Best reason to try offal: Pan-roasted sweetbreads with mushrooms, kale, and bacon at Ripple.
Best vending-machine-inspired dessert: Snickers-like candy bar made with cashews at Birch & Barley.
Best high-end hot dog: Frankfurter on a buttery bun at Lyon Hall.
Best dessert masquerading as dim sum: Sweet barbecue pork wrapped in puff pastry at Ping Pong Dim Sum.
Best bar nibble: Fried calamari with spicy marinara at Carmine’s.
Best poor man’s lobster roll: $8 shrimp salad at Red Hook Lobster Pound (locations and hours change; twitter.com/lobstertruckdc).
Best lobbyist-friendly snack: Manchego, chorizo, and quince on a toothpick at Estadio.
Best alternative to salad: Buticha—a purée of chickpeas with red onion, garlic, jalapeños, and lemon juice—at Ethiopic.
Best non-virtuous salad: Cobb salad with fried chicken at Ted’s Bulletin.
This article first appeared in the October 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.