100 Best Bargain Restaurants: Critics Pick Their Favorite Dishes

Have a hearty appetite? Head to the Athens Grill in Gaithersburg for a Big Fat Gyro. Photograph by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg.

Noodle dish that’s not Italian: Pad Thai at Nava Thai

Way to quiet a New Yorker: Nova lox with cream cheese on a freshly made bialy at Bagels and . . .

Light meal: Shanghai-style shrimp-dumpling soup at Full Key

Use of tomato: Chicken tikka masala at Bombay

Grilled cheese: Grilled white cheddar with chilies at Domku

Fish dish for less than $20: Steamed ling fish with ginger at Hollywood East Cafe on the Boulevard

Tofu dish: Tofu in chili-basil sauce at Bangkok 54 or soondubu at Vit Goel ToFu

Unconventional wings: Jerk-style wings with horseradish sauce at Comet Ping Pong

Pie: Cinnamon-laced blueberry at Tackle Box

Reason not to overload on pizza at 2 Amys: The caramel gelato (a special)

Worth-the-mess appetizer: Steamed, juicy pork buns at Bob’s 88 Shabu Shabu

Dessert masquerading as an appetizer: Butter-poached figs wrapped in bacon with mascarpone at EatBar

Cake you never thought you’d like: ShweJi, a Cream of Wheat cake with coconut and white poppyseeds at Mandalay Restaurant & Café

Use of offal: Marinated, skewered beef hearts, called anticuchos, at La Limena

For carb addicts: Breadstuffs at A&J Restaurant

Adventure dish: Karahi-style lamb brains at Ravi Kabob I or II

Deviled eggs: With smoked paprika at Food Matters

For big appetites: Plate-size Big Fat Gyro at Athens Grill

For cocktail drinkers: Tuesday “cocktail sessions” at Bar Pilar

For after a DC pub crawl: Late-night fried chicken and waffles at Oohhs and Aahhs

For wine lovers: The wine dispenser at Evo Bistro

Cheap Eats Slideshow
Cheap Eats guide to gourmet dining on a budget

This article appeared as part of the 100 Best Bargain Restaurants section in the June, 2008 issue of The Washingtonian.  

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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.