Cheap Eats 2015: El Pike (Pike Pizza)

Where we get our favorite planchita.

There’s a generosity of spirit at this festive, diner-like spot, where heaping plates of homey fare are the rule. Soups and starters could easily double as a full meal, and entrées will feed two, three, sometimes even four—probably why the place is so popular with families and groups. This more-is-more philosophy reaches its pinnacle with planchita, a platter heaped with grilled beef ribs, blood sausage, hot dogs, pork chops, peppers and onions, and hard-boiled eggs atop a carb-load of fried potatoes, rice, and plantains. More-modest plates come in the guise of salteñas—beef and chicken stews baked into turnovers of sweet-savory dough—peanut soup brimming with beef and potatoes, and chajchu, a plate of crispy shreds of beef paired with potatoes and curry.

Cuisine: Bolivian

Where you can find it: 4111 Columbia Pike, Arlington; 703-521-3010

Also good: Slow-cooked tripe (weekends only); pork stew with hominy; lomo, steak with rice and fried potatoes draped with fried eggs; pork-sausage sandwich with jalapeños, onions, and tomatoes.

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Anna Spiegel
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.

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 Logan Circle.