Cheap Eats 2015: Black Jack


The Brazos River Bottom Pecan Pie Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Black Jack


1612 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
NW Northwest Dr
Silver Spring, MD

Its prime Logan Circle location, indoor bocce courts, and killer cocktails—get the Blue Vein, with vodka, cassis, and house-made ginger beer—mean that plenty of people come just to hang out and booze. But stick to the liquid stuff and you’ll miss some of the area’s tastiest bar snacking, courtesy of Jeff and Barbara Black, the chefs/restaurateurs who also own Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, the Southern seafood dining room downstairs. The cooks here know their way around a deep fryer, which turns out fabulous shrimp po’ boys, shattering fried chicken, and the airy popcorn crawfish that top a delightfully bad-for-you chopped salad with buttermilk dressing. A couple of other reasons the place is always crowded: affable bartenders, some of whom are as conversant in nuclear nonproliferation as they are in Kentucky rye, plus an all-day happy hour on Sunday.

Cuisine: Snacks and Small Plates

Where you can get it: 1612 14th St., NW; 202-319-1612

Also good: Dive Burger, with green chilies and pepperjack cheese; duck-confit nachos; mariscos de campechana, a ceviche of grilled shrimp and oysters; pecan and Key-lime pies.

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.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.