News & Politics

Chef’s Choice: Where the culinary pros go for cheap eats

Chicken on the Run, Mark's Duck House and Seventh Hill are all among chefs' picks in the DC area

Shannon Overmiller: the Majestic

I like to get pho at Viet House. It’s low-key, no alcohol, just a good bowl of soup. I get the tripe, tendon, brisket, and steak all in one bowl. I’m a condiment freak and always rig it up with extra lime, cilantro, and chili sauce.”

Viet House (map)
6226 Richmond Hwy., Alexandria

Jeff Heineman : Grapeseed and Freddy’s Lobster & Clams

I go to Chicken on the Run for the half chicken, beans, rice, and fried yuca, plus extra yellow and green sauces—it’s money! There’s something that makes it addictive. Maybe it’s the straight-to-your-arteries yellow mayonnaise.”

Chicken on the Run (map)
4933 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda

Paul Pelt: Tabard Inn

Mark’s Duck House—I get the shrimp-and-pork dumplings in XO sauce, Chinese long beans with pork, and all the fried rices. I go every Father’s Day. The kids have loved the shark-fin and shrimp dumplings since they were small. It’s definitely cheap, but the kids look at it as a special occasion.”

Mark’s Duck House (map)
6184-A Arlington Blvd. Falls Church

Michael Hartzer: Jack Rose

Seventh Hill—I love that place. My favorite is the white pizza with goat cheese, pecorino, mozzarella, Gorgonzola, and fresh chopped garlic. Also the French-sausage-and-tomato pie.

Seventh Hill (map)
327 Seventh St., SE

Denise and Khoa Nguyen: Ba Bay

We love Phung Hoang in the Eden Center for bun mam. It’s like a Vietnamese bouillabaisse with shrimp, pork, and a stock made of fermented shrimp paste, pork bones, and fish. You top it with scallions, mint, shredded cabbage. It’s heaven in a bowl, but you can’t get the soup anywhere else, because if they do it wrong it tastes awful. In Vietnam we couldn’t find any as good.”

Phung Hoang (map)
6795 Wilson Blvd., Suite 39 Falls Church

David Guas: Bayou Bakery

La Union’s pupusas are unbelievable. They’re made to order. I get one with cheese and chicharrón [fried pork rinds], perfectly salted and fried in their own fat. I like to go during weird hours, like 2 in the afternoon, get a Salvadoran beer, and just know I’m getting good food.”

La Union (map)
5517 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

Ryan Wheeler: Virtue Feed & Grain

At A La Lucia, I always get the lasagna. It reminds me of what my mom would make. The sauce is just right, the noodles perfect. A lot of places do lasagna, but not everyone does it well.”

A La Lucia (map)
315 Madison St., Alexandria