustrating for me.|