Monday, September 19, 2005

busboys, poets, pizza and meze

No doubt some of you in the new U Street/Columbia Heights corridor are intrigued by all the recent growth in the area. To that end, I thought I’d share my weekend discoveries.

Friday night: meze. Tabaq opened last month on U Street between 13th and 14th, and it is a new gem in the neighborhood. A nice vibe, a good bar – even if the drinks are not great, they are strong. At 8:30 on a Friday night, it was easy to sit down for dinner (not so at the new-ish Al Crostino, next door, where there was an hour wait). Dinner is small Mediterranean tapas plates with a mix including hummus and baba ghanouj, lamb shanks, mussels, foie gras, beef ravioli, and everything in between. The menu is truly huge, with a lot of tasty options. The food was delicious, and the wine list did not leave much to be desired either.

Saturday: pizza. Delivery from Radius in Mt. Pleasant. Working without a menu, we ordered meatballs and tomatoes. The cost was high – turns out toppings are expensive. Delivery was fairly quick, but the pizza turned up completely soggy. You couldn’t pick it up. The cheese was good, and along the edges the crust was crispy, but that’s about it. I’d try going up there and eating the pizza in person, but I wouldn’t order it again.

Sunday: ever since hearing about Busboys and Poets, I’ve been excited to visit. We spent Sunday afternoon there, and my expectations were met. Busboys and Poets, which opened last Tuesday, is a hip, sunny, bright, clean Tryst. There are tables around the perimeter where people can eat a square meal of lunch or dinner (breakfast is coming, they say). Inside are comfy couches and chaises where people settled in for the afternoon. Wi-fi makes it easy to set down with a laptop. I sat down with a textbook and drank coffee for a good two hours without anyone bothering me except to ask if I wanted a refill. Food is very reasonable – they have sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and burgers, and all of them looked good. I can only speak directly to the Portobello and Goat Cheese sandwich, which was delicious. A full bar rounds out the experience, with Magic Hat #9 on tap! And there is a bookstore inside in case you need reading material.

All in all, a weekend full of delicious discoveries.


KOB said...

Nice write-up on Busboys and Poets. This place seems to be getting a little bit of buzz.

Nikolas Coukouma said...

There's another page about Busboys and Poets on their parent organization's site (Teaching for Change). It lists some very interesting events, including a visit from my favorite author, Octavia E. Butler.