Where Do Chefs Eat Cheap?
We asked the white-coat set where they slurp pho, tear into Korean pancakes, and indulge addictions to pickle juice.
—Antonio Burrell, chef de cuisine, Masa 14
“At least once a week, sometimes more, my husband and I go to Pho 75. It makes a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I usually order a regular Number 12—no cilantro. Every now and again we get the chicken pho, which is excellent as well. I would love to be able to get a beer with it, but they don’t serve it.”
—Tracy O’Grady, chef/owner, Willow
“Korean seafood pancake from H Mart in Falls Church (8103 Lee Hwy.; 703-573-6300). I order it with a side of kimchee. It’s simple and good.”
—Bertrand Chemel, executive chef, 2941
“Crabcakes from Jimmy’s Grill at the Maine Avenue Fish Market (1100 Maine Ave., SW; 202-484-6008). The crabcakes are all crab, unlike some that are mostly breading, and I order them with yeast rolls and wilted spinach. It’s great to be by the water and watch all the people at the market haggling for their fish. It’s like taking a step out of DC and going to the Eastern Shore.”
—Rachael Harriman, chef de cuisine, Sou’Wester
“I love the crispy roasted potatoes with malt aïoli at Bar Pilar. It’s a tasty snack. I’m normally with my fiancée and a few friends, so we order a good many other dishes, but I’d be damn happy sitting at the bar relaxing with a good IPA and just those taters.”
—Daniel Singhofen, executive chef, Eola
“I go to the Quarry House Tavern and get tater tots and a drink called a Pickleback—cheap Jameson Irish whiskey and pickle juice. I love it—the pickle juice cleans your palate. And the tater tots, there’s just something comforting about them.”
—Pedro Matamoros, chef/owner, 8407
“Pho from Pho Hoa Binh (11782 Parklawn Dr., Rockville; 301-770-5576). I get the small with fat brisket and extra-soft tendon. For under $8, you get a pile of noodles, almost a full quart of broth, a half pound of bean sprouts, jalapeño, lime, and about two full branches of basil. I need to grab a mixing bowl just to fit everything in. The bean sprouts are always fresher than anything you see in the grocery store.”
—Nate Waugaman, executive chef, Addie’s
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