Young and Hungry

Seeking Nominees for City Paper’s Inaugural D.C. Dish Hall of Fame


The Margherita at 2Amys: Does it make the cut?

Earlier this week, I was noshing on the roast chicken at Palena Cafe, reveling once again in Frank Ruta's ability to add and coax flavors from this generous, succulent portion of breast, wing, and leg meat. That's when the thought struck me: This is, hands-down, one of the area's greatest dishes. It deserves a spot in some sort of local culinary hall of fame.

The roast chicken is an obvious one, but what other dishes would make the cut? I've been pondering this and have drafted a number of nominees. The list is, by no means, complete. It needs your suggestions.

Once we get a solid roster of nominees, we'll put them to a public vote here on the Y&H blog. The top 10 vote getters will go into the City Paper's inaugural D.C. Dish Hall of Fame. Winners will receive everlasting glory.

The working list of nominees:

  • Pam Patmore

    Boudin Blanc at Marcel's

  • Thrifty DC Cook

    Chicken Panang Curry at Thai X-ing

  • sarah

    Falagel pita at amsterdam!

  • sarah

    um falafel - but you knew that

  • A.R. Osorio

    Eel Kamameshi from Kotobuki

  • Kokos Kong

    Pupusas from Irenes Pupusas

  • Daniel

    Mama's Special Dumplings at China Bistro
    Potstickers at A&J
    Cowboy Ribeye at Ray's the Steaks
    Seared Scallops at Corduroy
    Crabcakes at Bobby's Crabcakes

  • Kokos Kong

    Bleu Fromage moules frites at Granville Moores

  • Zora M.

    Kit-Kat Bar at Citronelle

    burger at Ray's Hellburger

    shrimp dumpling soup at Full Kee

  • Lou

    Roast beef sandwich from MGM Beef.
    Broccoli rabe & provolone sub from Taylor Deli.
    Fried calamari at Blacks Bar & Kitchen.
    Atomica pizza at Pizza Paradiso.
    Cream chipped beef on biscuits at Tastee Diner.
    Fried chicken at Jackie's.
    Scotch eggs at Commonwealth.
    Grilled cheese sandwich at Stoney's.
    Steak frites at La Chat Noir.
    Fish & chips @ whatever the 4P's is now called.
    Dinner at Obelisk.
    Chicken wings at Quarry House.


  • Lou

    Honorable Mention: the spedini at the now closed AV's Ristorante.


  • leslie

    Fried Oysters at Hanks Oyster Bar. They are addictive.

  • KMango

    Honorable Mention: Kitfo at Meaza.

  • Anthony

    Its got to be the half-smoked a uniquely DC dish thats been around for over 50 years. All of the others have no real history in DC behind them. Think of Philly and everyone knows you get a cheesesteak; B-more crab cakes; Boston clam chowder, baked beans, Samuel Adams; Maine lobsters;Mississippi catfish.

  • GR

    It's the butter chicken at Heritage India. That's the dish I thought of before I read your list, and found it there already.

  • Ezra

    It's not something I'm into eating, but the steak at The Palm has to be on the list.

  • Mike @ Capital Spice

    I like where you're going with some of these, but I think Hall of Famers need to be iconic...both at their own restaurant and within the larger context of the DC dining scene.

    For me, though, some of the most Hall of Fame-worthy dishes aren't exactly fine dining - they just evoke aspects of the city really well and they've stood the test of time:

    Chicken Madness at Wisemiller's
    Classic Italian sandwich at A. Litteri's
    Bluebucks at Market Lunch
    Jumbo Slice at Jumbo Slice

  • DjTonDef

    This list to me asks "What can you find in DC and nowhere else, or at least nowhere else as good?" I'd have to go with Julia's Empanadas. Thumbs up from everyone from drunk bridge & tunnels to displaced Bolivians, whaaat?

  • monkeyrotica

    The G Man sub from Mangialardos. As old as the '68 riots, when cops and firefighters kept the place from going up in flames.

  • Orr Shtuhl

    Suppli al telefono at 2 Amy's
    "Turkish delight" at Zaytinya
    Chilean empanada at Julia's Empanadas

    And also the fried Carolina catfish with house bacon, smoked red onion-apple relish at BlackSalt -- possibly the best sandwich I've ever eaten.

    Of course, this entire list must exist under the caveat that the best any dish can attain is 2nd place, beneath The Brickskeller's bacon-Velveeta French fries. Not only is it not cheese, I don't think it's even real Velveeta.

  • Jackie

    Peynirli Pide - Zaytinya
    Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Soup - Founding Farmers

  • Grumpy

    The steak and cheese at Capitol Carryout, Branch Ave.

    The meatloaf and collard greens at Daddy Grace (Saint's Paradise Cafe) M St. United House of Prayer; hell any meal from there

    The hot fish sandwich at Horace&Dickey's off H St. NE

    The breakfast at Florida Ave. Grill; hell any meal from there

    The egg/fried bologna sandwich at the White House Diner on Southern Ave. and Bowen Rd.

    The crab bisque at Jerry's Seafood in Lanham, MD

    The lamb chops at Calvert House at Rt. 1 and East/West Highway Beltsville

  • grun

    Did anyone forget the best dish in town? Smoked branzino carpaccio in a cigar box at Teatro Gondoni

  • Pleen

    What I love about the DC area is all the great ethnic eats - here are some dishes that I will travel back to the DC area for:

    Jaipuri Paneer Dosa at Saravana Palace
    Crispy Squid at Thai Square
    Dozen HOT Krispy Kremes
    Caramel fish from Little Saigon
    Cumin lamb from Hong Kong Palace
    Ginger salad from Myanmar Restaurant
    Duck salad from Nava Thai

    I also "second" the following nominations:
    Lobster Burger at Central
    Kit Kat bar at Central
    Margherita pizza at 2 Amys

  • Missy

    Some great suggestions here, particularly the Atomica, the grilled cheese, the cumin lamb.

    I'd submit Tandoori Nights' muligatawny soup but I know it doesn't have iconic status. Jaleo's bacon wrapped dates, maybe?

    In the vein of Orr, can I posthumously nominate Dr. Dremo's bacon cheese cajun fries?

  • audreys

    The spinach ravioli (agnolotti di formaggio) at Luigi's on 19th street. Seriously the best pasta dish ever.

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