Cheap Eats 2008: El Pike

Why go: This oddly named restaurant—there’s not a single pizza on the menu; the name’s from a previous incarnation—is one of the area’s best places to experience Bolivian cooking, from savory pastries and meal-in-a-bowl soups to big plates of beef or pork.

What to get: Chicken salteñas (weekends only), flaky pastry stuffed with a sweet/savory filling of rich tomato broth, potatoes, and meat; zestier beef salteñas (weekends only); humintas, a cakier iteration of tamales; lomo, a thin steak topped with two sunny-side-up eggs with sides of boiled potato, rice, and salad; sopa de mani, a peanut soup; cumin-spiced pork chops.

Best for: Meat-and-potatoes types—steaks are deftly handled here, and many plates come with two to three starches.

Insider tip: Take a look at the check—the tip might be included even for a table of two.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

See all 2008 Cheap Eats restaurants 

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 Petworth.