Cheap Eats 2010: Punk’s Backyard Grill

100 places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: This fast-casual operation looks destined to become a chain, but sipping good rum punch under an umbrella and making a tasty meal of skewered meats, well-conceived salads, or camera-ready burgers is hard to resist. Some ingredients come from local and sustainable farms, the kind of sourcing seldom found in a place that costs less than Applebee’s.

What to get:
Grilled shrimp with mango salsa; a juicy burger made from sustainably raised meat and capped with aged cheddar; buttery, crumb-topped mac and cheese; ice-cream sandwich of Gifford’s ice cream between two fresh-baked cookies; rum punch or sangría.

Best for: A break from shopping; a light lunch or dinner with the kids.

Insider tip: The skewers are small, so you’ll want to round out your meal with a couple of sides.

>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here 

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.