3245 M St., NW
Washington, DC 20007
Cuisines: Seafood, American
Open daily 7 to 10 PM.
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Accepted
Fried bay scallops with lemon; fried clams with tartar sauce; fried shrimp on a potato roll; lobster roll; wood-grilled calamari with basil-walnut pesto; wood-grilled asparagus; braised greens; potato salad; coleslaw; blueberry pie.
Starters $6 to $12, Main dishes $9-$12
Why go: Is this Georgetown? This shore-food snack bar sure doesn’t feel like it, with its beams of driftwood, beat-up American flags, and plastic fry baskets. The blackboard menu offers angel/devil choices of seafood—grilled or fried—plus an array of picnic-friendly sides.
What to get: Grilled calamari with basil-walnut pesto—a menu staple at higher-priced sister restaurant Hook; lightly battered fried shrimp or clams served with lemon-aïoli, tartar, or cocktail sauce or stuffed into a sandwich roll; thin filets of trout and bluefish, smoky from the wood grill; coleslaw; grilled vegetables such as carrots or asparagus; some of the best fish tacos around.
Best for: A low-key lunch or dinner; a break from shopping; satisfying a craving for fried food.
Insider tip: Spin-offs are planned in Bethesda and DC’s Cleveland Park. The $19 lobster roll remains an underfilled disappointment.
>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here.