January 2007: 100 Very Best Restaurants

A splashy, retro-cool spot for updated comfort food.

No. 97: Jackie’s Restaurant

Disco balls dangling from utility lights. Desserts with kooky names like Your Peanut Butter Is in My Chocolate. A soundtrack that shuffles from Lucinda Williams to DC punk to Euro-pop. This auto garage turned restaurant—the brainchild of Jackie (with a heart over the I) Greenbaum, who favors tall boots and big hair—might be the least-serious serious restaurant in town.

The kitsched-up industrial space looks like a mod, ’60s-era teen dream: bright pink booths, shiny plastic chairs, shag carpets—all that’s missing are hip-swiveling servers in patent-leather go-go boots. But here’s a surprise: You can get a pretty groovy meal.

Each night brings a Nostalgia Plate, which might be a dense meatloaf, a skillet-fried chicken, or a braised brisket—but chef Sam Adkins isn’t strictly Betty Crocker–inspired. You might also find wonderfully smoky pork tacos, a simple plate of prosciutto with figs and grilled mushrooms, or a flatiron steak with kicky chimichurri. The most reliable option is also the guiltiest pleasure: mini Elvis Burgers, smeared with pimiento cheese.

Brunch doesn’t feel like a toss off—or a recycling bin for the week’s leftover ingredients—as some do. You’ll find worthy renditions of sausage, biscuits, and gravy; Eggs in a Nest, with turnip greens and hash browns; plus spicy home fries and Mayorga coffee.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.