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Cafe Tirolo

Tucked in the corner of a modern office building, this is a place to dine well on a budget.

Tucked in the corner of a modern office building, this is a place to dine well on a budget. The food is Italian and Austrian—the menu includes staples of both cuisines, including pizza, pasta, veal scallopine, Wiener schnitzel, and Austrian goulash with bread dumplings. Appetizers start at $3.95; main courses average $10 for pasta, $13 for meat. Service is minimal but cordial—you place your order at a counter, the food is delivered. The cooking is excellent.

After cooking in much of Europe, chef Vic Kreidl became the chef at Tiberio, an upscale K Street Italian restaurant that was hot a generation ago. At Cafe Tirolo, it's all but impossible to go wrong. Pastas are cooked to order. Try the house-made fettuccine with cream sauce or linguine with clams. The grilled salmon with shallot butter sauce, potatoes, and green beans is a good bet, but so are the veal scallopine with lemon butter and the goulash. Always worth considering are the daily specials, such as pork loin with garlic caraway sauce.

Desserts are house-made. The Viennese apple strudel and the almond pear tart are among the best. There are good beers from Europe and satisfactory wines as low as $13.95 for a full carafe. In good weather there is outside dining.

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