Cheap Eats 2011: Figs Fine Foods

This garden-level cafe has the feel of a friend’s cluttered apartment. At the entrance is a collection of books and games, eccentric paintings decorate the green walls, and tomato-red stools sit next to banquettes with striped pillows. While lots of customers come for takeout, the free wi-fi and coffeehouse vibe make lingering easy.

A glass deli case is crowded with bean salads and Mediterranean spreads such as hummus and baba ghanoush. Many simple-looking dishes have a surprising depth of flavor–a bulgur-wheat-and-tomato salad, flavored with cumin, is cooked like risotto for more than an hour. There are also more substantial entrées including a lemon-spiked chicken tagine and great turkey meatballs. Sandwiches–ham and cheese, tuna salad, and egg salad–skew more American.

Also good: Chickpea salad with cilantro-lemon dressing; chicken bastilla, a Moroccan pastry with a cardamom-spiced filling; Lebanese yogurt known as labne; sandwich of Brie, pear, and fig jam.

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner (until 8).

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.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.